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Right of Way Access to Back Garden (Easements)



House with a tree

A right of way is a lawful entitlement that permits individuals to travel through a property possessed by another person for the purpose of accessing another property or reaching a public road or footpath. The Title Register will contain information regarding any applicable right of way for a property.

How Does Right of Way Access to a Back Garden Work?

Right of way access to a back garden means that someone has the legal right to cross your property to access a neighboring property or public area. This can be a contentious issue for property owners, and it's important to understand your rights and obligations if your property has a right of way access to a back garden.

What is a Right of Way and is it a Legal Right?

In the UK Land Registry, a right of way is a legal right that allows someone to pass through a property owned by someone else to access another property or a public road or footpath. It can be granted in a number of ways, such as through a deed or by prescription, where it has been used openly and continuously for a certain period of time. The right of way is typically granted to the owner of a neighboring property, or to a person who owns an adjacent piece of land that is otherwise landlocked.

It's essential to understand that a right of way doesn't mean ownership of the land and only grants the right to access the back garden. The right of way must be used for its specific purpose in a reasonable and non-obstructive manner. If you need to establish a right of way to access your back garden, it's crucial to seek legal advice to ensure that it is granted and recorded in a legally enforceable way, either through a deed or by obtaining an order from a court.

Right of Way Vs Easement

In the UK Land Registry, an easement and a right of way are related concepts that are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.

An easement is a right that one person has to use another person's land for a specific purpose. Easements can be granted for a variety of purposes, such as for access to utilities, for drainage or for the maintenance of a shared feature like a wall or fence. The person who owns the easement is entitled to use the land, but they do not have any ownership rights over it.

A right of way, on the other hand, is a type of easement that grants someone the right to travel over another person's land. This can be either on foot or with vehicles, and it can be used for a variety of purposes, such as accessing a back garden, a public footpath or a public road. A right of way can be granted to an individual or to the public, and it can be limited to specific times or purposes.

So, while a right of way is a type of easement, not all easements are rights of way. Other types of easements can include drainage rights, rights to lay cables or pipes, or rights to maintain a boundary feature. The key difference is that a right of way specifically grants the right to pass over another person's land, while other types of easements may grant other specific rights.

It's important to note that both easements and rights of way can have a significant impact on a property's use and value, so it's important to seek legal advice if you are considering buying or selling a property with an easement or right of way. A qualified property lawyer or conveyancer can help to identify and address any potential issues related to easements and rights of way, providing you with peace of mind and legal certainty when it comes to your property.

How to Order Your Title Register Online

If you're unsure whether your property has an easement or right of way access to a back garden, order your title register online from Land Registry Online today. Our fast, reliable service will provide you with all the information you need to understand your property's ownership and any associated rights or restrictions. If there is an easement or right of way access to a back garden relevant to your property, it will be mentioned in the Title Register.

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