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To not contribute to private road fund

(173 Posts)
RoadFundRefusenik Mon 13-Nov-17 17:15:50

We live on a council-owned road that can only be accessed by crossing a private road. When we first moved here, the committee that maintains the road used to send a letter explaining that although we aren't on the road they would appreciate if we would contribute to the fund. For ten years we have ignored these letters.

Last year the tone of the letter was more pushy and implied that our contribution was not optional. This year in addition to this year's charge they have said that last year's demand is still owing and if we don't pay they'll register it as a debt that may affect our credit rating.

In the past we have chosen not to pay because as we see it we live on a council road and pay our council tax to cover these things. In addition, for the first several years we chipped in with our neighbours to pay for a gardener to maintain a council-owned patch of land between our properties and the private road that the council never tends to. Now we take turns with our neighbours to mow it, rake the leaves, take care of the trees etc. As part of this we also clear leaves from the private road and cut back tree shoots that overgrow that road so we do contribute, just not financially. Some of our neighbours contribute and others don't.

So AWBU to continue to not contribute to the road fund? And do they legally have the right to threaten our credit rating over this?

BritInUS1 Mon 13-Nov-17 17:17:31

So you have to cross the private road to get to your road?

How much are they asking for?

Is there anything in your deeds that mention this?

londonrach Mon 13-Nov-17 17:19:42

Diagram op. Do you cross this private land, what does your deeds say about maintence

Bubblysqueak Mon 13-Nov-17 17:21:12

FOOT STAMP we need a diagram!!

Is it in your deeds or is there a covenant on your house that state you must pay? We have one that states our local church can at any time as for money for building repair e.g new roof. Our solicitor suggested we take out insurance against it.

DustandRubble Mon 13-Nov-17 17:22:57

Why do you all need a diagram? What is with the diagram obsession?

JacquesHammer Mon 13-Nov-17 17:23:42

You need to check your title deeds to see whether contribution to this road is a covenenant on your property

FizzyGreenWater Mon 13-Nov-17 17:24:11

Look at your deeds is the answer.

Once you know if the deeds mention anything you can probably get further with some detailed googling - I can't imagine that they can claim anything if your deeds don't mention any sort of ?covenant or whatever the term is. So in that case you could probably write and tell them to back off.

As for it affecting your access- I think the term is easement - if you and the rest of the road have had access for long enough it becomes accepted that you have the right to continue that. That's why people always say be careful about allowing access to neighbours etc as once it's established you would have a real fight to stop it if you've previously allowed it for a long time. So in other words they can't start to say now - pay or lose your access.

If no legal obligation to pay for the other road, I would think they certainly can't register a debt and if they tried to you'd threaten THEM with court.

GladAllOver Mon 13-Nov-17 17:24:23

Unless your deeds say you have a right of way over this private road they could in theory prevent you from crossing it. Are you willing to risk that?

Bubblysqueak Mon 13-Nov-17 17:24:24

It's the law.

MN always needs a diagram.

RoadFundRefusenik Mon 13-Nov-17 17:24:25

Sorry. I should have known you'd want deed info and a diagram grin. I meant to say nothing was mentioned about this when we moved in so I don't think it's on the deed but I'll dig that out after my destructobaby is in bed. Diagram too but it's pretty straightforward - main public road leads to private road which has several public roads leading off it which can't be accessed any other way.

Floralnomad Mon 13-Nov-17 17:25:49

Common sense says if you need to cross it to access your property then you need to contribute otherwise surely they can just stop you crossing it . Do the other people on your road pay ?

ivykaty44 Mon 13-Nov-17 17:26:55

Go and see the district council and ask there advice or better still email them and include diagram, google screen shot and see what they say

RoadFundRefusenik Mon 13-Nov-17 17:27:50

I am really sorry bubbly I don't know what i was thinking. I will make a diagram as soon as my arms are my own and not being tugged at by He Who Must Be Obeyed (DS)

ivykaty44 Mon 13-Nov-17 17:28:47

Ask district council why this road hasn’t been adopted by them - how do council services get to you ( bin men, street lighting etc)

Bubblysqueak Mon 13-Nov-17 17:30:53

grin loving He Who Must Be Obeyed, might need to steel that so you have been forgiven.

Pythonesque Mon 13-Nov-17 17:32:54

It sounds very strange to me too that a stretch required to access adopted roads would not also be adopted. Perhaps exactly which part of the private road is not adopted needs to be clarified. (doi live on a public road that has two other sections that are not adopted).

kaytee87 Mon 13-Nov-17 17:33:02

You need to check your deeds but presumably those who own private road could deny you usage of the road?

StaplesCorner Mon 13-Nov-17 17:36:47

The local authority would be able to tell you where you stand, simple enough.

FizzyGreenWater Mon 13-Nov-17 17:38:09

they almost certainly couldn't deny use of the road as OP and her neighbours would claim an easement, and they'd absolutely get it.

blog.landregistry.gov.uk/guide-prescriptive-rights-way/

Gemini69 Mon 13-Nov-17 17:42:39

How does something go from.....

* they would appreciate if we would contribute to the fund...*

to ....

If we don't pay they'll register it as a debt that may affect our credit rating

is it optional or not hmm

bellasuewow Mon 13-Nov-17 17:42:48

My neighbours who alll live on a private road were split about this and ended up not doing it. Years later the road is so bad it has really knocked off the value of their houses. I would seriously consider it if you are planning on selling in the future.

outabout Mon 13-Nov-17 17:45:27

Check your deeds but also contact the council and find out why they have adopted 'your' bit of road but (it seems) not continuous access to it.
Raise it with your MP too. It does not sound 'right' that you would be forced to pay for 'access' to your property with a section of council adopted road. Speak to neighbours to gather info from them.

Nocabbageinmyeye Mon 13-Nov-17 17:46:51

Nope diagrams are not the law on mn, they were called for a few times by people and it was funny, now it's just dragged out by people thinking they are funny when actually it's really fucking irritating to others. A good diagram when necessary, and sometimes it is, is a bonus. Chants for diagrams from people when it's really obviously not needed is irritating and not funny wink <lighthearted> (ish)

Punkatheart Mon 13-Nov-17 17:48:05

If you live on a private road, you should pay. It is important to upkeep the road. But of course this sounds more complicated. However it is odd that once it was voluntary and then suddenly it is compulsory - the deeds would not have changed in that time. It sounds to me as if they may be trying it on but if you have to access it to get to your road. it may be a tricky one....

Petalflowers Mon 13-Nov-17 17:49:37

If they haven’t pursued the payment for the last nine years, then it’s not compulsory. If it were, they would have sent begging letters for the fee sooner.

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