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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I live in a rented farm cottage house. It is in a rural location

Customer Question

I live in a rented farm cottage house. It is in a rural location accessed down a farm track lane. The farm is a tenant farm by the same landlords.
There are large pot holes in the access road and the landlords are refusing to maintain the track. Do they have to maintain access road ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Have they said why they refuse? Has any damage been caused to your vehicle please?

JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : They say under your tenancy agreement you are entitled to the provisional right of way to the property not the provision of maintained right of way and for thr time being your landlord is unwilling to contribute any further toward maintenance.
Alex Watts :

Does the tenancy agreement say they are required to maintain the road?

JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : as yet we have no visible damage just concerned with wear and tear. When we took on the property and track was in good order and in 2012 they supplied 120 tonnes of scalping,which we put on the road we I didn't charge them for our man hours putting it on their road. There is nothing in the agreement about the road access or maintenance
Alex Watts :

Yes. If the agreement does not specify they have to maintain it then they do not. However if they know about the condition of the road and you have informed them (which indeed you have), then your vehicle is damaged, then you may well have a claim for negliegnce.

Alex Watts :

This is because they know about the issue and their failure to repair the road caused damage to your vehicle.

Alex Watts :

I realise this does not help the immediate situation but unless there is anything in your agreement you can not force them to do something they are not contractually required to do.

Alex Watts :

Does that make sense? You would not be able to sue for a theoretical loss only an actual loss.

JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : I think I understand - our problem if the road gets worse how do we get the house if the road becomes impassable?
Alex Watts :

Then if it becomes impassable then again you would have a cause of action against them.

JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : i suppose I have to find out what level is impassable - like how deep does a pot hole have to be?
JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : Would I tell them first if I have a damaged wheel from the road to claim negligence or go straight to a solicitor ?
Alex Watts :

You should tell them first as they may settle it. Even if they do not if the value of the damage is below £10,000 it would be a small claim and you wont need a Solicitor as you can do it yourseld.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything about this?

JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : what do you thing I should do next?
JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : thats think I should do next
Alex Watts :

I would write and say that whilst you do not accept the position you reserve the right to bring a claim in negligence against them for any damage caused and that they are put on notice to this.

JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : What is that a pending notice of damage sorry don't understand. I would like to send a letter to them. Am I saying that damage could happen or that it has happened ?
Alex Watts :

You write and say if your vehicle is damaged then you will sue them.

Alex Watts :

You are saying if your vehicle is damaged in future you will make a claim.

JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : great thanks so due to their negligence if anything gets damaged we will make a claim. And this we would go to our nearest court and get a form for the small claims courts ? Is that right ? Do this costs and is it a quick process?
Alex Watts :

Yes if it is below £10,000.

Alex Watts :

There are fees but these are added to the claim

Alex Watts :

It is quick if not defended but a few months if defended.

JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : Thank you you have given me confident and direction of what to reply to our landlords
Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you to rate my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help:

JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : They can't ask us to leave the property can they?
Alex Watts :

No, not on that basis.

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : yes think so. I have several letters from the agents acting for the landlords and are going to respond with a letter now
Alex Watts :


Alex Watts :

Can I help with anything else?

JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : Ah just doing letter and thinking about the road. This is a private road with a right of access. I am assuming that the landlord have right of access but they don't own the road. How does that work with regard to them maintaining it?
Alex Watts :

You would sue landlord, landlord would sue the owner.

JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : Right ok
Alex Watts :

If that answers everything?

JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : Just maybe help me review the letter
JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : Sorry still typing didn't mean to send that
JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : letter. We have continued to inform you of the condition of the road to your property and we're disappointed to read your letter. I cannot find anything in our agreement about the road access or right of way. We do understand that it is a rural property and when we agree rental in 2011 the road was in reasonable condition. We don't expect the road to be a motor way, just accessible. The road did receive scalpings in 2012, as you stated, the landlord supplied the material and we physically applied the scalpings to the road, saving on labour costs. Whilst we do not accept the position we reserve the right to bring a claim of negligence against them for any damages caused. What do you think? Have I said that correctly should I put anything else?
Alex Watts :

Yes that is all you need to say, that is very good and to the point.

JACUSTOMER-owfgv282- : Should I take photo's of road and send with letter?
Alex Watts :

You dont need to but take them for your own records.