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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 10486
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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We are thinking of purchasing a property which is accessed

Customer Question

We are thinking of purchasing a property which is accessed along a track for which ownership cannot be found. The property sellers state they have "private right of access" due to precedent (over 12 years), and have obtained indemnity insurance against the appearance of the owner of the track. The situation is now complicated by an application to turn the track into a restricted byway, and the indemnity insurance policy states insurance cannot be given for this because "driving on a bridleway(sic) is an illegal act". Others disagree about the illegality. What is the truth? How do we assure our "private right of access" if such exists?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

1. You should be aware of a few points here. Firstly, 12 years user is not sufficient to confer ownership if this track is registered land. Over 90% of land in England & Wales is registered land. It is no longer possible to obtain ownership over registered land by possession. So here, these people cannot claim ownership just be possession. Secondly, 12 years is not sufficient to establish a right of way over this land. Over 30-40 years user would be necessary to establish a right of way. Here there is no easement establishing a right of way over this land. Thirdly, indemnity insurance does not solve the problem. YOu can get an insurance payout if the owner turns up, but then you cannot access your land. So saying they have indemnity insurance is of no value.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

4. The bot***** *****ne is that there is no lawful right of access here. So purchasing this property means you might end up without any access. So you would be foolish to buy it on this basis. Be aware that there is no method of curing this situation. YOu need to find the original owner or his descendents and purchase the strip of land which comprises the track from him.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

3. The Previous heading should have been headed No.2, and not No.4. Please RATE the answer as unless you RATE the Answer your Expert receives none of the money you have paid the website so there is no incentive to answer any further questions.