Q. When we purchased our campo property in the year 2000, we were advised that the short section of track for access to the property was no problem, Although we do not own it, we have used it for the last 14 years. Now we have put the property up for sale and various viewers have asked to see written permission to use this track, which we do not have. We have been told that if the access/exit has been used for five years or more it cannot be closed off. How does the law stand? We do not want to lose the chance of selling the property over a dirt track only 27 metres long.
A. Please forgive me for pointing out that fourteen years ago you should have done exactly what your potential buyers are now doing, which is to establish a legal access. First, Spain’s land law says that after 10 years of usage with no comment or protest, you have established a servidumbre de paso, a right to passage. Now you can go to a lawyer and have this written up in proper legal form. But let’s suppose that you wake up tomorrow and the owner of the land is cutting a deep ditch across the track, which makes it impossible to pass. You will have to go to court to prove your right of access, with witnesses and documents and expense. You will win but it will cost you. Perhaps you should look up the owner and try to come to an agreement.