• This topic has 118 replies, 68 voices, and was last updated 2 days ago by tdog.
Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 119 total)
  • Shared Access (House) Being Blocked With A Fence
  • monksie
    Member

    I’m hoping somebody here has been through this and can offer some advice.

    I’m in an end cottage with no ongoing access on my side. I am (as is everybody else on the row of 10 cottages apart from the person on the other end) reliant on everybody allowing a pathway through each other’s gardens to get the bins out if nothing else.

    There is, as I type, a gate and a fence going up on the ‘other end’ house. No prizes for guessing the combination of fence and gate. Every house on the row, apart from the ‘other end‘ house will only have access to their own gardens through their own respective houses. It’s in the deeds that this access has to remain.

    Has anybody been through similar and can advise of the quickest and/or cheapest way of getting this fixed? “Reasonable” is a foreign concept to the person doing this.

    I checked with home insurance co. They’re not interested so it looks like legal action funded by those bothered. Do we have to employ a solicitor? Can we all use to same one and share the cost? Will we get our legal costs back?

    Go round with your deeds, tell them to stop.

    Premier Icon nixie
    Subscriber

    Pretty sure a gate can be installed but that either it remains unlocked or every house is given a key/combination code. If there is an easement then I don’t think they can legally stop access. I don’t envy you having to sort it though!

    Amended, you and the other eight households go round with your deeds tell them to stop

    We had similar with a **** on the end at our old house who decided the shared access was now their drive, my neighbor and I said fine, if you’re happy with us scraping our bins and bikes down the side of your car then crack on.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    Definitely head over there en masse to make it clear that it’s out of order. If you’ve already done that, to no avail, then it’s a solicitor job.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Premier Icon willard
    Subscriber

    Pitchforks... At dawn

    Premier Icon scuttler
    Subscriber

    And if any of your neighbours are too spineless to get involved directly intially, involve them by proxy. Use the term ‘we’, not ‘I’ whilst waving up and down the row of cottages. They’ll thank you in the end and you’ll get loads of Christmas presents and BBQ invites.

    Premier Icon ads678
    Subscriber

    You don’t need legal action, you just need to tell him to stop or leave the gate unlocked. If he doesn’t stop or locks the gate, bum his dog with bombers whilst weeing in his wifes shoes.

    monksie
    Member

    This is a fight I could do without. Consultation and Fire And Hire is being waved around like a Bhudist prayer flag. I could be very skint in 6 months if the cards fall against me.

    No joy on the “Please don’t do this. It will cost us all time, money and aggrivation just to end up with two gates, not one and the same access we all had yesterday”.

    “If you throw a pebble into the pond, it will cause ripples”, a shrug of the shoulders and a closing of the door. Mint!…..

    Lots of curtain twitching along the row and I suspect “Charlie” will be round in a minute to see how I got on.

    Can we get our (or I suspect my) money back if this gets legal people involved?

    Jakester
    Member

    Injunction to restrain interference with your right of way constituting a nuisance. If, as you say, it’s registered against the title of the relevant houses (i.e. your right to pass over the servient tenement – their land) then the easiest way would be to go to a decent property litigation solicitor and ask for a letter before action. The threat of costs should get the stubborn home owner to back down – costs for an interim injunction are likely to be in excess of £20k…

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Subscriber

    Hammer frozen dogs into his lawn.

    Onzadog
    Member

    If all else fails.

    If they lock it, and they might not, remove their lock to ensure you maintain your right of access.

    Battery angle grinders are fun!

    They might not be aware of your legal right to access. Even if you didn’t have it covered in the deeds, I think these some rule about having unchallenged access prior for so many years.

    Jakester
    Member

    Can we get our (or I suspect my) money back if this gets legal people involved?

    Usual rules are loser pays the winner’s costs, but even if entirely successful you usually only recover between 60% and 80% of your overall costs. If the loser’s conduct is particularly bad, then you may get more, but never more than 90% IME.

    monksie
    Member

    To be clear, locking of the gate will be immaterial. There’s going to be a 6 foot fence on “our side”.

    Sometimes, I really hate people….

    They are very aware that what they’re doing is illegal. Joyce next door heard the joiner tellling them they have to allow access and the very same joiner now doing the work is keeping his head very much down through fear, I suspect that his job may come to a very sudden end.

    Premier Icon 136stu
    Subscriber

    All speak to him and show him he is wrong. If that fails jointly write to him and show him he is wrong, threatening legal action. If that fails get all neighbours to check home insurance policies for legal protection cover then go legal via that route.

    In the meantime, if you are brave just pull the fence (or part of it) down. The police wont intervene as its a civil matter. The exception here is if fisticuffs ensue, in which case have someone filming it and dont strike first.

    It will be stressful so buy beer!

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Subscriber

    Battery angle grinders are fun!

    As are battery chainsaws. Make your own gate.

    monksie
    Member

    I’ve been interneting. Sawing it is criminal damage. I would love him to take a swing at me. I will very definitely be giving him a week off on bed rest if it comes to that. I had to keep my hands in my pockets when I went round.

    Oh dear…..

    Premier Icon RichPenny
    Subscriber

    Put up your own fence just the other side of his gate. With a gate that you and your neighbours have a key for.

    Premier Icon 136stu
    Subscriber

    Fences fall over all the time!

    BruceWee
    Member

    Put up your own fence just the other side of his gate. With a gate that you and your neighbours have a key for.

    Or just install your own lock on ‘his’ gate. If it’s illegal for you to saw down his fence then presumably it’s illegal for him to cut your lock off.

    Onzadog
    Member

    Is it a hired company that’s installing it? Is it worth a call to their MD? Possibly not the first time they’ve been involved in this.

    I wonder if they are happy to erect a fence where they don’t have a legal right to.

