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  • FIRST POST
    • Skutter47
    • By Skutter47 2nd Oct 17, 11:45 AM
    • 9Posts
    • 22Thanks
    Skutter47
    Neighbour constantly trespassing in yard, claims right of way.
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:45 AM
    Neighbour constantly trespassing in yard, claims right of way. 2nd Oct 17 at 11:45 AM
    Hi All,

    My neighbours have a back door that opens into my privately owned yard, one member of the household constantly ignores our polite requests (both verbal and written) to respect our privacy and not use our back yard for access to their house, further they deliberately leave the back gate to our yard open, simply to annoy us. They have a front door, and thus no easement of neccessity to use the yard as access. It is only one visitor to the household, all the others are happy to respect our rights, but their mother refuses and wanders through our yard whenever she visits them, which is often. The arrogance of it is upsetting, as we have asked for no more than our private property to be respected, which is perfectly reasonable.

    I have inspected both the title register and plan to their property, it makes no mention at all of any right of way over any neighbouring property, and no specific mention of the back yard at all. Their title plan shows a red outline of their property, and no other markings at all.

    Our title register and title plan also make no mention of any right of way and show no other markings other than the property boundaries.

    There are two flats in my building, we share the freehold, and the lease states that neither of us may allow anybody to establish a right of way over the property. Neither of us wish them to use the yard.

    I am confident that neither the owners nor the tenants have a right of way over the property.

    I wish to make certain that no easement by prescription be established over time, and to simply lock the back gate with a padlock and put up a sign stating it is private. My thinking is that this would mean they would have to use legal "force" to enter the back garden, by breaking the lock or scaling the wall and ignoring the sign.

    Do you concur? Any other advice? Any pitfalls to this approach?
Page 1
    • mailmannz
    • By mailmannz 2nd Oct 17, 11:59 AM
    • 207 Posts
    • 90 Thanks
    mailmannz
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:59 AM
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:59 AM
    Lock your gate so she can't come in?
    • Rambosmum
    • By Rambosmum 2nd Oct 17, 12:00 PM
    • 1,477 Posts
    • 1,931 Thanks
    Rambosmum
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:00 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:00 PM
    I'd have had a padlock on it months ago!


    If they want access, they'll have to shows rights to it. If they break the lock, they'll be committing criminal damage, trespass and b&e.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 2nd Oct 17, 12:04 PM
    • 5,931 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:04 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:04 PM
    If they have a door leading directly into the yard, that suggests they've got some sort of right to go through the door! What's your understanding of the rights they do have to enter your yard?
    • Ithaca
    • By Ithaca 2nd Oct 17, 12:12 PM
    • 217 Posts
    • 232 Thanks
    Ithaca
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:12 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:12 PM
    An MS Paint pic would help to visualise, but is there anything stopping you putting a fence up 1ft from their back door?
    • Skutter47
    • By Skutter47 2nd Oct 17, 12:13 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Skutter47
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:13 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:13 PM
    They have a few steps outside their back door which are their property, everything beyond is mine. The title register and plans show no right of way over my property at all.

    It's my understanding that if it is not mentioned in the title register or title plan of either property, then no right of way exists.

    If anybody knows any differently, I would appreciate opinions on that.
    • Skutter47
    • By Skutter47 2nd Oct 17, 12:14 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Skutter47
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:14 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:14 PM
    Well Ithaca, that's the kind of thing I am worried about, presumably they have the right to escape out of the back door in the event of a fire, I would obviously not have any qualms about that, and do not wish to do anything illegal and dangerous, I just wish to prevent them from wandering through my garden whenever they feel like it.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 2nd Oct 17, 12:21 PM
    • 13,651 Posts
    • 37,108 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:21 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:21 PM
    Another vote for "just lock it".

    You might be at risk of her creating a prescriptive easement if you just leave it.

    Sooner you put that lock on the better. Then you'll be safe from that risk and she won't be able to enjoy winding you up any longer. Yes - characters like that do derive some sort of perverse enjoyment from doing things like that trying to wind people up (gawdknowswhy but they do). I guess it's some sort of "power game"?
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 02-10-2017 at 12:23 PM.
    #MeToo
    • G_M
    • By G_M 2nd Oct 17, 12:24 PM
    • 41,450 Posts
    • 47,816 Thanks
    G_M
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:24 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:24 PM
    Hefty padlock.

