by Ray George

In the middle of several of the terraces, there is a passage which leads to garages at the back. How is the ownership distributed between the two properties? Ownership of land extends vertically downwards into the soil below and upwards to the air above, so it depends on the rooms above the passage. In Fig 1, the upper floor is wholly in one house. In Fig 2, the front room belongs to one property and the backroom belongs to the other.


Fig.1                                                                                          Fig.2

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In the figures, the boundary of one of the properties is marked in red. You might have anticipated that the drive at the rear, to the garages, would be divided equally in width. On the contrary, the full width of the drive belongs to one property and the other only has a triangular area in front of the garage doors. What about at the front? This depends where on the estate. In Fig. 1 the front lawns and front drive are not included in either property, while in Fig. 2 the full width of the drive belongs to one of the properties.

Does one of the neighbours have to trespass to get to their garage and are the visitors to the barbeque in their back garden trespassing? No, they have been granted a right of way. They are fully entitled to enjoy this without let or hindrance and have a clear unobstructed route.

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