Right of way disputes

Unfortunately rights of way are often the centre of a dispute between neighbours. This is especially so if either one or both neighbours are unclear as to the extent of the right of way and the benefit or the burden of it passes to them.

Examples of disputes include excessive use of, failure to maintain and failure to repair a right of way. To speak to a member of the team about your situation call us on 0203 816 9314 or complete our enquiry form.

If the extent of a right of way is properly defined, the person with the burden of the right of way cannot alter its route without the consent of the person who benefits from the right of way, or some other provision permitting him to do so.

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Substantial interference

You may need legal advice about whether there has been ‘substantial interference’ with a right of way and what you can do to hold your neighbour to account. You may simply wish for the interference to stop or you may require compensation for any loss you have incurred as a direct result of the interference.

Our right of way experts can provide you with practical, common sense advice in relation to resolving this sort of dispute with your neighbour. If the dispute cannot be resolved, we can also advise you about issuing court proceedings against your neighbour or what you can do if you are the one being taken to court.

The ultimate solution that is sought in these types of cases is what is known as an ‘injunction’ i.e. a final decision from a Judge which compels either one or both neighbours to act, or to stop acting, in a particular way.

A private right of way over land can be either express, implied or long use

Express

An express right of way may be granted by a deed. The deed should indicate which property has the benefit of the right of way and which property must suffer the burden of that right. An express right of way must be created in writing, it must include all of the terms and it must be signed by the parties. If the extent of the right of way is unclear, the Court is likely to decide a dispute in favour of the person who wants to use the right of way.

Implied

Certain rights of way can be implied by the law or created by necessity. The Law of Property Act 1925 confirms that, when a property is sold, the land will include the benefits of any existing rights of way. Sometimes a right of way can be created because it is necessary for the use of that property.

Long use

If a right of way has been used for a long enough period of time then it may become recognised and legitimate.

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