You and the Law – 3rd May 2011

Shared Drive

We bought a house 18 months ago which shares a drive leading to garages at the back with a neighbour.  Our Title Deeds refer to a Deed of Grant of
mutual right of way drawn up in 1965.  Neither of us uses the garages for
vehicles, and we would like to remove our garage and divide the driveway
with a fence.  How do we go about changing the shared access agreement, and can we do this without our neighbour’s agreement?  PN

You won’t be able to change the arrangement without your neighbour’s
agreement.  It’s likely that one of you owns the driveway and the other has
the right to pass over it.  If you own the land you would have to reach
agreement with your neighbour to alter the Title Deeds. 

If your neighbourowns the land you may have to buy half of the driveway from him.  It’spossible also that, if you live on an estate you will need the developer’sconsent to make these changes.  Discuss your plans with your neighbour and see a solicitor who will check your title deeds.

Card copyright

I write poetry and make greeting cards.  I would like to make cards with my own words to sell, and would like to know how to go about getting copyright, since one day I would like them published in a book.  CP

Your poetry is your intellectual property, over which you have rights both
before and after you market it.  As long as you can prove that you wrote it
you can take legal action to prevent anyone copying it, distributing it or
selling it for commercial gain. 

In order to prove that you were the author,
and to establish the date on which you wrote the poetry, you could lodge
copies with your bank or solicitor.  Failing that, post copies to yourself so
that the envelope acquires a date stamp, and keep the unopened envelope
somewhere safe.

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