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shindigger

House Sold But Not The Land

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Hi

I own a house which is at the end of a path.

Said path leads from a house at the front of mine to the patch of land that was allocated to that house.

(Which is at the rear of my house.)

House was sold, but not the land.

This path involves crossing my property.

Does the owner of the land still have a right to use that path even though they no longer own the house to which it pertained?

I would say that they are trespassing the moment they open the gate that leads to the path.

No?

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Does the owner of the land still have a right to use that path even though they no longer own the house to which it pertained?

Yes because they own the land. They're not trespassing on your property. It will also mean that if you wanted to extend your property over said land you wouldn't be allowed without their permission or more likely buying the land from them.

You can end up with odd situations where a tiny strip of land is owned by somebody but the owner can't actually, physically, get to their land without walking through other peoples properties.

Edited by Bug16

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Hi

I own a house which is at the end of a path.

Said path leads from a house at the front of mine to the patch of land that was allocated to that house.

(Which is at the rear of my house.)

House was sold, but not the land.

This path involves crossing my property.

Does the owner of the land still have a right to use that path even though they no longer own the house to which it pertained?

I would say that they are trespassing the moment they open the gate that leads to the path.

No?

I reckon you need to check the deeds for all three properties (yours, the house that was sold, and the patch of land) to see what rights of way are marked on them.

Also the list of public rights of way, held by the local authority.

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Rights of way are funny old things - we have looked into the law extensively as we live in a row of properties with rights of way crisscrossing every garden. They [private rights of way] are impossible to extinguish without the permission of all interested parties, even if they are unused for many years, they are still there. That said, I do know of another similar row of houses the same as ours a mile or so away where all the owners have decided to ignore the rights of way and all extended over them- but I guess that was agreed between all parties?

Best legal advice I have seen is "you bought a property knowing a right of way went across it - accept it".

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Rights of way are funny old things - we have looked into the law extensively as we live in a row of properties with rights of way crisscrossing every garden. They [private rights of way] are impossible to extinguish without the permission of all interested parties, even if they are unused for many years, they are still there. That said, I do know of another similar row of houses the same as ours a mile or so away where all the owners have decided to ignore the rights of way and all extended over them- but I guess that was agreed between all parties?

Best legal advice I have seen is "you bought a property knowing a right of way went across it - accept it".

There is a house and large garden in the Costwolds which has a stile both sides of the garden,to let walkers enter and exit said garden...they cannot stop them..The owners will chat to ramblers as they walk through..there are hundreds of examples like that. Probably slightly different circumstances, as they are public footpaths.

Edited by GinAndPlatonic

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There is a house and large garden in the Costwolds which has a stile both sides of the garden,to let walkers enter and exit said garden...they cannot stop them..The owners will chat to ramblers as they walk through..there are hundreds of examples like that. Probably slightly different circumstances, as they are public footpaths.

That would be a public right of way - open to all. Private rights of way also exist and they are for specific parties only (eg we have a right of way to cross 2 neighbours gardens to access the communal water pump and outbuildings, but the general public don't.

Interestingly, right of way law trumps planning permission, so if someone builds over your right of way you can go to court and get it reinstated. In our case it's saved our little row of stone cottages from sprouting blingtastic extensions over the years- the external elevations are still original.

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I think what is being described is a "right of access across land" rather than a "right of way".

It's the same as when you have a shared driveway.

Right of access would be from the house to the land.

If the land and the house belong to different people, neither has right of access over the property as they can't be going to or from something they don't legally have access to anyway, but if they were to combine the house and land back into 1 plot they would have access with certain time restrictions.

"Rights of access" don't actually need to be defined on the deed, they can exist purely on the basis that access has always been available... I can't remember what the term is for that.

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There is a house and large garden in the Costwolds which has a stile both sides of the garden,to let walkers enter and exit said garden...they cannot stop them..The owners will chat to ramblers as they walk through..there are hundreds of examples like that. Probably slightly different circumstances, as they are public footpaths.

If it's popular with ramblers I'd sell cream teas.

To the OP

No doubt the person who sold the house kept the land for a purpose. Either they want to use it, or they see future value in selling it that is greater than selling it with the property. Perhaps they see selling it to you now - to remove annoyance - or to you when you try to sell as the access will prove a disincentive to some purchasers; or if not to you to some future owner of your property in order to remove the 'access issue'.

Perhaps they see a development potential,

or perhaps they just want to be annoying - since there are people like that. Were you on good terms previously ?

