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Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69509
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have an acre of land behind my house and opened a gate onto

Customer Question

I have an acre of land behind my house and opened a gate onto a stone road 10 yrs ago with my neighbours permission the road lead up to his house
the new owners of the house say that I have no right to access to my field as it is their private road to their house
without this gate I will have no access
what can I do and have I any rights after 10 years of the gate being there?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
is there any reason you think rights of access exist?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No the prevoious owener said we could
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

How was the land accessed before the gate was put in place?

Is there any formal documented right of access?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The land was part o a larger field and i bought the part that was at the back of my garden. Nothing on the deeds about the access. I know now I have no chance of using the gate even rhough it has been used for the last 10 yrs. is there anything I can do to obtain access in order to cut the grass or walk a shetland pony in??
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

Can it be accessed from anywhere else or is it landlocked?

How was it accessed before you bought it?

When did you buy it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I bought it in 2005. It was part of a larger field with acces on the piece I didnt buy. I opened the gate with everyones knowledge and there were no complaints. If I cant have access to the land through this gate it is then land locked.
The lane in question is a stone lane and I am far from the two houses it leads to. I am not very far from the main road. Approx 60 yds and would be willing to look after that part of the lane
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
Let me please confirm. You are nw being denied access through the land that you didnt buy? Is that it
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am being denied acces theough the gate i opened 10 yrs ago onto the lane that leads to 2 other houses with a dead end at the end. The new owners say I have no legal access theough the gate as the lane belongs to them
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
I still need to know How was it accessed before you bought it?
Throught he other part of the field?
If so, how was that accessed?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was accessed theough the orher part of the field by a gate on the opposite sidwe which is along another lane
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. That’s what I need to know. There is some good news but it is not all good.

Under the rule in Sweet v Sommer you are entitled to an easement over that part of the field which the access was originally gained to your part.

However unless you have enjoyed the right-of-way over the stone lane and through your gate for over 20 years then you acquire the right under the Prescription Act to continue to use that access. Even then, it must be done without consent or objection for you to acquire the right under the Prescription Act.


You say that the previous owner of the house and the lane allowed you to do this. As this was not done formally by deed but it takes effect as a licence and a licence can be withdrawn on reasonable notice. You should have documented this with the previous owner.


Unfortunately, based upon what you have told me, what you are not being by the owners of the lane and the house is correct.


The only thing you could do is offer them some money to allow you to have the right-of-way but if they refuse it at any price, there is nothing legally that you can do.

I’m sorry that this is bad news for you.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thankyou. So you are saying that i have a right to access tomy part of the land through the original access??
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
Yes, that is right.
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69509
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
Remus2004 and 3 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I put the new gate up it was in the same position as the old gate which the previous owner had used since the 1970s. Does this make a difference?
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.

You could try to argue it was continuous but it is not the best point I;m afraid.

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