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Archive for April, 2009

Easy, eh?

As with so many legal disputes between neighbours, the law relating to easements gives rise to many problems and much debate and argument.

Whilst there is no definitive description of an easement, it does entitle one owner of land to exercise some kind of right over land owned by another.  For instance, a private right of way, or to draw water from a spring on another’s land, to receive light or support for a building have all been held to constitute easements.

The right can be exercised for years with few difficulties arising.  However, matters often come to a head when there is a change of owner or circumstances or an escalation in the use.

The recently reported Court of Appeal case of Waterman and anor v Boyle and anor [2009] EWCA Civ 115 concerned several arguments arising over the exercising of a right of way including whether there was an implied right to park.  A right to park might be implied if it is reasonably necessary in order to exercise or enjoy a right of vehicular access.  However, it is going to depend on the particular circumstances of the case and here, where the respondents had other areas in which they might park it was held unnecessary to park on the right of way.  In giving judgement on this and other disputes between the parties, Lady Justice Arden gave a warning to disputing neighbours:

“The law expects neighbours to show some give and take towards each other.  The parties to this litigation should keep that point in mind for the future and now draw a line under the past.  Parties to other boundary disputes and their advisers should also, at all times, have this point firmly at the forefront of their minds, and seek to resolve their disputes accordingly, and without resort to complex and expensive litigation.”

Why not contact Hatherleigh Training if you want to hear more about easements?