UK Property Law
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Thanks for your enquiry.
There are 2 issues to consider-
1. If the right states that they have a right of way to gain access to and from the garage, the fact that the garage structure has gone does not then automatically cancel the right.
2. The fact that the structure of the garage has changed does not allow you to stipulate that the right has been abandoned. This is because in theory, the neighbours could "resurrect" the garage again at a future date.
Only if they agree to release their right of way will you be able to remove the right from the Deeds.
I am sorry this is not the answer you were looking for, but if I have answered your question, I would be grateful if you could leave positive feedback.
Thanks for the response, and I did have my suspicions that this was the case.
Just for clarification, the rights granted say with or without vehicles for the purpose of all uses as a garage but for no other purposes.
Does that make a difference?
Also, they haven't really used the garage in the 4 years they've been there - only using for storing things. The previous owners didn't use it either other than for storing things and they were there for 12 years. Can I claim it was abandoned on that basis?
Thanks for your reply.
The law is slightly daft when it comes to rights of way, in that even if a right is not exercised for years, it still remains enforceable and you are unable to say it has been abandoned.
The wording of the right does not change things in so far as your attempt to get the right removed from the Deeds. However, if for example the garage was replaced with a building, then legally, the neighbour would not have any rights to access this new building over your land.
I'm afraid though, even if the garage is totally knocked down, you still would not be able to get the right removed from the Deeds- the right remains for the neighbour to use, AND ONLY USE the access for the purpose of gaining access to any garage that may be on his land at some time in the future.
I hope this clarifies matters.
Hi, I'm hoping you will follow up, but any idea how I could place a value on the easement so they would be tempted to sell it and have it removed? Thanks
I would have thought that they would only be tempted by any offer if they have no plans whatsoever to use the right again. If so, then they may be willing to accept £1,000 plus their Solicitors costs to release their right. (Both you and them would need to instruct your own Solicitor and one of them would draw up the Deed, and this would be registered at the Land Registry- likely cost £750 plus VAT for each Solicitor and £50 Land Registry fee).
Obviously, if they feel it would be beneficial to keep the right for future, or for when they sell, it is unlikely they are going to agree to release the right unless you paid something ridiculous like £10-20,000.
I hope this helps.
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