Property clinic: I have an issue over a shared driveway

Your property query answered

Two houses, one driveway: the term “shared driveway”, while correct, is open to misinterpretation

Q. I am currently in the process of purchasing a property. The property comes with a shared driveway. I have a slight issue regarding the two maps provided by the vendor. The two maps provided are as follows:

1. Official property registration map

2. Coloured lease map

Both of these maps are attached to this email. I notice there are several discrepancies between both maps, eg site walls within the shared driveway.


I have attached a screen shot of the wall in question. The screen shot was taken from the property registration map. Would it be possible for you to review this and shed some light on the issues listed below?

1. Is the hatched area belonging to number 56 or is it shared by both adjacent properties?

2. Can the wall highlighted in yellow be moved without planning permission/permission from other property owner?

3. In legal terms, which map takes precedence over the other?

A. The maps supplied show a shared driveway of uniform width located between the two houses. It extends from the public road/footpath and terminates behind the line of the rear walls of the houses.

The term “shared driveway”, while correct, is open to misinterpretation. The usual situation, unless determined otherwise by the conveyance or lease, is that the legal boundary between the two properties runs along the centre of the driveway and each titleholder’s property extends accordingly to the centre of the driveway. Each has a right of way over the part of the driveway in the ownership of the other party as defined by the deed map. This is the situation in your case.

The shared driveway should be used as intended and determined by the deed, that is, for the clear and unobstructed passage by both parties, from the public road to their respective gardens and/or garages at the rear. Its entire extent should therefore be kept free from car parking, bin storage or any such obstruction.

In reply to your questions, I will commence with question 3 (Q3), as the reply substantially determines the replies to Q1 and Q2.

Q3. The lease map is a deed map, which is the definitive map and therefore takes preference over the Property Registration Authority (PRA)/Land Registry map.

Q1. The area shown hatched on the PRA map screen shot is entirely in the ownership of the titleholder in No 56. This area is not included in the area coloured blue on the deed map which defines the portion of No 56 which is subject to a right of way.

Q2. The wall highlighted in yellow is located entirely on premises No 56 and can therefore be removed without the permission of the owner of No 58. Permission to remove it is not required from the planning authority unless it is a condition of the planning permission. It is however the usual practice to have a wall, fence or gate at the end of a shared driveway to separate and/or protect property from the shared driveway which is open to the public road.

While the deed map is the definitive map it is advisable to ensure that the rights of way concerned are registered on the Land Registry (PRA) folio and shown accordingly on the registry map as, unlike the deed map, these are available to the public.

Patrick Shine is a chartered geomatics surveyor, a chartered engineer, and a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (