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Property Right of Access Issue with Neighbour

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by Bokvis, 27 Apr 2021.

  1. Bokvis

    Bokvis

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    Hello

    We owned a property for 11 years that had a very large rear garden. Prior to selling the property we subdivided keeping a fair size plot.

    We have a double gate leading to a single gate into the neighbour on the boundary. Never once during the time we owned the house for 11 years did our neighbour ever use the pedestrian gate until the day we moved.

    We have someone clear the plot twice a year, however our ex neighbour mows a strip of land to the double gate every month.

    A couple of points
    - old drawings allow them access across our land to an ancient long since gone unused well.
    - they built an extension that effectively landlocked any vehicle access to their rear garden
    - For them to access the right of way they have to go onto the main road and into our property and then back into their own ....does not compute

    We are more than happy for them to have access, but we believe they are mowing the lawn every month for I think it is 10 years to prove they have provided upkeep - with the hope of claiming the access f.o.c even though it runs across our plot

    Apparently the previous owner promised to sell the strip to them for vehicle access - but we declined when approached as they have a lot of vehicles including motorbikes and the garages are located next to the house....in which we no longer live. Still not fair on the people that purchased it though

    I have gone to the council planning office who cannot help or advice as they say it is a civil matter

    As stated, we have no problem using the access....which they never do, just mow the grass

    I am thinking to lay either paving slabs or gravel so this will effectively stop them from mowing and the potential threat of them claiming this section of land for their own use

    Does anyone know if there are any laws against laying paving or a gravel pathway ....which would not only improve the access they never use but also stop them mowing the law to try get the land

    very long-winded, so apologies. As you can see, these neighbours were very special and so glad we moved

    many thanks for any advice
     
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  3. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Before they can make a claim, they have to have had exclusive access to land without the owner noticing / complaining - in other words, they would have needed to have denied you access and you to have done nothing about it. Them getting away for many years, with having fenced it in would be enough. I doubt there maintaining it by mowing would help their claim in the slightest, but they certainly don't have the right to mow it without your express permission. The law has been tightened up even more recently on 'adverse possession'.
     
  4. mrrusty

    mrrusty

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    Is this about right of access? or about adverse possession? If they have a right of access described on deeds or land register, then they have access. The right does not disappear through lack of use. Neither party has an obligation to maintain it, but either party can. The owner of the land that has the right of way over it, cannot block it, or prevent its use. My understanding is if they have a right of access over a plot of land it is then impossible to claim adverse possession of it.

    Some specialists in this subject on the gardenlaw forum.
     
  5. Bokvis

    Bokvis

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    Thank you very much. No we have not complained, as we don’t have a problem with them using it ....only they don’t

    They have not fenced off the area - maybe we should just gravel it or put a path in - then they have no excuse to assume because they are maintaining it they think they have a right to claim adverse possession

    The cost is not much and would solve a pending problem - and we would just argue we are improving their access

    fun and games ....

    thank you again for your advise and all the best
     
  6. sxturbo

    sxturbo

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    I presume as you have split your ex garden you are planning to do something with this plot of land, maybe build on it?

    What would this impose on your neighbors right of access? Maybe you wish to stop his access so you can get on with doing something with the land.
     
  7. Bokvis

    Bokvis

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    We would like to get planning permission for a house, but this would not stop their access at all - it would remain just as is in the same place.

    as mentioned, we have no problem using it .... they just don’t as it is easier and quicker for them to walk through their own property.

    Their main reason behind it we can only assume is to try and get hold of the section by any means possible to gain access to the rear of their property and garages as they stupidly build an extension blocking their own access
     
  8. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Perhaps they just want it to look tidy. :rolleyes:

    Lots of people who live in semis or terraces cut their adjacent neighbour's grass to keep things tidy and that does not mean they can or want to take over the land. Some people cut the council's grass verge at the front too for the same reason.
     
  9. mrrusty

    mrrusty

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    What is the wording on your register? many rights of way are for any use on foot or with carts and vehicles. If it says anything like this, they have vehicle access already, although if it's to a well it might not be much use...
     
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  11. mattylad

    mattylad

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    What exactly do the deeds say?
    If they have a right of access to walk from their land on yours to use a well and that well is no longer in use then the access has no point so their use of it would be contrary to the deeds.

    It all depends what it says on the deeds.
     
  12. wgt52

    wgt52

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    Me thinks; you need the original (paper) deeds, as well as the latest Land Registry plan. With those in hand you need advise from a property lawyer.
    Your words read as if what they have done is maintained a Right of Way since you refused to sell out of spite.
    Is/was the Well on your property or somewhere other?
    is the Right of Way to the well or access to the Public Highway also? That should be on the deeds.
     
  13. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    That assumes that the deeds accept that the well may cease to be used. If the deeds grant access in perpetuity then even if the well is filled in the right of access to where the well was remains in place for ever. The reasoning is that someone may wish to ( try to ) re-instate the well to working order at some time in the future.
     
  14. charliegolf

    charliegolf

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    Perpetuity Period.png
    Strangely, I have recently seen a register entry with a covenant 'in perpetuity' which is referenced to be 80 years. So, forever isn't always forever. Like a life sentence isn't.
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2021
  15. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    I have seen documents where "perpetuity" has been defined as being 999 years
     
  16. jeds

    jeds

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    It's a bit hazy in my mind now but going back to Uni; 'stage iii property law' (double period lecture Tuesday PMs.) I think the perpetuities act used to specify a period of 80 years.
     
  17. IT Minion

    IT Minion

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    So, let me get this straight. There's a grassy access route that you own but that your neighbour has permission to use for access. They maliciously mow it twice a month, which you believe means they're going to try claiming adverse possession and take it from you.

    Is there anything more concrete that leads to these concerns?
     
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