    Onzadog
    Member

    Assuming you’ve shown him your deeds, ask if your right of access is mentioned on his. Could be a genuine mistake that will need sorting out by lawyers, or it might make it clear to him if he has no leg to stand on.

    Or get on land registry and get a copy of his deeds. They’ll inform him that you have but that might also make him realise you’re serious.

    You need to knock on everyones door and insist that they back you up. Tell him you’ll stick a saw through it if you need to. He’ll be laughing at threats of legal action, what are you going to do with your bins in the six weeks it takes to get to small claims or whatever?

    Premier Icon fossy
    Subscriber

    Leave all your bins on the other side of the fence next to his house – no point having bins if you can’t get them out.

    Premier Icon falkirk-mark
    Subscriber

    Bruce wee has it

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    Is the fence going up between numbers 9 and 10 (where 10 is the end property and 9 in their neighbour) or between 10 and the outside world? i.e. is he blocking the world from all your gardens including his or 9 of you from access across his? Or is it a fence between 9 and 10 and a gate to 10 from the outside world?

    It is worth fighting it – no access to a backgraden apart from through the house long term would be a significant deal breaker for most looking to buy your house.

    monksie
    Member

    He’s blocking 9 of us in while he has gated access to his own garden.
    Fossy’s idea might be a good short term option but I can’t see it fixing the problem long term. I suspect my bins will get relocated in a neighbouring county or even a waste skip…or both.
    My bikes will need be taken through the house too

    Premier Icon alpin
    Subscriber

    Put up your own fence just the other side of his gate. With a gate that you and your neighbours have a key for.

    As per the other poster.

    Stick your own lock on there. Preferably something that can’t be cut, snapped or opened so easily.

    Or, when they’re on holiday pull the fence down (with other neighbours consent) and blame the localised high winds /mini tornado.

    Recently had a neighbour putting up benches under our window in the communal garden (and this after complaining to the property management Co that someone had planted a vege patch that they subsequently had to remove). I went round and kicked the legs of the benches and blamed his poor workmanship. A few days later I took the timber to the tip.

    wzzzz
    Member

    Nightmare. Never buy a house with access like this…. too late.

    If you go legal and it costs £20k, yeah you might be awarded some of that back, but that assumes they have that kind of money.

    Letter before action worthwhile. Every neighbour should knock on their door every single day to remind them.

    Looks like you are gonna have to take it in turns to keep cutting the fence down until they get the message.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    You have my sympathies fella. I can’t be doing this sort of pointless stupidity.

    Is he new to the street?

    Premier Icon NewRetroTom
    Subscriber

    Get a letter signed by all 9 residents who he is causing a problem for making it clear that the fence is unacceptable.
    If that doesn’t work then get lawyers involved.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    Shirley the solution, is that he fences off his garden in such a way that it leaves access at the back for everyone else.

    So either a gate in both fences or enclose his garden on three sides with enough space for access behind the rear fence.

    If he genuinely knows that an easement exists and is fencing off his garden anyway then he’s an idiot as well an arsehole as he’ll just need to pay more money rectify it later.

    Folk are bloody weird

    Premier Icon csb
    Subscriber

    Tricky. Mate has a communal lane behind his garden that some homeowners have blocked and taken as garden. So now there are 50/50 who want the lane and don’t want it. Shouldnt matter really if only 1 wants it retained, jointly and severally entitled to it.

    I’d be telling the fencing guy he is complicit in infringing a right of access and he should stop or be dragged into the case.

    Premier Icon peekay
    Subscriber

    Do any of the nine other properties have an indemnity policy for access to the rear?

    Often if they have bought a house with easements for access then their solicitor would have asked the sellers to provide a policy.

    Premier Icon ads678
    Subscriber

    Have you tried contacting the council?

    I would literally stand in the way so the joiner couldn’t put the fence up.

    Premier Icon singletrackmind
    Subscriber

    I have similar. I own the land but there is an access road over it to my nighbours property
    He wants it to be a free for all, first come, first served parking arrangement
    Telling his chavtastic kids to move ofc my land, cctv, and a plethora of gawdy signs has temporarily reminded him thathim, his spawn and any contractor working for him dont get free parking, blocking in my garages

    I nearly went legal. Was quote 190 an hour for working on letters, quoting deeds. 190 buys s metric f ton of signage off ebay
    Looks shocking but at least i can drive up to my garage hassle free

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    It’s in the deeds that this access has to remain.

    For what purpose?

    I had a lower ground flat where I could only access the side alley for “maintenance”.
    In theory, I wasn’t allowed to have my bin or bike in the back garden and bring it round the front via the alley.

    Had the upstairs owner put a lock on the gate, I could have been in a position where I’d have to ask for the key if I was getting maintenance done.

    What? To access the rear of the house, there are thousands of properties like this around the country, it’s not a problem, 99.9990% of the time. Masses of precedent of these issues being resolved legally but that’s money and grief. This chump just needs putting back in his box.

    Edit as above, have experience in this area

    Jakester
    Member

    For what purpose?

    Common wording is ‘to pass and repass’. In the absence of limiting wording – like, as you say, solely for the purposes of maintenance – then it is usually construed as being for any reasonable purpose.

    Language is also often interpreted in the context of the time it was written – so, for example, reference to ‘handbarrows’ was used to limit vehicular access along a track behind some houses, but access for ‘coaches and carts’ was deemed to allow vehicular usage as those were the common methods of transportation at the time the right was granted.

    If the OP had decided to conduct coach tours through the gardens to use his facilities in return for payment (for example) then that might constitute an unreasonable exercise of the right (so-called ‘excessive user’).

    That said, even if the wording was limited to ‘solely for use to put the bins out’, it wouldn’t allow the neighbour to restrict access.

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