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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10974
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I bought a bungalow in November 2002 in County Mayo. My wife

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I bought a bungalow in November 2002 in County Mayo. My wife and I are now trying to sell the property and move back to England. While we were in the process of having a look round the property the owner and the estate agent both informed us that the driveway used to gain access to the property was a shared driveway. Half yours, half the neighbors. Not a problem, we thought. It has now come to light that we have no legal rights at all.The driveway is on a separate folio and we can no longer sell the property! The original sale by myself was carried out by the same two groups of solicitors. I am feeling that there is a cover up and why wasn't I informed during the original purchase about this situation. The clerk involved in the original sale was the niece of the original seller, but now moved to England. Do I have any legal recourse on any or both groups of solicitors who originally sold us the property and the original owners, who still live very close by.One other thing I should mention, is that the owner of the driveway is the brother of the people who sold me the house originally!

Buachaill :

1. Yes, you can sue the original owners and the estate agent and the solicitors who acted for you in the sale. There would be different causes of action against each person. As against the original owner, you would sue for misrepresentation and deceit. As against the estate agent, you would also sue for misrepresentation and negligent misstatement. As against both your own solicitor and the vendor's solicitor, you would sue for negligence and if the solicitor knew of the difficulty and concealed it, for fraudulent concealment. Be aware that there may be Statute of Limitation difficulties with certain of the causes of action, but not others. Any action based on deceit or fraudulent concealment is never statute barred. However actions based on negligence, misrepresentation and negligent misstatement have time limits of three years, so it may not be possible to successfully sue on these grounds.

Buachaill :

2. Be aware additionally, that given the close family relationship between the vendor and his brother who owns the right of way, it may be possible to claim an easement of necessity. But this is a much weaker ground on which to have a right of way than to seek rectification of the transaction on an equitable ground such as deceit or fraudulent concealment.

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