What is a right of way?

A right of way, commonly known as an easement is the right for one owner to make use of land belonging to someone else in a specific manner or for a specific purpose, even though they do not own the land.

In the absence of a right of way or permission, utilising another person's land would generally be deemed as trespassing.

Nevertheless, a right of way is not a personal entitlement; it is linked to the land itself.

Another common easement is a right to light.

A right to light is a legal concept that grants property owners the right to receive natural light through their windows without obstruction.

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How are easements created?

There are various ways in which an easement can be established, such as the following:

  1. By express grant – The easement may be documented through a Deed of Grant specifying the terms of the easement. Alternatively, the grant could be included as a clause in a conveyance deed or a transfer deed.
  2. By necessity – An easement by necessity is often seen in cases where a landowner cannot access their land without crossing neighbouring land.
  3. By prescription – where land has been used in a way capable of being an easement, the use has been as of right (without force, without secrecy and without permission) and been for a continuous period of 20 years.

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What happens if somebody interferes with my right of way?

Interference with an easement is an action in private nuisance.

The party claiming the interference must show they are entitled to the benefit of the easement, the nature, extent and scope of the easement and that the interference is substantial.

The courts will not consider every infringement on your right of way to be actionable.

For legal action to be taken, the interference must be significant. If you can still utilise the right of way as conveniently and practically as you did before the obstruction, then it does not amount to substantial interference.

The remedies available if there is an interference in include:

  • A declaration from the Court confirming the easement and defining the extent of it.

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How our property litigation team can help

Our property litigation lawyers assess each matter on its own facts and will outline all of the options and advise you on the best course of action.

Myerson’s Property Litigation solicitors are experts at rights of way disputes.

We have advised on numerous cases for clients over the years as demonstrated in the experience section below.

If you have any issues that you would like to discuss further, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Property Litigation team.

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If you need any legal advice concerning rights of way or easements, please contact our expert property litigation lawyers:


Our Property Litigation Team

Home-grown or recruited from national, regional or City firms. Our specialists are experts in their fields and respected by their peers.

Laura Pile

Laura Pile

Laura is a Partner and Head of our Property Litigation Team

Karen Taylor

Karen Taylor

Karen is a Senior Associate in our Property Litigation Team

Jennifer Hartley

Jennifer Hartley

Jennifer is an Associate in our Property Litigation Team

Vikki Wright

Vikki Wright

Vikki is a Solicitor in our Property Litigation Team