Commercial Property Article
04 August, 2010
The recent case of Lester & Hardy v Woodgate & Woodgate  EWCA Civ 919 highlights the importance of making sure that a right over someone else's land, such as a right of way, known as an 'easement' does not lapse through disuse.
The facts of the case involved neighbours. One neighbour had been granted an easement in 1980 which permitted access to a pathway that ran along a strip of land owned by the other neighbour.
By 1999 the strip of land was being used for car parking, the landowner had removed most of the pathway and resurfaced the area. The neighbour who had the benefit of the easement did not object to the works being carried out.
When both properties came to be sold, the new owners of the land with the benefit of the easement sought an injunction to have their access to the pathway reinstated and to prevent the car parking. The action failed as the previous owners had not done anything to prevent the owner of the land from breaching the terms of the easement over a long period of time. It was held that the easement, despite being contained in the deeds, was no longer enforceable.
The fact that the neighbour had stood by and allowed the landowner to carry out works and prevent the use of the easement meant that the right was considered to have lapsed. The court decided that it would be unfair (under a legal principle called 'estoppel') for a later owner to rely on a right which their predecessors had failed to enforce.
It is important to know what rights are attached to land and to ensure that these are enforced otherwise, following this ruling, rights may be lost.
For further information please contact Hannah Moody at our Preston Office on Tel: 01772 220022 or contact Hannah Moody by email.
Brilliant, supportive, anything I didn't understand was explained, very tolerant
Thank you sincerely for the excellent service you have given us. Since finding Forbes via an internet search it was obvious you are amongst the top few in your specialist SIPPs field.
Brian and Martin Appleton
The 'proactive, commercial and knowledgeable' team at Forbes Solicitors is 'keen to ensure the client understands what's happening, and steers it down the right lines'.
Legal 500 2015
I have worked with Adam Bromley over the last 18 months on a number of matters. I have found him to be professional, friendly, personable and highly-skilled in the field of commercial property
Banks Wealth Management Ltd
It's a One Stop Shop as a legal entity, whatever problem we've got you've got someone to come and advise us or fix it
The Northcote Group
We have always found Forbes to be approachable and helpful and we look forward to a continuing professional relationship
Child Action Northwest
It's always nice to know that when you have some work to be carried out, it will be done in a professional and friendly way