Forming an association
In modern times, it is common for a developer laying out a private road to form a company which, when all the properties in the development have been sold, will own and manage the road. The owners of the new houses will be the members and directors of the company: the developer will have no further wrote involvement in the management of the road.
Private roads constructed in earlier times - particularly during the latter part of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth - often followed a different pattern. Private roads were typically laid out by a developer with the intention that once the properties were sold the road would be adopted; that is, ownership would pass to the local authority, and there would be a permanent public right of way for all classes of traffic. It would then be the responsibility of the local authority, not residents, to look after the road.
In many cases, however, the process of adoption never took place. With the passage of time, the identity of the owner (the developer or some person to whom title passed from the developer) would be forgotten. Residents would have to look after the road themselves, since there was no one else to do it, even though they have no legal title to it.
Many older private roads are in this position today. In order to look after the road, and exercise control over it, it is necessary for residents to act collectively, forming either an association or a company in order to do so.
Our Starter Pack provides assistance to residents who wish to form an association or company. It includes a copy of our book, and model articles of association for a company and rules for an unincorporated association.