The Issue of Rights of Way and Shared Space

One of the most common conveyancing issues faced today is the one of the right of way for shared space. The conflict usually arises between the person who owns the land and the individuals who are entitled to use it and have right of way.

In most circumstances, these problems are resolved by the interested parties talking and agreeing an amicable solution. When agreement cannot be reached, for one reason or another, it can land both parties in court and arouse strong passions, cost a lot in legal terms and be a bruising experience that leaves each side damaged in some way. Most disputes can be resolved by the parties being more open to negotiation, whether that’s done naturally or via professional mediation.

What are Rights of Way?

There may be only one road to your property but part of that road can be owned by someone else. You have the benefit of right of way to get to your home and use it when you need to. An issue might arise if the owner puts in changes to the right of way that impede your progress. For example, they could put in a gate which you then have to stop at, get out of your car and open to proceed. They might introduce speed bumps to slow traffic down which could cause issues. The road might be narrow and difficult for cars to navigate without passing spaces which are suddenly blocked off.

Most courts would much prefer to see these kinds of issues settled amicably with discussion between the parties involved or by using professional mediation. Court cases for rights of way can be expensive for both sides and can often exacerbate ill feeling and leave both sides disappointed. The court is there to apply the strict rules of the law and not deal with the emotions and opinions that come with many right of way disputes.

What to Do if You Have a Right of Way Issue

If you find yourself in the position where there is an issue with right of way, then trying to settle it amicably is the best solution. Of course, this is not always possible and you may want to consult with a conveyancing solicitor to find out what your rights are. There’s no harm in doing this and you could well get the advice you need to choose mediation over going to court.

A conveyancing solicitor will be able to provide a similar overview as the court and look at the problem in simply legal terms, taking out the emotional side of the dispute. By the time clients often come to this stage they have tried but failed to settle the matter between the relevant parties. The situation has become more emotional and each side is usually firmly entrenched in its own opinion. Going to court, however, is often not the best solution and finding a way to mediate with both parties and cool things down can be better for both your peace of mind and the final outcome.

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