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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H02M08S

Claire owns a large parcel of land with two fields, each containing a house. The first house ("Meadow House") is accessed by a driveway running through the field of the second house ("Hill House"). Claire sells the field with Hill House to John, who can access it directly from the highway. Years later, Claire sells the field with Meadow House to David, who claims to have an implied easement to use the driveway through John’s field to access the highway. Which of the following statements best describes the legal position?

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David does not have the benefit of an implied easement to use the driveway, unless there is a case of necessity. While an implied easement can be acquired under the rule in Wheeldon v Burrows, this rule applies only to implied grants and not to implied reservations. Implied reservation of an easement over the land sold for the benefit of the retained land is only applicable in exceptional cases such as easements of necessity. The timing of the dispositions is crucial when considering the applicability of this type of implied acquisition. 


Key Point: Implied easements under the rule in Wheeldon v Burrows apply to implied grants and not to implied reservations. An implied easement by necessity can be claimed if there is no other way to access the property.

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