MG Legal Solicitors 
Longridge: 01772 783314 Garstang: 01995 602129 Lancaster: 01524 581306 Lytham: 01253 202452  
"Conveyancer" in scrabble tiles; our
The conveyancing process involves understanding various property-related terms and concepts, one of which includes the distinction between adopted and unadopted roads. This distinction can have significant implications for homeowners and potential buyers, affecting everything from responsibility for maintenance to access rights. This blog from our Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston aims to explain these terms, providing a clear explanation of what they mean and how they can impact the conveyancing process. 

Fixed-fee Conveyancing Solicitors

MG Legal's leading Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston offer all of our Conveyancing services on a clear, fixed-fee rate.  
Our team put your first, and work with care to ensure that your wishes are met. Call us today on a free, no-obligation basis at: 01772 783314. 
Get in touch today to speak to our Conveyancing Solicitors. 

What are adopted roads? 

An adopted road, also known as a public highway, is a road maintained by the local council or another relevant governmental authority. The maintenance responsibilities for these roads, including repairs, cleaning, and lighting, fall under the jurisdiction of the public body, funded by taxpayers. From a homeowner’s or buyer’s perspective, properties accessible via adopted roads generally do not face issues related to access or the condition of the road, as these are managed by the local council. 

What are unadopted roads? 

Conversely, an unadopted road is not maintained by the local council or any governmental body. Instead, the responsibility for maintenance falls on the residents living along the road or the owner of the road, which could be a private individual, a company, or the residents themselves through a management company. The quality and upkeep of unadopted roads can vary significantly, and potential costs associated with their maintenance can become a consideration for homeowners and potential buyers. 

Implications in the Conveyancing Process 

Maintenance and Repair Costs: 

When buying a property accessed by an unadopted road, it is crucial to understand who is responsible for maintenance and to anticipate potential costs. Conveyancing Solicitors typically investigate this during the conveyancing process, by carrying out Conveyancing Searches on the instructions of the buyer clients, ensuring buyers are aware of any obligations. 

Legal Access: 

Ensuring legal access to the property via the road is another key consideration. Your conveyancing solicitor will check the property’s title deeds or related documents to confirm that there are appropriate rights of access over the unadopted road. 


Sometimes, properties on unadopted roads may face higher insurance premiums due to perceived increased risks, such as poor road maintenance affecting emergency vehicle access. It’s advisable to obtain insurance quotes early in the buying process. 

Lending Issues: 

Some mortgage lenders may be hesitant to lend on properties accessed by unadopted roads due to concerns over access and maintenance. However, this can often be mitigated by ensuring that adequate legal rights of access are in place and that there’s a clear understanding of maintenance responsibilities. 

Why choose MG Legal Solicitors? 

No hidden fees.

Transparent fees. 

Our solicitors offer their services on a clear fixed-fee or hourly rate, and accept personal injury claims on a no win no fee basis. 
We are the experts

We are the experts. 

Here at MG Legal, our team of friendly solicitors are fully-qualified and have over thirty years' experience in helping clients just like you. 
Regular Communication

Regular communication. 

When you work with MG Legal, your solicitor will be in regular contact so you have step-by-step updates. 
Multiple Office locations.

Multiple office locations. 

If you are looking to instruct our solicitors, we have offices in Garstang, Longridge, Lancaster and Lytham for your convenience. 

How to Deal with Unadopted Roads 

Indemnity Insurance: 

In some cases, indemnity insurance might be recommended to cover potential costs arising from access issues or responsibility for road maintenance. This can provide peace of mind to both buyers and lenders. 

Contribution Agreements: 

Where maintenance is shared among residents, it’s beneficial to have formal agreements in place detailing each party’s contribution to costs. This helps ensure fair and predictable handling of maintenance responsibilities. 

Adoption by Local Authority: 

In rare instances, residents may pursue having an unadopted road adopted by the local council, although this can be a lengthy and potentially costly process, with the road needing to meet certain standards set by the council. 
Understanding the distinction between adopted and unadopted roads is crucial in the conveyancing process, impacting both the responsibilities and costs for homeowners. By thoroughly investigating these aspects, with the help of skilled conveyancing solicitors in Preston, buyers can make informed decisions and prepare for any obligations associated with their new home. Awareness and proper planning can mitigate the potential challenges posed by unadopted roads, ensuring a smoother transition to your new property. 
For a quote from our CQS-accredited, SRA regulated Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston, contact our team here, or call 01772 783 314. All our Conveyancing fees are charged on a fixed-fee basis. Get your quote, here

Why choose MG Legal, Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston? 

Clear, fixed-fees 

Fully-Qualified Conveyancing Solicitors 

Tailored Service 

Multiple Office Locations 

Decades of Experience 

Home Visits 

Share this post:

Leave a comment: 


Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings