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Private road, pros and cons

(18 Posts)
sexykitten2005 Mon 25-Jul-16 18:46:18

Just found out the house I'm buying is on a private road. If I understand correctly the homeowners will be responsible for maintaining, salting and repairing the road. Panicking again, what are the pros and cons?

StayAtHomeNotMum Mon 25-Jul-16 18:53:02

We own the drive to our horse, which is in effect a private road, but the adjoining properties have right of access to their own houses.

Pros -
sets us back from the road by several hundred yards, so reduced road noise

people who block it - idiots who park on it, thinking they can use it to access the church (also adjoins the boundary of the drive)
idiots who visit the neighbours and also park on it
idiots who park on it to walk down the footpath
Cost of upkeep - we haven't had any yet as it is stone/gravelled and any potholes are just filled in with more stone.

I am getting more intolerant of the idiots who block my drive, can you tell!!

Sedona123 Mon 25-Jul-16 19:03:42

We also live on a private road.

Pros - people rarely "dare" to park on it, so no problems with blocked
driveways etc.

- it's a gravel road, so no-one can drive really fast on it, so very

Cons - you will be responsible for the upkeep of the road. I think that our
road is resurfaced about every 10 years. We have never had it salted
though, so don't pay for that.

If you're worried about the expense of the upkeep, just ask the vendors how much it costs for resurfacing etc. We did.

Runningupthathill82 Mon 25-Jul-16 19:17:31

My mum lives on a rural-ish private road and it's a nightmare tbh. It's fairly steep and gets full of ruts and holes every time it rains. Driving down there is often difficult.
Problem is, most of the neighbours don't give a shit, and refuse to join together to get the road fixed. So nothing ever gets done.

My SIL also lives on a private road, which is near the main employer in her town. People who work there park on her road every day and apparently don't give a shit that it's a private road, as they know that in reality the residents aren't going to do much about it. So now SIL and her neighbours are in the bizarre position of asking the local authority to put a residents parking scheme on a road that isn't adopted. And its going ahead AFAIK.

Pros? None, IME!

Closetlibrarian Mon 25-Jul-16 19:52:55

I guess it depends on where it is/ what type of private road. We live on one in a village and it's fine. No issues at all. It's maintained by an association, which all houses who live on it automatically belong to. I think we pay about £100 a year towards maintenance costs, etc. It's well maintained and quiet a bit too quiet if you ask me

No issues with parking, etc, but that's probably because we're in a village and not near anywhere people want to park!

Sexykitten2005 Mon 25-Jul-16 20:23:07

It's in a small town, on a housing estate where they have just squeezed in a few extra houses. Road is tarmaced and looks in OK condition. Not sure if there is a committee or if everyone takes care of their own bits. I don't think there would be a parking problem as it is actually more inconvenient for people to park their than anywhere else. Each house has a shared driveway with next door and when I went to look they all put their second car on the pathway.
The road is like a normal road I'm really not sure why the council haven't adopted it yet....

Flouncy Mon 25-Jul-16 20:32:00

I lived on one where it was well maintained no issues. I lived near another where bin men would only collect from the end, parcel men wouldn't go down because of condition, ambulances couldn't get all the way along because of condition, one person actually had to move because the neighbours couldn't agree to repairs and they had a condition that had resulted in the realisation the ambulance couldn't get to them.

Things like sewer repairs and water main repairs would be worth checking out responsibility for - it seams to vary by area but once on private land it may be jointly householders responsibility. But i cant remember if that was clarified in property owners favour or utilities favour a while ago.

Ragusa Mon 25-Jul-16 21:09:59

Your solicitor needs to advise you on the ins and outs of this. Not something to take on trust "oh yeah, it's always been fine" sort of thing. You could effectively be committing to expensive repairing liabilities. Or even worse there could be no agreement in place and when things go wrong 5 out of 10 neighbours won't or can't cough up.

The developer may have applied to have the road adopted. Your sol should be able to advise if so, and why the council declined if they did. COuld be because e.g., road is not built to standard, developer never applied etc.

