Right of way

Are you in a dispute with a neighbour? Citizen mediation can help you find a satisfactory solution for both parties.

If you own a property that does not have access to a public road, or that has inadequate or impassable access, you may ask a neighbour to grant you a right of way in return for compensation. 

If your neighbour agrees to your request, you must both sign a contract setting out details of the right of way, including:

  • a precise description of the land on which the right of way is located;
  • a description of the person who will benefit from it;
  • the length of time for which the right of way will exist;
  • how the right of way will be exercised;
  • the compensation to be paid.

The right of way must also be entered in the land register

Refusing a right of way

If your neighbour refuses to grant you a right of way, you may ask the Superior Court to issue a court order requiring him or her to do so.

For further information, please speak to a legal advisor.

Maintaining a right of way

If you have a right of way, you must: 

  • carry out any work that may be required;
  • maintain the right of way that has been granted to you;
  • use the right of way so as to cause as little damage as possible.

The owner of the land on which the right of way is located cannot do anything to reduce your use of it or to make it less convenient for you, but may, where it is in his or her interest, move the right of way at his or her own expense, provided the new location is equally convenient for you.

Extinguishing a right of way

When your right of way is extinguished, and if the owner of the land on which it was located so requests, you must restore the land to its original condition.

A right of way is extinguished in the following situations:

  • on the termination date stipulated in the contract;
  • when it is no longer necessary for the use of the land;
  • when the person to whom it was granted surrenders it; 
  • when the owner of the land on which it is located buys it back;
  • if the same person becomes the owner of both properties, i.e. the land on which the right of way is located and the land that benefits from it;
  • if the person to whom the right of way was granted has not used it for 10 years (in which case it is considered to have expired automatically).

In addition, the way in which a right of way can be used also expires automatically after 10 years. For example, if you have not driven a vehicle on your right of way for 10 years and have used it for pedestrian access only, you will no longer have the right to drive on it.

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