Easement Right of Way
Expert Help In Resolving Right Of Way Disputes
If rights of way and access issues are causing you problems, Osbornes can help. Our expert right of way solicitors can get to the heart of the problem, using our skills in negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution to get you the best possible solution – fast.
Shilpa Mathuradas Partner
Expert right of way services
The property litigation lawyers at Osbornes has four decades of experience advising on complex rights of way and access disputes. We help homeowners, investors, property developers, and private and public companies of all sizes resolve right of way disputes swiftly, with practical solutions that achieve your goals.
An easement is right to enter or use someone else’s property for a specific purpose. The right can be written down in your property deeds, or it can be acquired over decades simply by someone exercising the right on a regular basis. Sometimes, a business or individual will not even realise that their property is subject to an easement until they see a steady stream of hikers walking across their land, or a neighbour parking a vehicle on their driveway.
We provide sound advice for a wide range of easement disputes, including:
- Investigating whether an easement exists
- Advising on the conditions attached to an easement
- Injunctions to stop someone interfering with an easement
- Legal action to stop someone using an easement excessively
- Compelling someone to repair and maintain a right of way
- Extinguishing easements
- Changing the route of rights of way
If you feel that someone is using your land unlawfully, or your neighbours are not allowing you to exercise an easement over their land, we can help. Our property litigation experts are specialists in this area. We can help you resolve your dispute efficiently, and where relevant seek compensation for any loss you have incurred as a result of someone interfering with your rights.
For a free, no obligation discussion about our services, call us today or fill in an online form and we will call you back.
Shilpa really helped us take charge of the situation and helped resolve this property dispute. I would not hesitate to recommend her or the team to anyone in a similar situation.
On first meeting Shilpa I was sure that she understood immediately my requirements, and was sympathetic both to my financial restraints and my emotional state. She achieved everything I asked of her and proved to be invaluable, professional and efficient
At every step Shilpa alleviated any concerns and stresses we had. Always fast to respond, always professional and super knowledgeable.
Shilpa has helped us through some key property litigation matters (residential and commercial) since 2014 and has delivered on every occasion. One particular issue had kept us in a state of stress and tension for almost a decade and after getting in touch with Shilpa she was able to help us bring the matter to a peaceful and successful conclusion.
I received a call from Shilpa Mathuradas a couple of hours after filling the enquiry form for a callback. She actively listened to my party wall concerns responding with gentle professionalism, answering my concerns, letting me know what is and is not possible and when best to bring in a solicitor. All this within 10 minutes. Excellent.
"They are an outstanding firm to work with. They are consistently impressive in their work."
Excellent in every aspect.
If I had another reason to have to seek legal advice again, I wouldn’t hesitate to use Shilpa, and would recommend her to anybody who needed legal advice.
Shilpa was professional, realistic, and unflappable. Shilpa managed to persuade a reluctant witness to come forward to support my case. She obviously knows her subject very well.
I always had full confidence in Shilpa keeping my best interests at heart. I often didn’t understand the legal language, and she would follow this up with a phone call and patiently explain.
Rights of Way and Easement FAQs
What are easements and rights of way?
An easement is the right to use someone else’s land or property that you do not own or occupy for a specific purpose. There are many types of easement, including:
- Rights of way
- Right to light
- Rights of support from a neighbouring property
- The right to lay gas and electricity supplies, draining pipes or communication fibres under the land of a neighbouring property
Easements are usually attached to the land rather than a specific person. This means that you will inherit the easement from the previous property owner – even if you do not know about it.
How are easements created?
An easement can be created by:
- Express grant, which means it will be written down in a legal document
- Prescription, which means someone has exercised the right continuously for a period of at least 20 years. For example, if a neighbour has been crossing over your garden to put their bins out every week for 20 years, the right of way may become legitimate by virtue of their long use
- Necessity, for example, the courts will usually infer that a right of way exists if there is no other way for a property owner to reach a public highway.
These matters are rarely simple and it is advisable to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. We can help you figure out the scope of the easement and find a solution that works for you.
What is a right of way or easement dispute?
Disputes regularly arise over easements and clients come to us with all sorts of problems. For example, a homeowner may wish to put a gate across the right of way, which is often possible as long as a key is provided. Developers may encounter complex challenges with multiple easements that need diverting in order to allow construction.
The worst kind of problem faced is the risk of an injunction. This typically occurs when a property owner interferes with an easement, for example, by building over someone’s right of way without providing an alternative route or compensation. An injunction will bring the construction work to a halt which may end up costing a lot of money.
If you wish to restrict, stop or change an easement for any reason, then please speak to our expert team. It’s important to put the right legal provisions in place to make sure you do not expose yourself to court action.
What is the process for resolving an easements dispute?
The law on easements is both extensive and complex. Often, we have to look back historically to see who has been using the land, why, and for how long. There may also be issues of excessive use to consider, such as when a driveway that was intended for access to a single family home is now being used by a new housing estate.
The starting point is to negotiate with the other side to agree a course of action. This should only be attempted after taking specialist legal advice. Your solicitor will work with you to make sure that everyone has the correct legal rights, and the property owner is not unfairly restricted in what he can do with the property.
If we can’t resolve the dispute amicably, then we will fight your case in court. We also ensure that any agreement is registered with HM Land Registry to protect your rights for the future.
Why choose Osbornes to resolve your right of way dispute?
Osbornes has a highly successful property litigation department and our in-house experts can act quickly to protect your interests, guiding you through this complex area of law in plain English. We are:
- Regulated and monitored by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
- Members of the Property Litigation Association demonstrating best practice and technical expertise in this area
- Rated one of The Times Best Law Firms 2021
- Transparent on fees, providing clear cost advice from the outset.
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The Property Litigation Team View the whole team
William Ford Partner
Housing & Social Care
Shilpa Mathuradas Partner
Muna Adam Trainee Solicitor
Rory Matheson Solicitor
Housing & Social Care
James Mayall Solicitor
Alex McMahon Associate Solicitor
Housing & Social Care
Edward Taylor Associate Solicitor
Housing & Social Care
Joanne Wong Associate Solicitor
Housing & Social Care