Hello I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this.
The prescription period for easements is 20 years continuous (or only short explainable gaps) use. The knowledge or lack of knowledge of the owner of the burdened land is neither here nor there. The right your solicitor refers to is one that is not clear to me. I am away from my text books on this subject this morning but will have a look this afternoon and give you a fuller answer then.
Many thanks - will look forward to hearing from you
I have received hourly requests to rate your service, but cannot do so until I hear back from you re my query, as previously advised, so hope you understand why my rating has been withheld and that this 'auto-feedback' request can only be actioned when you get back to me ... without delay then I promise! :-)
Yes I quite understand. i didn't know that you got an hourly request to rate.
I have had another look at this and there is no doubt about it, the period for acquiring easements starts at 20 years, I have no idea where your solicitor gets the idea that 7.5 years has any significance. Whether you are relying on the Prescription Act 1832 or under the common law the period is 20 years. You would therefore be in a position to charge your wealthy neighbour access fees. This is a statement of the general law it may be that you should ask your solicitor if there is some exception to the general law (I can't imagine what that might be but I guess there could be some provision in an earlier conveyance or something).
I hope this is helpful.
7 1/2 years is when she was saying they would qualify under the 20 prescription rule, but because it is over 12 (12 1/2 in fact) that they have the right to continue to use it i.e. without it being a registered right. I guess you are saying that this is not the case as far as you know and that I should ask her for the legal reference/act she is deducing this advice from etc.
that is right.