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wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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I have recently purchased a property which has a right of way

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I have recently purchased a property which has a right of way across the properties of the neighbours on either side of me (without that right of way I can't access the roadway). My right of way is laid out in a document entitled Transfer of Freehold Land which transfers to the Transferee (ie the owner of my property) “the dwelling house together with (in common with all others now or hereafter entitled to the like rights) the easements or rights as set out in the First Schedule hereto”.

The first schedule then states
“ The right to pass and repass for the purpose of access to and egress from the property with or without vehicles over the driveway (shaded brown on the annexed plan) connecting the property with the neighbouring public highway subject to the Transferee paying a one quarter ashare of the cost of maintaining the surface of such driveway”

Whilst the body of the Transfer document makes no specific references to parking, the annexed plan has various rectangles marked "P" on it which would appear to denote the parking areas for each of the properties. The neighbours to my left have a shed where the parking space is shown for their property on the plan.

The previous owner of my property parked on the roadway but told me I had the right to drive across my neighbour’s land to mine.

The pedestrian access across my neighbour’s land to the right of my property is clear and unimpeded. However the access should I wish to drive a vehicle on to my land would be via the driveway owned by my neighbour to the left and that is obstructed – at most times of day they have a parked car, 2 motorbikes and an old plastic toddler’s play centre in the middle of the driveway plus various large plant pots which further encroach on the width so even if the vehicles were moved it would make manoeuvring very difficult. I believe from something my neighbour to the right has told me that some of these things were put there in the day between the previous owner moving out and me moving in in an attempt to block my access and make me believe I don't have a right of way.

I don't currently have a car but my objectives are to protect the rights of my property (both for me when I do buy a car and for any future owners of my house) and I would also like the play centre moved as it's an eyesore and is pushed hard against the 5 bar gate separating the 2 properties.

Is it important that I address this issue with my neighbour now to clarify my understanding of my rights or if I postpone addressing it will that diminish my position?
I don’t know if my rights are shown on their deeds so there is a possibility they may not be clear on the detail of my right of way – if my ROW isn't laid out in their deeds would that affect my position?
Am I permitted to get a copy of my neighbour’s deeds from the land registry to find out what is stated in them?
If I can get my neighbour to acknowledge my rights can I grant them temporary permission to park on the driveway or will that diminish my rights for when I do need access?
Could they argue that they will continue to park and would move their vehicles when I wanted to come and go so that I’d always have to disturb them and therefore it would take longer for me to gain access?

With many thanks

wingrovebuyer : Hello. Not doing anything now wouldn't prejudice the existence of your easement, but a court might question why you hadn't a ted sooner if a dispute arises, so it is best to deal with now. If the easement isn't noted on the deeds to next door, that shouldn't matter, mess it was a failure n your predecessor's part. I very much doubt it will be missed off, as it seems the properties have been sold around the same time as a development? You can check by using Land Registry's website - go on to it and use Check who own a Property, from which you can enter the address and then download the title register and plan to next door. This will cost £6 in total.
wingrovebuyer : If you can get the neighbour to accept you have these rights and that they are impeding them, you can tell them that you will tolerate the obstruction until you get a car but that they must not mode access when you do. Make sure this is in writing, and say that despite this you can demand the obstruction is removed at any time.
wingrovebuyer : If you had to ask them to move cars each time you wanted access, this would not be legally acceptable. It is unreasonable to expect you to do this.



Would you mind just correcting a couple of typos! Where you've written "mess it was a failure on your predecessor's part" and "that they must not mode access when you do". One final question just for clarification - although I don't own my own car at the moment I assume that my right to pass with vehicle doesn't only apply to me driving - I can pass in someone else's vehicle as a passenger? However does this right apply to any visitors who may come to my house?

wingrovebuyer : Sorry. iPad can be a pain! "Mess" = "unless". "Mode" = "block".
wingrovebuyer : The right applies to you, your guests and licensees. Accordingly, it doesn't have to be you driving the car, but anybody with your permission. Hope this helps.
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