A right of way refers to the legal entitlement to access another person’s property, in law referred to as an ‘easement’. Such rights come in various types, often specifying conditions regarding their establishment and purpose. For instance, you might possess a right of way across your neighbour’s land, specifically designated for maintaining and repairing your property. Another scenario could involve a right to use your neighbour’s driveway or some other path for access to your own property. However, what legal recourse exists when complications arise?

If someone disrupts your ability to use a right of way, legally, it is termed as interference. However, not every interference with your right of way warrants legal action. To be considered actionable in the courts, the interference must be ‘substantial’. A substantial interference doesn’t occur if you can still use the right of way as ‘conveniently and practically as before’ despite the obstruction. For instance, installing a gate across a right of way may not be deemed a substantial interference, but the erection of multiple gates might. Similarly, attaching a lock to a gate might not qualify as substantial interference, especially if you are provided with a key, for example but it may where it would make it practically difficult and substantially inconvenient as before.

The court will assess the reasonableness of your demand to use the entire right of way as initially granted. The determination largely hinges on the specifics of your individual case. The challenge must be reasonable with the crucial question being, “Can the right of way still be exercised substantially and practically as conveniently as it was before?”

If you believe that your right of way is being obstructed or interference with, then speak to our property litigation specialists on 0113 216 5507 or contact us using our form.