Areas of Law / Property

Has the local council any obligation to maintain what it terms a “private lane”? The lane serves three cottages, and for much of the time it better resembles a stream since water pours down it from old workings above the houses. Years ago the council built a pipeline to take some of the water away, although it insisted it was not obliged to do so.

If you own the road jointly with the other cottages on the lane (your title deeds should tell you) you may be able to force the owner of the land above you to do something to stop the water running down your lane. Show your title deeds to a solicitor. The council would only consider adopting the lane if you bore the cost of bringing it up to standard in the first place.

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