The shared driveway situation doesn't sound ideal either. This can be a real PITA if you get neighbours who don't get on/ the neighbour suddenly decides to buy a massive winnebago./ you or your neighbour wants to place a skip or scaffolding or something temporarily/ you arrange a delivery for the biggest sofa in the world and the neighbours pick that day to have a massive party with 8 visiting cars...

Friends of ours have a house on a (posh) unadopted road where there's money swilling around. However, the residents are incredibly mean and the ones who live furthest from the junction with main adopted road (private road's a dead end) have recently argued that they should not have to contribute as much as the others on the road to road maintenance, as their bit of frontage gets less heavily used [rolleyes].

JaneAustinAllegro Mon 25-Jul-16 21:16:41

the deeds to the house should set out what % of the cost of road maintenance and repair / replacement this house is responsible for, and then you should also request all bills relating to repair /replacement levied over the past 4 / 5 years and info on when the next resurfacing is due. If it's not that organised, you may find you end up in a potholed nightmare because one person refuses to contribute to upkeep. Come to think of it - even if it is in the deeds you could end up with one person refusing to contribute which then means that everyone else refuses. Work out who makes the arrangements for repairs too - is there a management charge that you also have to pay? is there someone professional dealing with the arrangements?

the only cons of ours is that kids from the local town like to come and smoke 5 to a tiny hatchback down the end of our road which means associated McDonalds litter etc

JaneAustinAllegro Mon 25-Jul-16 21:19:12

oh and salting - not as much hassle as you'd imagine. One of us normally calls someone to deliver and then everyone else gets a few bags and when it snows, we get out there with a shovel and have a chat - it's probably the most community bonding activity and can end up in a shared bottle of red. Slightly different if you end up as the only able bodied and fit family on a long / steep road of octogenarians though

Ruhrpott Tue 26-Jul-16 01:44:36

Ours is a nightmare. It belongs to our elderly neighbour who refuses to do anything about the potholes. She then sold some land off to be built on so everyone think the three new houses should retarmac it ( it was a clause in their planning permission, three houses belong to same family). I've complained to the council who have done nothing. All of the other neighbours have lived here forever and are at loggerheads with each other.

We had an indemnity policy when we bought to compensate us on the drop in the value of our house if we are ever stopped from driving up the lane.

I naively thought I could arrange the neighbours into a friendly let's all pay £100 a year type thing but soon backed down after talking to one or two of them.

Ruhrpott Tue 26-Jul-16 01:46:31

Actually you just get used to the potholes and tesco haven't stopped delivering here yet. Getting the neighbours to cut their overgrown bushes making the lane narrower and narrower is also fun

sexykitten2005 Tue 26-Jul-16 09:14:49

Thank you everyone. Like I say it does look in good condition at the moment so I'm surprised it hasn't been adopted. I will ask for the last 5 years fees and management information and see where I go from there.

The deeds indicate that I am responsible for the bit outside my house only but they are full legal speak so I will wait for the solicitors to have a look.

It's a young persons area so I'm hopeful everyone will get on but as I keep having to remind my family you can move to a lovely area and then one set of idiots can move in and ruin it!

By shared driveway I mean it's a double size drive with a clearly lined dividing mark so not really shared but in my head there could be problems if the neighbour can't park!

sexykitten2005 Tue 26-Jul-16 09:18:49

By young persons area I mean FTB rather than families.

Ruhrpott Tue 26-Jul-16 09:26:57

Shared driveways are also another lid of hassle. Before we moved here three years ago we had a new build and lucidly we had our own drive but the neighbours were always complaining about the shared drives. Main complaints were kids playing on them (don't tend to stick to their half!) kids getting there bikes out and scratching cars. They were also quite narrow and. Not much room to open car doors

Ruhrpott Tue 26-Jul-16 09:27:46

Ah stupid autocorrect

Ruhrpott Tue 26-Jul-16 09:28:17

And I know it's their not there

sexykitten2005 Tue 26-Jul-16 14:40:48

rhur I've just noticed I made the same typo. Let's blame it on the weather...

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