As we wrote in the Spring of this year the deadline for registering a Right of Way is fast approaching. If your property benefits from a right of way or some other form of easement that has been acquired informally because of long use, you should carefully consider the implications of the Land and Conveyancing Reform Act 2009 to avoid the loss of your rights.
The 30th of November 2021 has been a date that many have planned for, some have ignored, and some have feared for some time with regard to the registration of rights of way.
That Act provides that steps must be taken before 1 December 2021 to either register such informal rights at the Land Registry (if uncontested) or a court order must be obtained confirming the existence of the right. Once that date is passed, you will have to establish the right of way under the new regime which is based on a claim of continuous usage since 1 December 2009.
Prior to the 2009 Land and Conveyancing Reform Act if you wished to register a right of way you had to prove 20 years use, for private rights of way rather than state rights of way. The 2009 Act introduced a new requirement to register those rights on your title by the 30th of November 2012. This was later extended to the 30th of November 2021 and allowed many to get titles ready.
While there have been calls by some for an extension to the deadline, according to the PRA (Property Registration Authority) the deadline will not be extended. If you don’t have your right of way registered by that date, then you will need to prove that you used the right of way for the previous immediate 12 years. Any breaks in usage will defeat your application.
Your solicitor should have a knowledge of the process, they can assist you in getting an engineer or surveyor to draw out the right of way on land registry maps and then lodge your application with the Property Registration Authority well in advance of the 30th of November 2021.
NB – This is a guide for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have an issue requiring legal advice, please contact any of the team at Nolan Farrell & Goff LLP, whose numbers can be found on our website www.nfg.ie, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.