Dear doctors of real estate,
My daughter bought a property with off street parking and the land register form confirms it. The recent lawyer reviewing it said the lease doesn’t prevent you from parking on your own lot, unless it blocks pedestrian access.
But now her landowner has said she can no longer park her car on the side of the property as it is an obstacle and has threatened a court order to stop her.
The lease refers to the side area as a trail, and there is no mention of whether it is a driveway or a driveway. It is blocked off at the end by a shed (it has always been there) so access to the rear property for anything larger than a wheelbarrow or wheelchair is not possible. The gap between the fence and the house, when the car is parked, is the same distance as the gap between the shed and the house, so I observe that there are no obstacles.
She has lived there since 2009 without ever being asked not to park there. This all happened when the landowner renovated the ground floor property and asked her to help create official parking at the back of the properties. She refused because it was of no use to her and would leave the back garden, the view from her room, as parking, so it is not desirable.
Does he have the right to park there and how can we respond?
GW, by e-mail
If your daughter owns the land adjoining the property, unless her lease indicates otherwise, she is entitled to park there unless someone else has a right of way over her. land that would be obstructed.
Normally, a right of way would be expressly granted and would be entered in the land register. In certain circumstances, however, a right of way may be acquired by “ordinance” with a useful life of 20 years.
If there is a right of way, the question of whether parking is an obstacle is whether an inconvenience is caused to the person exercising that right. From what you are saying, it does not seem very likely, but all of these cases need to be decided on the basis of their own facts.
The sensible thing would be to negotiate with the person exercising the right and find a satisfactory compromise, but I suspect that the free owner of the property should be involved in these discussions as well.
Ideally, your agreement should consist of one or more legal documents which should be prepared by a lawyer and which could be filed in the land register. Obviously there would be an expense involved, but that would avoid disputes later.
David Fleming is Head of Real Estate Litigation at William Heath & Co solicitors (williamheath.co.uk)
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