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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm with 20+ years legal experience
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We own a lane which 6 other houses use as access to their

Customer Question

we own a lane which 6 other houses use as access to their garages
these are about 31 metres away from joining the main road.They all share for the upkeep
and maintenance of this part of the lane in front of each garage. Are we supposed to keep
it clear of snow and safe
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help with your question today.
An owner of an unadopted road or lane is generally considered to have a right, but not necessarily an obligation, to undertake repairs and make improvements to the road, provided the owner does not interfere with other persons’ rights of way.
This also means that the owner MAY clean the road and keep it snow free and safe; but there is no legal obligation to do so.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for your reply, is there any possibility of us being liable if someone has a bad accident on our lane due to snow/ice? either if we clean or do not clean. either on foot or in cars slipping on the ice.

as the owners of the other 6 houses have shared responsibilty for maintenance and upkeep/repair of lane could it be argued that they are just as responsible as ourselves for keeping this access clean and safe?


Expert:  Alice H replied 5 years ago.
Good morning
A person would only have a claim against you if you are under a positive duty to keep the road clear of ice or snow. It is very unlikely that such an obligation exists.
If you decide to clear the road but make a poor job of it (e.g. you use water to clean the area and it freezes over) and somebody slips and falls, then there could be a claim against you.
It sounds daft but sometimes you are actually better off doing nothing.