A right of way arises if you own a piece of land and in order to get to it you must pass over a piece of land that is owned by someone else. Rights of way also known as easements make it easier for one landowner to get across someone else’s land to get to his /her own land.
Different types of Right of Way
Rights of way established by long useare created when a land owner uses a piece of land, lane or private road, which belongs to another person, over a long period of time, to get to his/her property. The main test to prove the existence of a right of way is the continuous use of the land for twenty years or more. Up to now a right of way created by long and continuous use would generally not be registered.
Rights of way created by agreement are when two land owners get together and agree that a right of way should or needs to be granted to allow one of them to access a piece of property which is landlocked. Quite often if a right of way is being created by deed or agreement the parties to the agreement will include conditions in the agreement for the use of the right of way e.g. if the right of way is over a private roadway it might be agreed that a gate is to be kept locked or there might be a restriction on the right of way e.g. it is for pedestrians only. Once the right of way is agreed and recorded in writing it is registered.
Establish a Right of Way
Before the 2009ConveyancingAct, you would have to prove a certain amount of right; in the Court’s view a minimum of 20 years. A person can now claim a right of way ifs/he can prove that s/he had possession for 12 years. The person who is establishing the right of way must be a user as of right;i.e. you have to prove permission and consent by the owner of the roadway. The law helps out by presuming consent where you show continuous use for more than 12 years.
Registering your Right of Way
If you access your property by using a right of way over another person’s land it is prudent to ensure that the right of way is registered with the Property Registration Authority (PRA). The Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 deadline for Registration is 30th November 2021.
If you wait until November 2021 you could lose an opportunity and run into some unnecessary difficulty. If you are a land owner using a right of way you should make sure that your long established rights are not lost. Title documents should be checked at the earliest opportunity to find out if your right of way needs to be registered – if you don’t do something in time you could lose a valuable asset.
Know you right of way!