There is no fixed system for calculating the value of a right of way in the UK. So, how much is a right of way worth really?
The short answer is a right of way is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Or as little as someone is willing to sell it for.
If you want to work out a fair price for a right of way you own and want to sell – or one you need and want to acquire – here are a few things to bear in mind:
What Is A Right Of Way?
A right of way (sometimes called an “easement”, though technically it is a type of easement) is a legal agreement that allows people – this could be one specific person, a group, or the general public – access to a piece of land owned by someone else.
This is usually done for a specific purpose. It could be for access to a landlocked property, to allow a water company access to pipes, or to let the general public walk, bike, hike, or drive across the owner’s land.
How Long Does A Right Of Way Last?
A right of way is most commonly created between landowners. Perhaps Landowner A needs to be able to reach outbuildings on their land and Landowner B is happy for them to drive down a lane on their own land. Perhaps they might charge a fee to allow it.
Once a right of way or easement is in place, it will continue until it is extinguished or released.
Can A Right Of Way Be Sold?
Rights of way can be created – usually in the form of what is called an “Express Grant” created by Deed – and then sold. This normally happens when someone wants to sell part of the land they own but wants to retain some kind of access.
There are also circumstances where someone has bought property that has a right of way going through it. Or where another person has stated an interest to gain access across their land.
In any of these cases, a right of way can indeed be sold.
How Much Is A Right Of Way Worth?
There are no set rules for determining how much any right of way might be worth.
A generous country landowner who is quite happy for hikers to cut across their land might sell a right of way for nothing or very little. A city landowner that has a right of way that sees them disturbed by vehicles passing along an access road to some garages might want significantly more.
In general, the more potential there is for the right of way to be used, the greater its value:
- Size – the amount of land covered is the factor that will most affect how much a right of way is worth. The more land the right of way covers, the greater the chances it will be used.
- Location – a right of way in an urban area will likely be worth more than a right of way out in the countryside. The more people that might want to use a right of way, the more it could be worth.
- Use – a right of way might be a footpath allowing people to walk across a distant corner of a field you own. It could be a service road that passes right by your house. Usually, the more inconvenient it would be for the owner to allow access, the more it is worth.
Is A Right Of Way Beneficial For A Property?
All kinds of easements, including rights of way, may affect property value if they limit your ability to build on a large part of the land. It may also put off potential buyers, as some property professionals will advise they present a potential problem (and they may).
There are also situations where rights of way that have existed for decades – and sometimes longer – have become so much a part of local people’s lives that making changes is an easy way to prevent yourself from making friends in the local area.
Broadly speaking though, only the most restrictive or large-scale easement will have much of an effect on your property value. An easement can also be a valuable asset. This can make it worth working with a property expert and solicitor with experience in right-of-way law to see what yours could be worth.
Want To Speak With A Specialist About A Right Of Way You Have Or Need?
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