We live in a staggered terraced block with a continuous right of access backing onto each individual property. The houses are mid 1960's built and we have lived here for 35 yrs. Over a period of time new residents have built over it and consequently some areas have become blocked. We now wish to sell our property and wish to know our legal position regarding this as we have always kept our section clear as have our immediate neighbours.
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An easement cannot lapse, but it can be abandoned. There needs to be clear evidence of an intention to abandon. In some cases there will be no doubt about an intention to abandon.
If it is built over it is abandoned
There has to be an unequivocal act clearly indicating an intention to abandon. Putting up a fence or allowing a hedge to grow is not enough. However redevelopment involving putting up permanent buildings that make exercise of the right impossible will be enough. Allowing your neighbour to block the right is not enough, though if the obstruction is sufficiently permanent the court may decline to award an injunction and award damages.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?