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Neighbours being unreasonable?

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by Clovers888, 9 Aug 2021.

  1. Clovers888

    Clovers888

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    Hello!

    I own a house that is end of terrace (but not end of the street) with an alley between myself and the next house, my neighbour. I've double checked land registry and the line of ownership shows approx 1/2 of the alley. The neighbour has referred to it as a shared alley; it's not as I own half and so do they. They store bins etc on their side then actually use my side to drag their bins to the street each week, going through the 1 gate (that I own) to do so. I've never stopped them or said they can't.

    I am getting some building work done and the neighbour is asking for us to guarantee access in the side alley to be maintained at all times. Our builders will only work within our boundaries.

    Should I need to erect scaffolding within my boundaries (i.e. my side of the alley) can they prevent this?
     
    Last edited: 9 Aug 2021
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  3. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    I believe if it is a shared alleyway then neither of you are entitled to block it?
    Or store items on it?
     
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  4. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    What is all this nonsense, "your half and my half"? It's a shared alley with joint rights of passage.

    But no, you can't use your half to block their use of your half to drag their bins through your gate to the side of the councils' street. But you could if you start being a bit more adult about things and agree something beyond the "this is my little bit of land" mentality.

    I'd like to see your builders work solely on your half of the alley and walk on your half of the alley carrying their stuff only on your half of the alley.
     
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  5. mattylad

    mattylad

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    Perhaps your neighbours can move their bins elsewhere for the duration so that your workers can use your half exclusively without risking any harm to the neighbour as it will be a building site.

    Even though it may be a shared alleyway (does it actually say so in your deeds?) you can require them to not use it when you have essential maintenance going on.
     
  6. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Not without their agreement, or if need be without compensating them for their diminution of value/rights for their loss of use.
     
  7. Clovers888

    Clovers888

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    Understandably it would be easier if the neighbour was amicable but he’s not. He won’t even say good morning. Anyway, beside that point.

    I’ve not had any issue when things have been stored and his workmen have used the alley to access his property.

    I’ll just have to brief the builders to be very careful about where they walk and store things.
     
  8. Clovers888

    Clovers888

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    That’s an interesting point. I’ll double check the deed.
     
  9. mattylad

    mattylad

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    Woody, you seem to be under the impression that the neighbour has any rights to the op's part of the alley.
    They have said not.

    Either way they are entitled to maintenance and making it safe during maintenance works.
    Others can be temporarily temporarily excluded while this is going on.

    It is on the neighbour to prove otherwise and that they have a right over the land in question.
     
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  11. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    You can't shimmy up half an alleyway!

    The OP may well have his boundary down the centre, but the neighbour will have implied or explicit rights to use it and tread across the boundary.

    By the OPs and your reckoning, a wall or fence could be built on the boundary, or even a toll both at the entrance, with no comeback form the neighbour.
     
  12. clifford1

    clifford1

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    The problem appears to be where to put the scaffolding. It sounds as if the scaffolding is to provide access for work on the inner wall of the passageway, rather than simply uprights to support scaffolding along the front and back of the house? If so, then the scaffolding clearly has to be set back a working distance from the wall being worked on, but putting the uprights on the OP's "half" has the effect of obstructing the passageway for both users.

    Isn't the answer to put the uprights on the neighbours' side, close to their wall, and then neither owner will be obstructed? This is a commonplace arrangement in shopping streets - pedestrians simply walk down the normal pavement, underneath planking that completely spans the gap as a precaution against falling items.
     
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  13. johnny2007

    johnny2007

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    There was an episode of neighbour from hell in which a woman tried to enforce her right to litter an alleyway which half belonged to her with lots of plants.
    The "neighbour from hell" built a fence on his boundary, halfway along the alley and the poor woman couldn't drive through anymore.
    Nothing could be done because the deeds didn't specify right of vehicle access.
    Possibly this could've been resolved amicably, but the woman was all about her rights and screw the "neighbour from hell".
     
  14. mrrusty

    mrrusty

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    Ownership and access rights are two completely different things. Quite likely ownership is down the middle, and almost certainly both parties have access rights over the full width of the access - either through what is written on deeds or through long term prescriptive rights - the alleys and back passages were there for delivering coal, removing night soil etc. Neither party can permanently block the full width of the alley, except of course necessary maintenance has to happen, so you work out an arrangement that is the best compromise.
     
  15. A useful start might be to show the neighbour the build-over agreement even though it is "none of his business".
     
  16. Clovers888

    Clovers888

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    Thanks for all the feedback and conversation, all.
     
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