Private road insurance and ownership new build - pledge for help!

Hi all - 

I am making a pledge for help to anyone with private/unadopted road experience!!

I am buying a new build. All checks came back. I am concerned about the private road, which the house fronts onto and would be grateful for any advise. 

Part of the property (half) fronts onto the adopted road and part of it fronts onto the private (unadopted road) which leads to a cut de sac. There are approximately 10 houses fronting onto this road.

As a FTB, I am really struggling to understand what I am responsible for and what liabilities it comes with.

The deeds define the private road as ''shared driveway: means the driveway coloured blue forming part of the property and the corresponding adjoining or neighbouring plots giving access to and egress from the property''. Also, the deeds include the following positive covenant: ''(homeowners) to pay a fair and proper proportion of the cost from time to time of cleansing, repairing, maintaining and renewing ... the Shared Driveway and shared accessway jointly with the owner(s) from time being of any adjoining parts of the estate entitled at any time to use the same.''

I have also received the plan and the conveyance line extends towards my driveway (parking) onto the private road.

I know people will ask ... unfortunately I can't trust my solicitor (they gave misleading info several times). At this point, I am doing all the conveyancing myself.  

I have the following questions for anyone who could help:
  1. Do I own only the part of the road fronting onto my property and only the part lying within the conveyance line (property boundaries)?
  2. Will my home insurance cover me in case of any accidents happening in the private road within my boundaries (my broker told me my building insurance is unlikely to cover me)? 
  3. Can you please help me understand what insurance (against public liability risks) shall I have in place?
  4. If I take a sole unadopted road insurance, does this mean that I am effectively taking responsibility for the entire road?
I have attached the plan for your reference. The green bits is my plot. The yellow bit on the right is the adopted road. The red bits are the neighbouring plots. The blue bit on the left is the private road. You can also see the conveyance line extending around my plot.

I called an insurance company specialising in private road insurances and they told me if I take an insurance for the entire road under my name, I'm effectively taking responsibility for the entire road (even if an accident happens within the boundaries of the neighbouring plots). 

I would be really appreciative for any advise.


  • Early_Retire_FreeEarly_Retire_Free Forumite
    27 Posts
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts Photogenic

    I won’t give you advice because I’m not a lawyer but I will share my experience.

    First of all, this is potentially a very complex area so don’t try and deal with it yourself.  I know from bitter experience that failure to address potential issues properly can be very expensive.

    We have just bought a new house fronting a private road and there are two issues I was concerned about.

    Firstly, who pays for the upkeep of the road.

    Secondly, who owns the road and what happens if the owner denies access at some point in the future.

    In respect of the first point, you need to find out who is responsible for administering the upkeep.  Do they have cash reserves to pay for repairs or could your fair proportion of expense suddenly become a very large sum post sale.

    In our case, we were advised that the annual contribution was £100 but when I spoke to the resident’s association that had recently increased to £250, although I was comforted by the fact that they already had accumulated significant reserves.

    On the second point, one of the reasons the road is private and unadopted is because nobody knows who the owner is.  In this case we have insisted that the developer pay for insurance to protect us for potential future legal issues regarding access etc.  The cost of this was £1,250 and is a one off.

    Finally, it seems odd that part of the private road is within your ownership boundary.  Who has access?  It sounds like you need to insure this against potential third party claims.


    Hope that helps

    I used to be Marine_life .....but I can't connect to my old account
  • mi-keymi-key Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Are you sure the road is within your boundary? The property boundary normally stops at the pavement ( as you are not responsible for, or own the pavement or road ). How can a developer build a plot onto a road that is privately owned unless they have had permission? 

    I would get this double checked and if the developer confirms they have built onto it with the plot, ask them to take responsibility for it
  • edited 6 November 2022 at 10:19AM
    user1977user1977 Forumite
    9.9K Posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 6 November 2022 at 10:19AM
    (this might be better on the house buying board, given you're not asking anything to do with mortgages)

    If it's a new private road being constructed as part of the development, surely the future management of that is being set up by the developer - including its insurance? It wouldn't be normal for you to be arranging insurance (unless it was self-managed by all the owners collectively and you were taking on the admin).
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