I live in a terraced row of Victorian houses at the back of which is a lane into which we all have doors leading from our back gardens. The lane is being used as a dumping ground. How do I find out who the lane belongs to? The Local Authority says the lane is not their responsibility.
The majority of those lanes are maintained by the Local Authority as part of the adopted highway. However, there are certain instances where these lanes remain private or indeed the ownership of which is unknown.
As with any piece of land in which you are anxious to establish ownership the first step is to make an Index Map Search of the Land Registry. This requires the submission of a plan identifying the lane. The result of this search will clarify whether the title to the land is registered or unregistered. If it is registered title then finding the identity of its owner is simple – obtain an Office Copy of that title, which will specify the name of the proprietor.
If the search reveals the property is unregistered then the problem is very much greater. You could inspect your Title Deeds in order to establish whether yours and the adjoining properties were originally part of an Estate as it is quite probable that the Estate remains entitled to the lane with each property having been sold off with, probably, rights of access from the rear gardens over the same.
If the lane is overgrown then those backing onto the lane should consider the possibility that they could be called upon to contribute towards its maintenance and repair.