Right of Way


New Member
I would appreciate some advice about Rights of Way.
We access a small bit of land that has been owned and used by our family for over 100 years by going over a small roadway that's on another man's land. We do not have a registered right of way for to do this with land registry. The land was sold 5 or 6 years ago. This week, the owner stopped us from using this roadway. he has put up a fence. We believe that we have a right of way because of long use and will visit our solicitor for advice.

However, I went onto the land registry website and purchased the folio. The details that I received shows that the person who stopped us from using the right of way is not the owner. The full owner is in fact still the person who sold the land to this man.

I want to know about land registry? After 6 years, why would the title of the land not have gone to the new owner? Could there be a dispute? Can the title holder of the land grant us a right of way once he is recognised as the title holder by land registry? (We believe that the reason why the new landowner blocked us is because we are friendly with the old land owner and they are in dispute over a separate piece of land. We often help the old owner and we believe that he would be willing to grant us right away across this path if he could).


Frequent Poster
"We believe that we have a right of way because of long use and will visit our solicitor for advice."

The above piece was written by your good self and should answer your question a lot more factually than any answer here.


Take a read of this article and the cases it refers to, though these relate to public rights of way. See also this in reference to the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 and how that affected claims such as yours.


Frequent Poster
+ 1 previous posts.

There is a lot of work to be done here if the new owner is not prepared to recognise the right of way on a consent basis.

There is a philosophical element of the Wild West when it comes to this type of thing. i.e. use it or lose it or get it back if it has been taken off you.
In connection with the latter do not be tempted to remove the new fence as that could create a host of problems.
This aspect of matters is probably better dealt with by seeking an interim injunction ordering the new owner to restore the access pending trial of the main issue of right of way.

On a wider basis see this from a judge's point of view.
What evidence can you put before a court establishing the essentially prescriptive right exercised over those 100 years +?
You need to gather as much evidence as you can to make that case.
You need to trawl for every scrap of paper that you hold in relation to the issue.
I see what you say about registration but is there any chance that predecessors in title to you and the previous owner could have made an agreement and had it memorialised in the Registry of Deeds ? I expect that your solicitor will make searches in the Registry of Deeds.

Look after that neighbour / previous owner well as he is probably going to be a primarily important witness for you !
However, be careful that he has not been a rascal in his dealings with the new owner - see the next paragraph !

The actions of the new owner could be a classic land grab tactic whereby he asserts a right he does not have to extinguish your right or possibly to make you come to him to negotiate a price to sell you what you may already have.
Against that, the new owner might not be aware of the right of way especially if it was not disclosed by the vendor on any requisitions on title and or it did not show up on any searches prior to closing........

IMHO the first step is for your solicitor to approach the new owner to see what his attitude is to the issue.
It may be constructive or not but that needs to be clarified first.
The new owner's attitude determines how you proceed thereafter.

Do not delay about consulting a solicitor as each day without assertion of rights by you is a day of acquiescence to what has happened.