Q&As

A landowner (A) granted permission to neighbouring owner (B) to use parking spaces on its property well over 20 years ago. A sold its property in 1997 to C. B has continued to use the spaces exclusively and has maintained the area. There has been no communication between B and C and, in particular, B has not asserted ownership of the parking spaces to C. Did A’s permission/licence to B to use the spaces end on the sale of the land to C in 1997 such that B can claim ownership of the parking spaces by adverse possession or a prescriptive easement to park?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 11/01/2018

The following Property Q&A Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A landowner (A) granted permission to neighbouring owner (B) to use parking spaces on its property well over 20 years ago. A sold its property in 1997 to C. B has continued to use the spaces exclusively and has maintained the area. There has been no communication between B and C and, in particular, B has not asserted ownership of the parking spaces to C. Did A’s permission/licence to B to use the spaces end on the sale of the land to C in 1997 such that B can claim ownership of the parking spaces by adverse possession or a prescriptive easement to park?

It is often the case that, where a party has granted rights to another over land and then sells or transfers that land, difficulties can arise in establishing the nature of that right and whether it continues. Much will depend upon the nature of the grant of permission. Frequently, an informal agreement will be reached to allow a neighbour to (for example) park on land. In the event that such permission is informally given and is undocumented, it will likely amount merely to a personal licence, terminable at any time. Such a licence will be personal to A and B, so that it will not bind C upon the purchase of A’s land. Upon that purchase, the personal licence will terminate.

It is possible that A and B entered into a more formal agreement, either by way of a contractual licence (which in certain circumstances can pass to C, where C has adopted the contractual agreement with B), or by creating a formal right (ie an easement). A

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