Right of Access

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    Right of Access

    Hi all,
    I am looking for some sound legal advice.
    The rear wall of my property forms the boundary between me and my neighbour. My neighbours back garden goes across the rear of our house. In the Land Registry title reference is made to a right of way (shown on a plan) across my neighbours land in order to carry out repairs etc to the rear of my property. There is also a licence dated 1988 between the then owners of my house (house A) and the then owners of my neighbours house (house B) in which reference was made to the owner of B constructing a building against the wall of my house, A and therefore obstructing the said right of way. Whilst nobody knows exactly what happened I think maybe a gate was erected to prevent free access by anyone into the garden of house B but that's not been confirmed anywhere.
    The license then requires that termination of this will cease when that owner ceased to reside at that property, B, AND that also said doors and walls that were constructed must be removed.

    Both properties have changed hands two or times since this license but more importantly in 2002 permission was granted to house B to build an extension across the said right of way which was constructed and still stands. The extension now houses the front and back doors to the property so in fact the right of way is still obtainable albeit now with an obstruction (doors) as was maybe the case in 1988.

    The problem is we are selling our house (A) and the buyers solicitor is insisting on this licence being renewed in a similar format. What I have been saying to my solicitors is that this licence will not be signed by the current owner of house B as it says on termination of tenancy walls and doors across right of way must be removed. This means she will potentially have to take her kitchen down which she is simply not going to do and therefore would not sign such an agreement understandably. The buyers solicitor is not budging on this and I think has advised her client that unless this licence is administered there will be no protection of the access.
    During the combined 5 sales of both houses since 1988 this has not been an issue, so why now?
    I don't think my solicitor has argued whether the Neighboring Land Act 1992 applies and the buyers solicitor has not made any reference to it either.
    So the question is whether the buyers access to the right of way is protected and how?
    My solicitors have tried to buy a bespoke indemnity policy against this but after speaking to a number of companies cannot get one.

    This issue is this may compromise the sale.

    Thank you.

    No one is authorised to give legal advice here.

    Why does the neighbour need to sign the licence? They are receiving it, not giving it.

    Who gave the permission that was given?


      Hi all,

      okay so my previous post did not get a response but perhaps keeping it simple can you tell me that if I have a right of way on a plan which goes through my neighbours house in order to get to the back of my house is that all that’s required? This right is listed in a deed with a plan.
      Thank you all.


        Although you have taken some trouble to set the position out it is not entirely clear. What will will help is to see the text granting the right of way and the licence with all the plans - personal details can be removed.


          Thanks Lawcruncher for your reply and I will forward those details when I can dig out the info.
          Is a deed of the highest order compared to a licence, i.e. If a deed says right of way is granted then would that over rule an outdated licence?
          Thanks again.


            A licence can be a deed. Being a deed is about the form, rather than content, of a document.


              A document which is not a deed cannot generally override a deed. It can though if equity requires it.


                Thanks Lawcruncher, I have messaged you.


                  The licence was granted by deed, However, the important thing is what the licence says. It make it clear that the right ends when the licensee moves. The licensee moved and so the licence came to an end. What should have happened is that either the roof etc was removed or the licence was renewed. Nether has happened. So where does that leave you?

                  First and and most importantly the right of access still subsists. I do not see how it it can have come to an end.

                  What is not so clear is whether what was a licence has become an easement. How long ago did Mrs Galpin move away?


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