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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7609
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi my son has a house where the access has always been via

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Hi my son has a house where the access has always been via a public house car park (in Kidderminster UK). He has had this for more than 12 years, with the verbal agreement of the brewery. This however was never legalised.
Someone is now buying this land and turning the public house into a mini market with the car park still being used as such.
They are saying that their plans will not change is current access, but there is nothing definitive.
As he has had this access for over 12 years, does he have any rights now to ask for this to be more formal?

Hi Carol,

Are you saying that despite the change in ownership there will be no impediment to his access?

Do you know how long the access has been exercise prior to his ownership? If so, can you tell me for how long?

Does he have any other means of accessing his property other than by this way?

Kind regards


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They have made a statement via the planning officer saying:-

"We can confirm that the adjoining neighbour's private access across the car park area will not be affected by the proposals".


He has owned the property for 12 years, unfortunately his solicitor at the time of purchase did not pick up that the access was not a formalised arrangement, when he then tried to sell the house the new purchasers solicitor picked this up.

Although my son asked the solicitor to chase the brewery to formalise the arrangement, the solicitor never completely solved this, saying that the brewery had not responded


In terms of access he has a side gate that is pedestrian only access, in a public park, which I think closes at night (not sure about that).


His car access is via the ex public house car park, and he has an enclosed parking space on his own land.


This property is on a busy main road with double yellow lines, so no road parking.


Hope that answers your queries




Thanks for your patience.

In order to acquire a right access (easement over the land by long use a person(s) must have been using the access for a continuous period of 20 years. If they have, then the legal easement shall have been acquired by prescription. This means that you can enforce it against the owner of the pub and make an application to have the right registered on both legal titles.

If the only means of access to your son’s property were via this route then he would be entitled to an “easement of necessity”, so that he could use it to access his property. However, this right would be on-foot only so he would not be able to drive over the land. If the side gate gives him access without using the car park then he would not be entitled to an easement of necessity.

Therefore in order to have a legal right (ie. a right to access even if the owner dispute) he must prove that the right has been exercised for longer than 20 years. If he cannot trace the previous owner to get them to confirm that they used it for a minimum of 8 years then this is going to be difficult.

If the new owner of the public house does not dispute the access then your son should request that he and they execute a Deed of Easement which would expressly grant the right to your son’s property. This would then be registered against the legal titles for both properties. He would have to offer to pay the owner’s legal fees I would think. It should cost around £400 + VAT and he would have to use a solicitor.

If the matter falls in to dispute and he cannot establish 20 years use and is prevented from having the access then I would contact the original solicitor who acted on his behalf in purchasing the property to make a complaint and a possible claim against them.

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Kind regards,

Thomas and 2 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks TOM ,


Very helpful. I will rate to finish.

You're very welcome.

Thanks for rating my answer Carol.

Good luck.