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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7724
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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To the rear of our property there are paddocks, the fence of

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To the rear of our property there are paddocks, the fence of which is approximately 4 metres from the rear of our boundary. The same applies to the 15 or so adjoining properties on our side of the road. This situation has existed for the last 30 years or so and many residents mow this area. This strip of land also provides a right of way to a nearby wood. The owner of the land has decided to move the fencing closer to our properties and has erected a barbed-wire fence two metres from our boundary. Can we contest his action as we have had free and unfettered use of this strip of land for more than 30 years.


Thanks for your question.

The length of time required in order to claim an easement to access based on long use is 20 years. This is called acquiring a right of way by prescription. In order to claim a right in this way you would have to instruct a solicitor to prepare statutory declarations to be executed by you and others who have used the right

These declarations and other supporting evidence form the basis of a subsequent application to Land Registry to register a right of way as an easement and then this would prevent what he was doing because you would then have a legal right of way enforceable against his property.

If he has already restricted access then you should strongly consider speaking with others who are aware of the access being used and seeking with them about perhaps jointly instructing a local property solicitor in order to share legal fees for applying to attempt to have the right registered.

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Kind regards


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