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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10776
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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I've a right-of-way question - I've lived in my home since

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I’ve a right-of-way question - I’ve lived in my home since 1975. Throughout this time I’ve used a side door in my garden wall to gain access to my rear garden. The wall runs along my house and forms part of my neighbours garden/yard wall. The awkward part is the wall and door is within of my neighbours property/back yard.
The door has been there since at least 1960. I take the weekly bin through it and my coal man brings his weekly coal delivery through it.
Since I’ve lived in my home I’ve had 3 difference neighbours who have not had any problems with the arrangements. I simply keep along the edge and cause no problems with very minimal disruption. The area is a basic concrete yard so it’s not as if I’m walking through some beautiful lawned tennis court. Now the problem – the new owners (they bought the house about 6 months ago) are insisting I remove the door and block it up bricks.
I’ve checked my deeds and it does not mention the door, also my neighbour informs me that their deeds also don’t mention the door.
Surely since I’ve used for 40 years, at least twice a week, I have the right to the access? Also what happens if I sell my house, does the right of access stop with me and I cannot sell it with access?

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

My name is ***** ***** am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

Provided you have been using the access/door continously for 20 years or more, without diispute, hindrance or the express consent of the neighbours over the years, then you have acquired what is called "an easement by prescription", meaning that you have acquired a legal right to continue to use the access.

If, over the years, the several neighbours have just "turned a blind eye" to you using the access, then this does NOT count as express consent and likewise the fact that the new neighbour is disputing your use, does not affect the right that you have now acquired.

Although you have automatically acquired the right, and nothing further needs to be done, it is best for you to make a formal application to the Land Registry, so that your right can be registered on your Deeds and your neighbours Deeds. A local Solicitor will be able to assist you in making the Land Registry application- you will need to sign a Statement confirming your use of the years. Provided your ap

plication is successful (and I can see no reason why it wouldn't be, from what you have told me), your right will be documneted and any Buyer of your property will also have the right, as such rights "attach to the land" rather than being personal to the individual (ie you).

I hope this assists you and sets out the legal position.

If so, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer.

Kind Regards


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thanks Al, what if my neighbour refuses to alter his deeds?

He's not a nice person.

Hi Phil,

Your neighbour does not have a say in the matter- the Land Registry will automatically change his Deeds, if your application is successful!

Good luck.

Kind Regards


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