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Right of way disputes can arise where a person or business find that a third party claims an easement over their land.  Alternatively, you may have used an access for many years, but a neighbour has raised an objection to your continued use.

What is an easement?

An easement is a right over another piece of land owned by a different person.  Examples include rights of way over land and the use of pipes and drains.  A right of support from adjoining land can also be an easement.

How are easements created?

Easements can be created in several ways including by the following methods:

  • A deed where one party grants a right of way to another.
  • Implied grant such as by necessity where the land can only be accessed via another party’s land.
  • Prescription where a right of way has been used without permission for at least 20 years.

Right of way disputes

Typical examples of right of way disputes include:

  • Whether a right of way exists.
  • The obstruction of a right of way.
  • Excessive use of a right of way.
  • Failure to maintain a right of way.
  • Where land is being developed and the use of the right of way may intensify.

How to protect your position

If you may have a right of way dispute, then it is important to take early advice on how best to protect your position.  Constructive engagement with the owner of the neighbouring land can often result in early resolution.

Where it is not possible to resolve the matter by discussing it with the neighbour, then remedies include:

  • A declaration by the Court confirming the existence and extent of an easement.
  • An injunction to prevent interference with an easement.
  • Damages for any harm caused.
  • Abatement such as to remove an obstruction.

How we can help

Our specialist property litigation team support clients and their professional advisors in the resolution of easement disputes.  We appreciate the need for effective, objective-led action to protect your property interests which can include both litigation and alternative dispute resolution.

For more information, please contact Anna Duffy at or James Holton at or telephone 01244 354800.

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