Investigating title to a private access road on Conveyancing in Sheffield

Many older terraced homes in Sheffield have passageways running behind them which provide access to rear yards. For Property Lawyers carrying out Conveyancing in Sheffield it is important to investigate what legal rights exist for owners to use them.

Conveyancer Jaaine Intharajah was acting on the Conveyancing in Sheffield for Mr B, selling a stone-built terraced cottage on Halesworth Road, Handsworth, Sheffield S13 in 2010. When local agents Heppenstalls of 286 Handsworth Road, Handsworth, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S13 9BX confirmed details of the sale which they had negotiated Jaaine downloaded a copy of the freehold title from the land registry and sent this with the draft contract to the buyer’s Property Lawyers.

On viewing the title and the registered plan, it was apparent that there was a private lane which ran immediately to the rear of the buildings, and separated them from their gardens. The title included the strip of this lane between the house and its garden, but owners of the other dwellings would also have to use the lane.  

The investigation of title as part of this Conveyancing in Sheffield showed that the register contained details of various legal rights which benefited the house, as well as matters to which it was subject. One of these was as follows:

“The land is subject to the following rights contained in a Conveyance of the land in this title and other land dated 2 December 1987 made between (1) George Armitage & Sons Plc and (2) Furnhill Limited:-

SUBJECT ALSO to the rights of the owners for the time being of the properties known as 19, 23, 27, 29, 31, 33 and 41 Halesworth Road ("the sold properties") and others entitled to all rights of light air way support protection drains and drainage and all other easements and privileges now used and enjoyed or suffered by the sold properties and the adjoining or adjacent properties or which would have been enjoyed or suffered had such properties hitherto been in separate ownership and also full rights of way at all times and for all purposes over and along and a right of drainage and sewerage in and under so much of the roadway coloured brown on the annexed plan as is included in the property hereby conveyed. ”

That showed that the occupiers of the adjacent dwellings had legal use of the access, but there was nothing to show that the home being sold enjoyed such use over the remainder of the accessway. There had been a general grant of rights of drainage in an earlier deed, as follows:

“A Conveyance of the land in this title and other land dated 11 November 1968 made between (1) The Most Noble Bernard Marmaduke Duke of Norfolk (Vendor) (2) The Public Trustee and (3) George Armitage & Sons Limited (Purchaser) contains the following :-

 Rights and interest in favour of the Purchaser that are included in this Conveyance:-

2. All necessary rights of support for those parts of the Property which derive support from adjacent property or buildings thereon now belonging to the Vendor.

3. For the benefit only of the Property the free passage and running of water soil gas and electricity through the sewers drains watercourses pipes and cables nor or at any time within the period of eighty years from the date hereof passing under along or over any other lands or buildings contiguous or near to the Property and now belonging to the Vendor the Purchaser paying a fair proportion according to use of the cost of maintaining repairing and renewing the same TOGETHER with all necessary ancillary easements for the purpose of inspecting maintaining repairing and renewing the same but so that any such operations shall be carried out so as to cause as little inconvenience and disturbance as possible and all damage thereby occasioned shall be made good as speedily as possible. "

Enquiries showed that the lane could only be used on foot, and none of the owners of the neighbouring properties had ever done anything to stop anyone else using it. The buyer’s Conveyancers therefore took the view that, especially since the cottage was clearly many years old, there were sufficient legal rights implied and they were happy to advise their client to proceed.

Jaaine was thus able to complete this Conveyancing in Sheffield without any delay, which was appreciated by her client.

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