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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10974
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I'm interested in purchasing a property at auction but there

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I'm interested in purchasing a property at auction but there is an issue over rights of access, in that that property has no right of way over the neighbouring property for access.
How big a problem is this?
Is this something easy to fix / sort out?
1. I don't mean to be funny but not having rights of access over neighbouring property to the land you want to purchase is a huge problem. It makes the land virtually worthless until such times as someone negotiates a right of way over neighbouring land. Rights of way are not easily sorted out. This is because the price for the right of way rises in accordance with how desperate an owner is to gain access. There is no such thing as compelling someone to provide a right of way. That means there is no way of forcing someone to grant you a right of way when you don't have one. You either have to purchase a right of way at whatever price is named, or else, you remain without access to your land. This is because there is no automatic right of access to any piece of land. It must be purchased.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The building in question is an office block. It has been in continuous use and the ground floor of the property has a sitting tenant so access must have been allowed and is still being allowed for the current tenants. Would this not give rise to prescriptive rights?
3. Prescriptive rights require up to 40 years to acquire. At a minimum 25 years. So, prescriptive rights are not really a runner in most situations. I would suggest that there was some arrangement whereby rights of access were leased or were acquired in some way for a period of time. An office block really is not worth much without some access rights.