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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10772
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
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I have lived at my present address for 23 years. My house has

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I have lived at my present address for 23 years. My house has no vehicle access but has two paths from the main road that are on either side of the house on the main road. I have a right of access identified in my deeds on the path to the right of my house. This path consists of a steep track then approximately 30 steps up to my front door. However the path on the left of my house has a slope with no steps and I have used this path since moving into my house to transport heavy items of garden equipment and furniture etc. I have never been asked not to use this path by the current or previous owner of the house to which this path belongs.
This path runs past my house to a property behind me and they have a right of access in their house deeds.
Unfortunately I have new neighbours in the house behind me. They intend to run a high fence down the path to prevent me from using it. I am currently in the process of trying to sell my own house and fear that I will not be able to move any of my heavy belongings or take large amounts of garden rubble down to the road in order to dispose of this at the tip. I have read somewhere that, as I have used this path without complaint in excess of 20 years, I may be able to obtain an 'easement' to allow me to continue to use this path. Please can you advise me on where I stand on this issue and how much it may cost me should I be advised to pursue this option. Thank you.
Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

I am Al and am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

In law, if you can show that you have had uninterrupted use of a right of way (ROW) for 20 years or more, without objection from the owner of the ROW, then you acquire what is called "a right by prescription" which means you have acquired a legal ROW. This right attaches to your property and therefore if you are selling, then your Buyers and any subsequent Buyers have the benefit of the ROW.

Therefore, unless the owner of the ROW has given you express consent to use the access, you/your property has automatically acquired a right to carry on using the ROW.
As you are selling, you should ask your Solicitor to prepare a Statutory Declaration which is a statement made by you setting out your use of the ROW over the years. This Declaration can then be passed to your Buyers Solicitors.
Although you don't have to register your interest in the ROW to prove you have acquired it, you can register it at the Land Registry and this interest will then be registered on your Deeds as well as the Deeds for your neighbour who owns the ROW.

You should of course set the wheels in motion just as soon as possible. The possible practical problem is if your neighbour does indeed put up a fence sooner rather than later, as this may cause your Sale to halt until the issue is resolved.

I hope this helps and sets out the legal position to you.

Kind Regards

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. Please can you advise me of approximate costs for a solicitor to take the action you have outlined.

Hi again,

Sorry- your Solicitor is likely to charge you approx. £150-200 plus VAT for preparing a Statutory Declaration and if you wanted this registering on your Deeds, which he may well advise you to do, bearing in mind your upcoming Sale, the total charges would be approx. £500 plus VAT together with Land Registry fee of £50.

I hope this helps.

Kind Regards
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