Definition of "Access rights"

Karla Ryan real estate agent
Karla Ryan, Real Estate Agent Watson Realty Corp. Orlando SW

To define access rights, we must understand the need for access rights. There are several reasons for using access rights for any property; some are necessary and granted with little to no limitations or debate, while others can be more complicated and limited. The access rights definition can be explained as a right to access a property. The wording is important with easements in general, and the right of way is a good example of why, but even here, it can be noted that the wording does not state someone’s property. That is because there are different types of access rights.

Access rights in Real Estate

The access rights do not affect ownership rights as the property is not affected regarding its size or the right to be owned by the owner. The property owner will remain the owner, regardless of access rights. Access rights are easements that grant the right to access a property for a specific purpose and, in some cases, for a limited period of time.

The exact type of easement that affects a property should be verified prior to purchase. These can be found within the property’s legal documents or at the local government facility. The homebuyer should also be aware of what any particular access right demands and what are the types of interferences they might have to accept.

The two major types of access rights are analyzed below, and we can better understand how they work. Access rights are common, and most property owners deal with them. As some are detrimental to an owner’s ability to enjoy their property how they see fit, we’ll look at their permissive and restrictive natures in particular.

Access Rights to Roads

So what does access rights mean? When it comes to the most common type of access rights, we can look at every house surrounded by a yard; think about a single-detached home with a yard surrounding the property. When they leave the property, the owner needs to get to the public road in front of their house. The access right to public roads allows the owner’s right to access. It usually covers both vehicle and pedestrian rights of access as homeowners are entitled to access to and from a public road; otherwise, the owner could not use the property.

This type of access right is necessary for the property’s use and is considered a given right. The only problem that can arise is in case the road is a private one. That demands a search of the municipality’s records for a written easement as a municipality should keep a listing of road jurisdictions. Regarding private roads, rights of access have more limitations than public roads, and these restrictions can be seen in gated communities.

Access Rights to Private Property

When it comes to having access rights to someone else’s private property, the situation complicates. The Neighbouring Land Act of 1992 was created to allow people access to a neighboring property to preserve their property. This Act is cited and applied most commonly during amiable situations where one neighbor needs access to another’s land to be able to repair a fence that is his/her property that borders the two properties. 

However, if the situation is not amicable and access is not granted, the neighbor who wants to repair the fence can apply to Court for an access order. Through this order and under specific conditions, a set timeline, and hours, the works specified in the order are allowed to take place. Important to note that an access order is limited to work of preservation.

For neighbors that want to make improvements to their property, add another structure or build a pool, and need access to an adjacent property, the act does not help. Those owners need to obtain an agreement from the adjacent owner for the right of access. In that agreement, the purpose, limited time, and other terms negotiated must be specified.

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