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Title deeds often contain provisions about rights of access when one owner needs entry on another’s land for building and maintenance work up to the boundary. While there are certain statutory requirements, it is good practice to include specific provisions whenever subdividing a title.
Title deeds often contain details of other rights and obligations – the most common are rights of way, drains, services, restrictions on use or physical alterations – but many of these rights can also come into existence by 20 years’ continuous use.
Planning legislation imposes extensive duties on property owners – as conditions in planning consents, under contractual planning agreements, in conservation areas and for listed buildings. Restrictive covenants, enforceable by neighbouring owners, may also limit what may be done.
Some land and buildings, of national importance for their landscape, architectural or historic value, may be exempted from inheritance tax or capital gains tax on conditions which include provision for public access. Public access may also be permitted to open countryside – mountain, moor and heath – and to registered common land, under the Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000.