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Can A Neighbour Block A Right Of Way

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  • Can A Neighbour Block A Right Of Way, What to do when your right of way has been blocked, What is the law on the right of way, BOUNDARY DISPUTES, Right of way
  • Posted date:
  • 21-04-2022
Can A Neighbour Block A Right Of Way

Can a neighbour block a right of way? Find out more about your rights when it comes to boundary disputes. We look at what to do when your right of way has been blocked.

Can A Neighbour Block A Right Of Way?

Even a few inches can cause various boundary disputes. To solve a dispute like this, the parties involved would have to rely on their Land Registry Title Plan to see the boundary markings and positions. 

If you're confused about how you can define the property boundary, there are three ways to do it. These would be Legal Boundary, Physical Boundary, and Land Registry Boundary.  

A legal boundary refers to a line drawn between the two neighbouring properties for their separation. Although the drawn boundary line has no true thickness, and it also cannot be defined with precision, this would be either looking at the title documents or on the ground. It is used for defining your property's boundary.  

A physical boundary is something that can be identified on the ground; these would be things like a boundary fence, a boundary wall, hedges, rivers, garden buildings, wire, barbed wire, ditches and more. A neighbour's fence may also constitute a physical boundary to the property. 

These boundaries have a thickness, unlike the legal boundaries. Although even with these physical boundaries, it can be difficult to determine your property's exact boundary.  

Using red edging to identify a land registry boundary will be on the inside of the black line, which is drawn by the Ordnance Survey. 

This border is used to show how extensive property ownership is. Sometimes, a physical feature on this map doesn't define the boundary or property line. 

he HM Land Registry will show it using a dotted line, which would be on the title plan. 

Within England and Wales, the system used is called the 'general boundaries' land registration system, and this is used where the boundary of your property would be shown by a specific physical boundary; an example would be a wall.

Can A Neighbour Block A Right Of Way

What to do when your right of way has been blocked

When your right of way has been blocked, the best thing you can do is understand what your legal rights are and which steps you need to take to sort out the issue. 

Firstly you should understand the nature of the dispute, like knowing the boundary lines and your rights. There are a few steps you can take before you go and seek professional advice, such as speaking to the neighbour in question. Checking if the neighbour in question has planning permission can help with a legal case.

What is the law on the right of way?

Like many other laws and requirements, the law surrounding this situation can be a bit complicated or unclear. 

In general terms, a right of way is defined as the legal right to access their property by passing through land or property that belongs to somebody else. The rules can be different depending on your situation. These rules can be summarised as follows:

  • When a right of way has been established when set out in a Deed of Grant, this is is it the rules of necessity have been satisfied, or if for over 20 years has been used with secrecy, force or permission.
  • If the right of way has been blocked, you may use a reasonable alternative path; this is as long as you do not go on the land belonging to the 3rd party.
  • If you feel you may be entitled to use a right of way which is being blocked, you may take action against your neighbour in a legal capacity.
  • If to your belief somebody is accessing your land, and without the right to this, there is a crossover with rights of way laws and trespass laws.

How to solve private right of way problems

There a many steps that you can take when trying to sort the issue out. 

These steps will help you understand the best ways to approach the situation and allow you to find a resolution to the dispute. 

You should always consider a logical approach to the situation as you may need to take legal action, or maybe the situation could be a misunderstanding altogether. 

How to solve private right of way problems

Find out about your legal rights are

Before taking any action, you should always find out your rights in a particular situation, as every situation may be different, and the outcome may be different. 

You can get professional advice, and this is the best step to solving your problem. You contact a specialist easement dispute solicitor, and they will help you get all the documents and information you need to have proof that you are entitled to the right of way.

Talk with your neighbours.

The first logical step you should take is to talk to your neighbours; there may be a misunderstanding with the situation, and the blockage of the right of way may be able to get solved as soon as possible with any legal action. This can also help provide an outcome that both parties will find satisfactory. 

Hire a dispute solicitor

Sometimes you may not reach an understanding with your neighbour, and the problem may persist, which isn't an outcome anybody wants. 

If this is the case, you should get in contact with a specialist easement dispute solicitor. A specialist easement dispute solicitor will help with the situation as well as act on your behalf. 

If they think they can help you, they will liaise with the neighbour in question, this is usually by letter, to set out the potential claim. If you can't get a response or if they dispute the claim and you cannot reach a settlement, then your next step will possibly be to take the neighbour to court.

Legal proceedings

If the action you want to take is legal, and you want to take your neighbour to court over this blockage of the right of way or even defend a claim to the right of way over your land, you have to get the advice and help of somebody who can support and guide you throughout the entire process; this would be a solicitor. 

When taking your neighbour to court, you may need to provide the correct documents to help your case. Your solicitor will help and assist you with this.


Do you have questions about  resolving Boundary Disputes in Tonbridge, Kent or the surrounding areas? Would you benefit from the advice of a qualified RICS surveyor? Follow the link below to find out more.