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Unclear Wording on Property Access Rights Leads to Court of Appeal

Many court battles arise because of a lack of clarity in documentation which leaves an agreement capable of being interpreted in more than one way.

A recent case, which involved a landowner's access to his property, illustrates this point. The conveyance which transferred the property to him gave him the right to access his land at any point from his neighbour's land.

When his neighbour wished to build a fence with a single opening in it, the man went to court claiming that to do so would constitute an interference with his legal rights of access to his property as granted to him in the conveyance.

The argument went all the way to the Court of Appeal, which agreed that the wording of the conveyance was unclear and that, in the circumstances, a limitation on the landowner's ability to access his own land would constitute an 'actionable interference'.

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