Ok, the thread about neighbours right of access has got me worried. I never thought of if it as a big deal but clearly it could be if our current neighbours who never use it move. So is it possible to reverse a right of access if the neighbours agree? Basically we own part of what should be their garden so I am wondering if a deal could be struck if they ever move on. They have their own access to their back garden. Can this be legally drawn up?
Just checked the deeds and actually there is no mention of their right of way, the only time it is mentioned is in the Law Society form that was filled in by the seller saying they occasionally take their bins out this way, does that mean they they actually do not have right of way? Or can they claim it as they have occasionally used it?
You'd need legal advice for this. Even though a right of way is not in the deeds, if it has been established and used over an extended period of time then it can become a right of way. There are specialist websites which should help. Google boundary law or similar.
We had the reverse, a right of way across our garden had been deliberately 'abandoned' legally by the neighbours who were there when we moved in and whose family had lived there 60+ years, and we were able to register the land (previously bin man alley) on our deeds after our solicitor unsuccessfully tried to find the owner, but then new neighbours moved in and wanted to open it up again. They wouldn't accept that it had been legally abandoned and were threatening to take the matter to court, even though we had proof that it had been abandoned some 45+ years earlier. They didn't and moved before doing anything but it was an unpleasant couple of years.
I will speak with our original solicitor. I think now it looks like it was something that was agreed informally to be used if needed but in practice was very rarely used. So I am not sure how they prove they have always been able to. If we can get it established now there is no legal right of way nor any claim that would be ideal but I'll see where we stand. Interesting the deeds can be different, you would have thought the solicitor should have picked this up as surely this could affect whether you would buy the house. I have tried to download them but not available so will have to send off for them. Thank you both.