Did you know that new legislation on rights of way could mean your right of way is extinguished if not registered with the Property Registration Authority before the 30th November 2021?

What is a Right of Way?

Rights of way are established by long and continuous use, or by a formal agreement between the landowner and the party with the right of way. There may be conditions attached to this agreement. A right of way could be a laneway, a gap in a fence leading to another property or land, a boreen or another form of access that crosses the land of another person.

Historically, right of way has been proven by at least twenty years of continuous use of another person’s land in order to access your own land or property. This has not required registration in the past, but legal changes now mean that these rights of way will be lost if not registered correctly.

Legal Changes To Rights Of Way:

Originally, the Land and Conveyancing Reform Act 2009 set a deadline of 30th November 2012 to register existing rights of way or lose the right to these. However, the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 extended this deadline so that registrations made before 30th November 2021 would be protected.

After the 30th November 2021, you will need to apply to Court to register a right of way, and this may be a complex and costly process.

It is also important to note that applications may currently be made to the Property Registration Authority to register rights of way as under the previous laws.

How Is A Right of Way Registered?

To register a right of way, it is necessary to swear an affidavit to claim the right of way, detailing how and when it is used, the details of the land involved and the name and address of the landowner. You must include a Land Registry Compliant Map on which the right of way is identified. A fee of €130 is payable to the Property Registration Authority. The Property Registration Authority will notify the owner of the land or property, and if there is no contest, the right of way will be registered. If the landowner contests the right of way, the party seeking the right of way will need to apply to the Court for a declaration to confirm whether or not the right of way exists.

Since the law changed in 2009, a right of way may be established by continuous use for 12 years, rather than 20 years.

Find Property Law Solicitors in Cork

If you have a right of way and are unsure whether it has been registered correctly or not, you can talk to our property law specialists at Irwin, Kilcullen & Co Solicitors. We will help you to ensure that your interests are protected and your right of way is not lost. Simply contact us online or call us today on +021 4270934 to see how we can help.