It is perhaps fairly obvious that if a house does not directly front onto a public road then the owner will require a legal right of way over land which may belong to adjoining proprietors, in order to get to their land without interruption.
Acting for the buyers of a small terraced cottage in Birmingham, Conveyancing Solicitor Catherine Williams found that access was via an unadopted pathway. This is sometimes found when handling Conveyancing in Birmingham for clients buying older properties of this type, but Catherine was concerned about ensuring that there was a legal means of access to the nearest highway.
A copy of the freehold title and plan as registered at the land registry was received from the law firm of David Bunn & Co, 1468 Pershore Road, Stirchley, Birmingham, West Midlands, B30 2NT. This revealed that the house was one of a terrace built at ninety degrees to Warren Road, Stirchley, Birmingham, B30. There appeared to be a footpath which ran between two rows of similar buildings leading to the individual homes, providing the only means of getting to them.
Many times when undertaking similar Conveyancing in Birmingham it has been found that there is no mention in the title register of there being any formal access over any such path. Property Lawyers acting for buyers have to verify the existence of such rights to ensure that their clients will always be able to reach their home without anyone else being able to object.
Catherine was therefore pleased to find the following in the land registry entries, which made it clear that everything was satisfactory:
“The land has the benefit of the following rights granted by but is subject to the following rights reserved by a Conveyance of the land in this title and other land dated 14 February 1956 made between (1) John P (Vendor) and (2) Matthew T (Purchaser):-
TOGETHER ALSO with all rights of way support of walls light drainage and other easements of a continuous nature now used or enjoyed (or which but for the fact that the property hereby conveyed and the adjoining property have belonged to the same owner would be so used and enjoyed) by the property hereby conveyed over or under the adjoining property EXCEPT AND RESERVED out of the Conveyance hereby made unto the Vendor and the owners and occupiers of the adjoining and neighbouring premises and for the benefit of such premises (and which such premises shall continue to enjoy) all rights of way water light drainage support of walls and other rights easements and privileges which are now and have heretofore been enjoyed or used by such adjoining and neighbouring premises over under or in connection with the property hereby conveyed or which but for the fact that such adjoining and adjacent premises may have heretofore belonged to the same owner would have been so used and enjoyed as rights and easements and in particular full right and liberty at all times hereafter to drain into and through the drains through and under the land hereby conveyed and if and when necessary with workmen and others to go upon the premises hereby conveyed for the purpose of and to open cleanse and repair the said drains but making good any damage which may be occasioned thereby. ”
If there was no mention of this then Catherine would have had to ask the sellers for further information about their use of the path, and would probably have requested them to give a statutory declaration as to its use. As there was no need for that in this case, Catherine was able to give a clear certificate to the mortgage lenders, and the purchase was soon completed.
The clients were grateful that Catherine had investigated this for them, as they were first-time buyers and had not realised that there might be any problem. This is just one example of how buyers’ interests are protected as part of Conveyancing in Birmingham.
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