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Sale and Driveway issue.

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  • Sale and Driveway issue.

    We'll soon be ready to put our Berkshire home on the market as we've retired and want to down size.
    The first 20 feet of our single opening driveway is jointly owned by us and our attached neighbours and the driveway then splits in to seperate long driveways to each of the properties. I've heard that our neigbour now wants to sell part of his large garden as a building plot for a detached house and extend his own house.
    Our properties are quite unique and desirable set a long way back from the road away from road traffic and other houses along the road. And we only have to share the driveway with the neighbours two cars and occasional visitors cars all though that can cause problems at times. Another 4/5 bedroom house that could have between 3 and 5 cars like others around our village would bring a lot of noise and problems.
    Another house would bring more traffic into our driveway and a lot more noise as cars got nearer to the houses. We and others believe that a new property in the neighbours garden would devalue our property and a 6 - 9 month build would not do our sales chances any good.

    As the first 20 foot of the driveway single width opening is in joint ownership, does the neighbour or potential builder not need our permission to gain entry to another property if the neighbour's property was divided to build another house?

    Can somebody please advise before I get fleeced.

  • #2
    Re: Sale and Driveway issue.

    First I would suspect that the actual position is that you have a single vehicle width driveway where you own one half width and the neighbour owns the other half width and you each have rights to drive over the other person's half. If it were literally jointly owned then the neighbour would be involved in a transfer of this "joint" driveway whenever either house changed hands, which would cause unnecessary complications.

    The real point here is to look at the wording of the right that the neighbour has to use your half width of the driveway. How is it expressed? It could be limited in some way.

    You might have other ways to object - rights of light - covenants against building work, etc.
    RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
    As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sale and Driveway issue.

      Thank you.
      The two semi's were built early in the last century, there are no covenants. Light would not be an issue if a new built was granted as it would be to the side of my our neighbours property. But when approaching our property at present ther are now two nice houses with trees and fairly spacious gardens to either side. That would change with another house crammed in. And the possibility of two lots of children in what was one garden + parties etc ruining the ambience in our garden and home.

      When we bought the property many years ago the solicitor explained that the driveway opening ownership was a little unusual.
      It was jointly owned for the first 20 feet before it splits to 2 seperate driveways. Either existing house can be sold without referring to the other but you get joint ownership and responsibility for the first 20 feet of the driveway. ie. both owners are responsible for the full width of that part of the driveway and the borders on either side and gate posts on either side.

      When one side of the driveway got dug up as the water main feed is on the other side from us my former neighbour and I had to cover reinstating the driveway surface on his side. ( it wasn't an issue, seemed a reasonable thing to do and cost very little)

      So my issue is can I stop right of way being being granted over what I own and a two way share becoming a three way share?
      And we don't want the selling of our house and its value compromised.

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      • #4
        Re: Sale and Driveway issue.

        Look, if the first part of the driveway was literally jointly owned you would have separate joint title to that part. Have you?

        So go to the Land Registry and do a property search and get a copy of your LR entries and plan and that will show you what you own. I will be very surprised if you don't own a half width of the front part of the driveway with rights to use the other half.

        People talk colloquially about an area such as this being jointly owned because in practice you need to do things with it together, e.g. re-tarmac, but that doesn't necessarily mean the whole width is jointly owned. If it was, you would have to get the neighbour to sign when you wanted to transfer ownership on a sale. When you bought the neighbour didn't need to sign the transfer deed to you did he?

        If my assumption is right the key point is the wording of the right the neighbour has to drive over your half width and that should be shown in the LR entries or possibly in a document referred to in them. then we can see if there is any limit to the right - e.g. if it is only for the benefit of the particular house.
        RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
        As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Sale and Driveway issue.

          Thank you Richard. I'll do further checks with the land registry, I think I can do that on line.

          Assuming that you are right and that there is an invisble half way line dividing the driveway to them and us. If they still try and sell part of the garden as a building plot any new home would need to drive over my side of the driveway.
          Can you possibly tell me if they need to gain my permission for that, I can't see how a driveway and access that is used by two properties can then be used by 3 on the whim of one of the existing users of the driveway.
          Obviously my neighbour has £ signs flashing in his eyes, and I don't blame him for trying. But we have years of investment in our property and as a retired couple we need every penny we can muster when we sell.
          Any building next door and extra use of the driveway will cost us!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Sale and Driveway issue.

            If they still try and sell part of the garden as a building plot any new home would need to drive over my side of the driveway.
            Can you possibly tell me if they need to gain my permission for that,
            See previous post as follows:

            the key point is the wording of the right the neighbour has to drive over your half width and that should be shown in the LR entries or possibly in a document referred to in them.
            Get your LR entries and quote the wording....(It could be in the LR entries or might be in some Conveyance or Transfer referred to in it in which case you will have to get a copy of that (which will come by pots)

            It will probably say something like "Except and Reserving unto the [then] Vendor and [important to see who else] the rights [as follows or as set out in some schedule]" Then the specific right of way may be limited as to the kinds of vehicles and the purposes for which the access is to be used and so we need to know what those limitations are if any.
            RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
            As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sale and Driveway issue.

              Check who owns the shared part of the driveway first.

              If you own half of it then you have what is known as a "Ranson Strip" You can legally prevent anyione other than your neighbour using yopur half. This would mean your neighbour would have to pay you a sum of money you feel is sufficent compensation for the use of your half of the shared driveway.

              Otherwise, without access, the new home would be impossible to sell.
              BRAND NEW HOMES
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              • #8
                Re: Sale and Driveway issue.

                If you own half of it then you have what is known as a "Ranson Strip"
                Not if the neighbour has a right to use it.

                We are presently waiting for OP to tell us the precise wording of the right - so we can see whether it is limited in such a way as to prevent the occupiers of any further house built on the neighbour's land from using it.
                RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
                As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Sale and Driveway issue.

                  [QUOTE=Richard Webster;14035]Not if the neighbour has a right to use it.

                  We are presently waiting for OP to tell us the precise wording of the right - so we can see whether it is limited in such a way as to prevent the occupiers of any further house built on the neighbour's land from using it.[/QUOTE]

                  That is what I meant. You own half, meaning no on else, ecept your neighbour can use your half without paying for the right.
                  I would suggest you ask your neighbour for 30% of the proceeds of the land he sells.
                  BRAND NEW HOMES
                  Information for UK new home buyers
                  New Home Blog The latest news and views

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