If you are considering selling or purchasing a property and the road fronting the property is unadopted, it is important to consider the matters that may affect the viability of purchasing or selling such property.

What is an unadopted road?

An unadopted road is not adequately maintained by the highway authority under the Highways Act 1980. Councils are under no obligation to carry out repairs on private streets, even if the public has a right of access.

Private roads, footways and footpaths can be adopted by the relevant local authority if they are brought up to the council’s adoption standard which may include having to improve the pavements, kerbs or lighting. This can be a considerable cost to all relevant property owners.

For most unadopted roads, footways and footpaths the duty to maintain them falls to the owners of the property fronting that part of the road and/or surrounding residents.

If repairs are not made, private roads can fall into serious disrepair, with related problems arising (i.e. flooding). Residents with properties neighbouring the unadopted roads, footways and footpaths may also need to organise insurance cover, as large bills can ensue if accidents occur, and a claim is issued. It should also be noted that residents of unadopted streets will often still need to pay full council tax.

Looking to purchase or sell a property fronting an unadopted road?

If you are concerned about selling or purchasing a property that has an unadopted road fronting the property, then you will be pleased to know that we have experience in dealing with the sales and purchases of properties with unadopted road issues. Feel free to contact us on 0161 870 6629 and a member of our highly trained and skilled legal team would be more than happy to assist.