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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22966
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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We are selling a section(house on it demolished after chch

Customer Question

We are selling a section(house on it demolished after chch earthquakes) that has had a history of use for at least 30 years on a private driveway that is collectively owned by adjacent neighbours. We have owned the relatively steep site for about 2 years, and at the time we purchased I spoke with the neighbours to ascertain that we had access rights, although our property does not own a strip of the shared driveway. The new purchaser is concerned that there is no formalised easement on the certificate of title and wishes to make sure that he is not going to lose the legal right to use the driveway in future to access the property. This driveway is the only easy access onto the property. What is the cost to formalise an easement in this circumstance, or does it need to be done given the past history of use, and agreement by the current driveway owners.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.
To get the easement may cost a reasonable amount. Once you have consent of the other owners, then you will need to get planning consent, then a surveyer will need to prepare a plan. Then the council will consent to the plan if it is compliant, and th neighbours will also consent. The easement certificates are drafted and registered on the titles. You could easily spend $10,000 on survey and consent fees and a similar amount on legal fees.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.
To be more precise you can ask a surveyer for a quote and your lawyer for a quote.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** any need to formalise the easement, given that it seems that there would be no legal right for current or future neighbours to block access to this property given that to do so would make it landlocked. The intending purchaser is concerned that this could be a possibility, however I am of the view that spending up to 10 grand just to formalise an easement would not be worth doing, especially when a court of law would allow for continued access should it be disputed in future.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you answer if in your view, there is any need to formalise a row easement, in light of any risk of access being lost in future?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.
This means you have to trust the neighbours to permit access to continue. It would be possible to draw up an agreement which would give access but this would be informal, and not binding on any subsequent buyers of the neighbours. But applying to court for access to landlocked land would cost much more. There are some risks, and they need to balance those.