Rights of way, or easements as they are often referred to, can be the vital arteries of a commercial enterprise. Whether it is access for customers, clients, workers, delivery vehicles, or any other site visitor – a reliable right of way is often necessary to use your commercial property effectively.

Rights of way are also crucial to residential properties to ensure that owners and occupiers may use their properties without severe restriction of access.

Where an access route goes across another land owner’s real property, there lies the potential for bitter dispute. If the land owner were to challenge your right of way, it could have serious connotations for your business or the enjoyment of your residential property.

Alternatively, perhaps an easement across your land, which allows a neighbouring land owner a right of way, is being used in such a manner as to disrupt your business or your enjoyment of your residential property?

Luscombe Gray can advise you on your rights in relation to all types of easement. We specialise in commercial and real property disputes, providing our expertise to our clients.

We firmly believe in taking an ethical approach to commercial and property disputes. Aggressive behaviour in litigation is rarely productive, causing parties to entrench their position, provoking petty arguments, and causing financial harm. Luscombe Gray does things differently. A strong, respectful approach yields more options for dispute resolution, including mediation, which can be used where appropriate. This means the disruption and costs to you or your business can be kept to a minimum.

The nature of easements

Rights of way are not the only type of easement. The term can cover many other rights over land, such as rights to light.

The law around easements sets certain requirements which apply to rights of way.

The main requirements for an easement are:

  • The easement must benefit one property and burden another separate property. A right of way easement will run across the burdened land and benefit another property by providing access to it.
  • The two properties must be owned by different people.
  • The right in question must be legally capable of being granted under a deed, and this also requires the easement to afford clear and definite rights.

Rights of way and other easements may arise in a number of different ways. Not all of these methods will result in an easement being recorded on the Land Registry, or in the title deeds of a property. They can occur through:

  • A clear express agreement – this will usually happen when land, or part of it, is being sold. It ensures that the precise terms of the easement are recorded in writing.
  • Implied agreement – this will usually happen if part of a piece of land is sold. It can arise when a buyer needs to cross the land kept by the seller to enjoy their newly bought land.
  • Necessity – if the only way to access a piece of land from a public highway is over someone else’s land, then an automatic right of way may arise.
  • Long use – if someone repeatedly crosses someone else’s land then a right of way may arise. However, there are further conditions to this. The access:
    • must have been sufficiently regular over a period of at least 20 years; and
    • must not have been with the landowner’s permission; and
    • must not have been done with secrecy or force.

Instructing Luscombe Gray

Luscombe Gray is a boutique commercial and property litigation firm, providing a tailor-made service to each of our clients.

We believe first-class commercial legal support should be available to all. Whether you need advice as an individual, or on behalf of your business – whatever its size – we are more than willing to provide our services and put our specialist skill and knowledge at your disposal.

Your case will be handled by Chris Luscombe personally, so you can be certain that you or your business will be able to call upon the expertise of an experienced commercial and property litigation solicitor. Throughout his career, Chris has helped a wide range of clients with their commercial and property disputes, from private clients, to small businesses, national pub companies, and multi-national telecoms giants.

Luscombe Gray is based in the heart of Yorkshire, in Harrogate, with the reach to assist clients across the country.

If you or your business needs legal support on a dispute concerning a right of way, contact Luscombe Gray for clear, ethical, expert advice.

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