How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Matt Jones Your Own Question
Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practicing Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Matt Jones is online now

Hello, we bought a semi detached house less than 6 years ago.

Resolved Question:

Hello, we bought a semi detached house less than 6 years ago. The deeds show us as having a ROW via a "shared path" across our neigbours property. We have never used it and a wall was built about 18 months prior to our moving in, this wall obstructs access to the beginning of the path but we can gain access at different point through our garden. Can we now start to use the ROW and could we cut a gateway in the wall, which although built by our neighbours, appears to be on our land, thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
Matt Jones :

HI I will try and help

Matt Jones :

Do you know why the wall was built, and who built it?

Matt Jones :

was this built with the consent of the previous owner?

Matt Jones :

will the neighbours object to your use of the right of way do you think?

Matt Jones :

and finally, can you let me know the reasons why you now wish to resurrect the use of the ROW?

Matt Jones :


Matt Jones and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hi if you can let me know the replies to the above I hope to help you further
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Matt, sorry about the delay in providing the additional information.
1/ the wall was built by the previous occupant of the neighbouring house(David) he bought the house about 7 years ago, after his wife died. His house is adjacent to a large farmhouse owned by his daughter. David died in January 2013. The house now belongs to his daughter, who rents it out.
2/ the wall was built with the previous owners consent, it replaced a row of trees that obstructed David's views and improved the appearance of both properties.
3/ I feel quite confident that the owners will object to our resurrecting the ROW.
4/ we think it would be quite convenient to have use of the ROW also it may be possible at some time in the future to trade off the ROW that the occupant of our neighbouring house has across the rear of our property.
We don't necessarily want to use all the original ROW but could access the shared path further down our garden thus avoiding the new wall.
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for this. The key issue is whether the right of way has been abandoned. I assume that the right of way is formally granted in a deed rather than simply an implied ROW. A right of way will continue to exist and be use able until it has been deemed abandoned.
However it is quite difficult to prove abandonment. There are key ingredients. There has to be a period of time that has passed of non use. This is not a fixed period but varies from case to case but generally it would have to be a good 10-20 years.
More importantly is that the person with the right of way must show an "intention" never to use the right of way again. There has to be some act or omission on behalf of the beneficiary. This is usually very tricky to prove. In your case I would suggest that you assert your right over the pathway (by action or in writing) and then negotiate a formal cancellation with them if terms can be agreed
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
I wonder if you have had a chance to review my reply and If I can help further?
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hi I see you have rated my service bad, but I am not sure why
Could you explain?
happy to give further advice and assistance on this where I am able?

Related Property Law Questions