A right of way is the legal right (or an easement) established by usage or express grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another. This may for instance involve the use of a shared pathway to get to your property, the need to travel over a neighbour’s land to reach a piece of your land, or a requirement to access a neighbour’s land to carry out building works.

People often however misunderstand the land which they do (or do not) own and the rights which they do (or do not) have. This might include the belief that an area used to access a property or piece of land was within their ownership when in fact it was not. It might also include a point of access which you own but which is being used by a neighbour in circumstances where you believe that they do not have such a right.

If you would like to discuss any of our services with us, feel free to contact us using the form below or give us a call at 0161 669 4621 for a free no obligation chat. We look forward to assisting you with your legal concerns.



If you would like any further information or need advice about any dispute, please get in touch with us today. You can contact us today on 0161 669 4621 or by email on for a free no obligation chat.

At Birch Law we have considerable experience dealing with rights of way. We have helped homeowners, investors, property developers, and private companies of all sizes resolve right of way disputes swiftly and cost effectively. We can assist with:

  • Investigating whether an easement exists.
  • Advising on the conditions attached to an easement.
  • Injunctions to stop someone interfering with an easement.
  • Legal action to stop someone using a right of way excessively.
  • Compelling someone to repair and maintain a right of way.
  • Extinguishing easements.
  • Changing the route of a right of way.

We can help if someone is using your land unlawfully or if your neighbour is not allowing you to exercise your right of way over their land. We can deal with matters directly with your neighbour or, if necessary, seek an injunction and compensation through the courts.

If you are currently in dispute with your neighbour please contact our specialist solicitors today on 0161 669 4621 or send an email to for a free no obligation chat.

A right of way is a right to pass over or use someone’s land and can be created in a number of ways. The main types are:

  • Express grants – when a Deed of Grant is created, and the terms of use are agreed upon by the neighbours an express grant is in place. This can be a document in its own right but more usually a right is granted in the Conveyance or Transfer when properties are bought or sold.
  • Necessity – if a piece of land or building is only accessible from a public road over a private road, path, or track then it could have a right of way by necessity over the road, path or track provided it meets some specific criteria.
  • Prescription – if a right of way is used openly and repeatedly without permission, force, or secrecy for a period of over 20 years a prescriptive easement may be in place.

Issues regarding rights of way can lead to significant disputes between neighbours. Common examples of rights of way disputes include:

  • If you have previously enjoyed a right to travel along an access route to your property (or part of) and that access route is suddenly blocked by a third party, then you may be able to bring a claim against that third party for interfering with your rights.
  • You may have been using a right of way for some time or only use it every now and again but your neighbour doesn’t believe you have the right to enter their land so takes steps to stop you by obstructing the access such as locking a gate or placing some physical obstruction such as a car on the right of way.
  • If a neighbour or third party tries to exert a right of way over your land, which they have previously not enjoyed, then you may be able to bring a claim against them to stop them from using your land in the future.

Generally, you can’t access your neighbour’s land without permission. However, you may have a right of way to pass and repass along an area of land belonging to your neighbour. If your neighbour disputes your right of way, we can apply to the court for an injunction to force them to give you access.

If there are no rights of way in your title documents, then the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 may help. This particular piece of legislation gives you, in certain circumstances, the right to apply to the court for an Access Order. If a judge grants the order, then the neighbour must grant you access onto their property for a specified purpose.

The law on rights of way is complex but if your rights have been/ or are being interfered with there are a number of steps that you can take.

It is of course in everyone’s’ interest to try and resolve matters amicably. Right of way disputes can be time consuming and expensive so it is therefore important to try and resolve matters with your neighbours amicably if possible. If not possible then you should contact us today.

We will first of all determine what rights you do have (or conversely what rights your neighbour may have) and then assert those rights. If we are unable to resolve the dispute directly with your neighbour, we may need to go to Court. When we apply to court, we will be seeking a declaration of your rights and an order (or an injunction) preventing your neighbour from interfering with those rights in the future.

Easements are rights to use someone else’s land or property for a particular purpose. They include:

  • Rights of way.
  • Rights to light.
  • Rights of support from a neighbouring property.
  • Rights to lay gas and electricity supplies, draining pipes or media fibers under the land of a neighbouring property.

They are usually attached to the land which means that when you purchase a property these easements pass with ownership.

Whichever funding route you choose, you can rest assure that our experienced solicitors will always do their utmost to keep costs as low as possible. If you would like to discuss any of our services with us, feel free to contact us using the form below or give us a call at 0161 669 4621 for a free no obligation chat.




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Once we have agreed on the correct course of action for you, we will then implement and execute your instructions.