    They clearly have a right to exit their back door to access the 'few steps' which are part of their property.

    And I'm sure you would not begrudge them trespassing further into your yard in the case of a fire.

    But using your yard for other purposes (going to/fro) is not acceptable.

    Either just padlock the gate, or padlock the gate and write them a polite letter explaining.

    If the padlock/gate gets broken, call the police (not 999......!)
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 2nd Oct 17, 12:26 PM
    • 5,269 Posts
    • 4,907 Thanks
    eddddy
    My neighbours have a back door that opens into my privately owned yard, one member of the household constantly ignores our polite requests (both verbal and written)...
    Originally posted by Pingfah
    As a starting point, what do they say when you ask them about it?
    Do they believe they have a right of way?
    If so, what evidence do they have that they have a right of way?


    If they have no credible evidence of a right of way, and you can find no evidence of a right of way, I'd just be tempted to padlock the gate.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 2nd Oct 17, 12:29 PM
    • 1,738 Posts
    • 4,692 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    Do these 'few steps' from their door lead out of your yard? If so can you not redo the fencing so they can get into that door without using your land?
    • Scotbot
    • By Scotbot 2nd Oct 17, 12:31 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    Scotbot
    Lock it then it will be up to her to prove right of way. What's wrong with their front door anyway?
    • Lysimache
    • By Lysimache 2nd Oct 17, 12:34 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    Lysimache
    Many homes have back gardens where people can get to if there's a fire without being able to go into their neighbour's garden. Just having a back door and a garden doesn't mean they can cross other gardens to get to it, especially if they have a front door.

    Fence it up/lock it up.
    • aneary
    • By aneary 2nd Oct 17, 12:36 PM
    • 611 Posts
    • 459 Thanks
    aneary
    Do these 'few steps' from their door lead out of your yard? If so can you not redo the fencing so they can get into that door without using your land?
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    New fence = £100 (maybe more)
    Padlock = £20 (for a really good one)

    I vote the padlock
    • Skutter47
    • By Skutter47 2nd Oct 17, 12:40 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Skutter47
    Thanks all. Red Squirrel, the steps lead into my yard, not out of it. They have a couple of steps, than my back yard is between them and the road. They have a front door they can use to get to the road.

    I think I will just padlock it then, thanks all.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 2nd Oct 17, 12:47 PM
    • 41,450 Posts
    • 47,816 Thanks
    G_M
    Give us an update in a week or two.

    Be interested to hear how the neighbour reacts.........
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 2nd Oct 17, 12:51 PM
    • 1,738 Posts
    • 4,692 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    New fence = £100 (maybe more)
    Padlock = £20 (for a really good one)

    I vote the padlock
    Originally posted by aneary
    Depends if they keep breaking the padlock, or the gate, it could add up!

    Sounds like its not an option, although its really hard to imagine a property having a door where the inhabitants only have the right to open the door and stand on the step not to actually use it as an entrance/exit. Surely even if it were just as a fire escape that would be documented somewhere?
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 2nd Oct 17, 12:55 PM
    • 5,931 Posts
    • 5,688 Thanks
    davidmcn
    Sounds like its not an option, although its really hard to imagine a property having a door where the inhabitants only have the right to open the door and stand on the step not to actually use it as an entrance/exit. Surely even if it were just as a fire escape that would be documented somewhere?
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Indeed, this is what I can't understand either - assuming the door isn't a recent addition then surely the neighbours will have acquired some sort of right to use the yard.
    • Skutter47
    • By Skutter47 2nd Oct 17, 1:40 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Skutter47
    I understand why it might seem like that, but rights of way don't just exist, they must be documented. They are unable to produce any evidence that shows they have a right of way over the land. It is my understanding that it isn't up to us to prove they don't, they must prove that they do.

    I have the Title Register to their property, and mine, and neither mention any right of way over our land.

    Further, they can have no easement of neccessity, because they can access the same road from their front door. She only walks through the yard to annoy us and purposefully invade our privacy, and she's doing it more now because we had the temerity to politely ask her to respect our privacy.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 2nd Oct 17, 1:43 PM
    • 41,450 Posts
    • 47,816 Thanks
    G_M
    Since the Title Plans of the the two properties clearly (apparantly) show the boundary being 'a few steps' into the yard, and the rest of the yard falling within the OP's property, it is for the neighbour to prove a ROW exists across the land belonging to the OP.
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