I had to sell a property once where the garage was behind. This and the neighbouring property shared the drive between them. The drive belonged to the neighbour but the house I was selling had the right to 'pass and repass" over the drive to access the rear garden; it had this right to access since the 17C - although nothing formal since the original deeds. As there was no on road parking the access to the rear and the garage was useful. Likewise, the drive could become an excellent parking bay for the neighbour- but of course this would hinder the 'inconvenient' right to pass and repass

The neighbours became right ****. They first put up locked gates half way up the drive, then built a low brick wall, then, after I'd taken a sledge hammer to that one midnight, they planted a rock garden in the drive; all prevented access to the garden and garage, but did not prevent their ability to use the drive as a parking bay, or access their back garden. It delayed the house sale by 2 years and cost a mint to resolve - the neighbours lost of course and the new written agreement means they cannot park or block the drive for a minute without permission - so it turned out worse for them in the long run as before there was a very flexible arrangement.

As another poster said, it's best to accept the access. Certainly, don't let anyone 'see' that it worries you.

Edited by LiveinHope

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Many thanks for the replies all.

I am at the back of a row of three houses with a path down the side. The gardens run across the building. As mine is at the back, It is the only house that looks out on to the gardens. Its a fairly odd arrangement truth be told.

I would describe it as a right of access, not a right of way and as Ruffles has said, if the house is sold they now have no right to be walking from the house anyway.

When i bought the place the house and land were not split and I was aware of the need (and right) for the owner of the front house to get to their garden past my front door.

But they split the 2 up. The land is derelict and frankly a mess. (As is the front house but thats another story).

I had a visit yesterday, completely out of the blue, from someone purporting to have a share in the garden land.

Who just quite simply walked straight through my gate in to my garden as if she had every right.

A rather provocative opening gambit wouldn't you say?

I think that their right to use that path ended when they sold the house.

They don't own the house so they don't have anything to "walk from" any longer.

There is alternative access to their plot via a small private car park 10 yards away.

I have a copy of the land registry sale of that property and will be speaking to my solicitor.

Cheers again.

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I have a copy of the land registry sale of that property and will be speaking to my solicitor.

Unfortunately, this is your best bet.

It all depends upon how the properties and land came into being, and upon the right to "pass and repass", which is what I guess it is, is viewed historically - it can be a minefield, especially when rights are conferred though usage rather than written down. Continuous use for 25 years is required I think.

What ever the legalities, always be polite and cheery, even if you curse inside. Let anyone see it worries you and they'll turn the knife.

Edited by LiveinHope

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As SnugglyBear said, the only thing that matters is what it says on the deeds. If they say someone else has right of way over your property to get to theirs, they have a right of way. However, the wording may be such that it's the owner of the house who has the right of way, in which case the owner of the land will have messed up royally and you may be getting some cheap land.

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Unfortunately, this is your best bet.

It all depends upon how the properties and land came into being, and upon the right to "pass and repass", which is what I guess it is, is viewed historically - it can be a minefield, especially when rights are conferred though usage rather than written down. Continuous use for 25 years is required I think.

What ever the legalities, always be polite and cheery, even if you curse inside. Let anyone see it worries you and they'll turn the knife.

Yes, i said "nice to meet you" as she left.

Went straight upstairs and started Googling.

Thanks for input.

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As SnugglyBear said, the only thing that matters is what it says on the deeds. If they say someone else has right of way over your property to get to theirs, they have a right of way. However, the wording may be such that it's the owner of the house who has the right of way, in which case the owner of the land will have messed up royally and you may be getting some cheap land.

Never thought of it like that.

She did mention that the syndicate of owners had made a mistake not selling the two together.

She also said that they wouldn't be able to sell for development as there was no access now.

However i'm not sure she really believes that cos it didn't stop her walking straight in to my bloody garden!

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Never thought of it like that.

She did mention that the syndicate of owners had made a mistake not selling the two together.

She also said that they wouldn't be able to sell for development as there was no access now.

However i'm not sure she really believes that cos it didn't stop her walking straight in to my bloody garden!

I suspect she is not a blackbelt in the art of negotiation. That should make sorting this out a lot easier by the sounds of it.

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You can end up with odd situations where a tiny strip of land is owned by somebody but the owner can't actually, physically, get to their land without walking through other peoples properties.

They're called 'ransom' strips for a reason.

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The benefit of an easement attaches to the dominant tenement, not a person. Anyone purchasing the dominant tenement acquires the benefit of that easement.

The Land Register need to be inspected to read the exact terms of the easement.

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The benefit of an easement attaches to the dominant tenement, not a person. Anyone purchasing the dominant tenement acquires the benefit of that easement.

The Land Register need to be inspected to read the exact terms of the easement.

From that i am taking it that the benefit of that easement passed to the new owner of the front house when they bought the house.

ie It no longer applies to the party that split the two up.

So she was bang out of order swanning in to my garden, uninvited, yesterday.

Well the new owner of the house at the front has no need to come down that path, cos he doesn't have a garden at the end of it.

I'm going to dig out my documents later.

Thanks.

Edited by shindigger

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