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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 3
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 2nd Oct 17, 7:32 PM
    • 60,962 Posts
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    PasturesNew
    You need to get the documents in front of the neighbour and prove/disprove any rights to pass over the land.

    Many people think/assume that their version of what's theirs is the only version. Just the other night on Neighbours from Hell there were two flats, the lady downstairs had the whole back garden; upstairs a dippy couple saw it and decided that it should be theirs too, to share - and started making her life hell.

    Even though Camden Council, who own both flats, categorically stated that the garden was for the sole use of the downstairs flat, the upstairs dippy mare was filmed staring whistfully out of the window at the garden saying "we've been walking round garden centres dreaming and imagining what we could put there".... they absolutely refused to accept that wanting something to be so doesn't make it so.

    Maybe your neighbours are dippy - there are a lot of dippy people about .... they make assumptions and believe their own made up versions.

    Nail it!

    People need to learn that they can't just help themselves to the land of others because they think they should be able to... for whatever warped thinking they possess. Many people are simply too thick to ever read their deeds/covenants, restrictions etc and understand them ... and they just assume stuff.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 02-10-2017 at 7:37 PM.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 2nd Oct 17, 7:40 PM
    • 5,348 Posts
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    iammumtoone
    Do the new neighbours own or rent?

    If they are owners they should have raised this point with their solicitor to check. If they didn't tough lock the gate.

    If they rent I have some sympathy to them I can see why they think they have a ROW as there is a door there and they wouldn't have had anyone to check with (they may have asked the agent, who may have lied but thats not your problem - they need to take it up with agent/landlord). Still they can't trespass and along with locking the gate I would be writing to the agent/landlord to explain the situation.
    Last edited by iammumtoone; 02-10-2017 at 7:43 PM.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 2nd Oct 17, 8:28 PM
    • 14,203 Posts
    • 38,503 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention

    People need to learn that they can't just help themselves to the land of others because they think they should be able to... for whatever warped thinking they possess. Many people are simply too thick to ever read their deeds/covenants, restrictions etc and understand them ... and they just assume stuff.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Not so much "warped thinking" Pastures - more that some people tell themselves that something is theirs just because they want it to be so. It's illogical thinking to do so - but there's a heck of a lot of that about

    Some people do ignore the fact that "if it aint written down as yours = it aint yours" basically. Others know very well that "desired object" isnt theirs - but are hoping you don't know that and/or can be intimidated into letting them have things that aren't theirs by rights.
    #MeToo

    Ain't neva gonna learn to be a good "woman"
    • Skutter47
    • By Skutter47 2nd Oct 17, 8:33 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Skutter47
    They own their property, not rent.

    To be clear, I am the joint freeholder of the land, I also have a back door onto the yard and even I do not have a right of way. I am quite certain of this as I asked my solicitor to check when I bought the flat, and I have seen all the relevant documents pertaining to our own shared property I don't walk through her yard myself, despite having her permission, because I am not a !!!!, and I respect her privacy.

    I'm just trying to help the lady out as she is very distressed about people trespassing, and wandering past her open back door. They are also littering and leaving things lying around her yard, both of which are certainly illegal whether they have a right of way or not.
    Last edited by Skutter47; 02-10-2017 at 8:37 PM.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 2nd Oct 17, 8:50 PM
    • 5,348 Posts
    • 11,005 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    You can lock the gate but it does seem like you may have trouble with the litter

    They can stand on their step not trespassing and still throw litter onto the yard, you will have to see what happens when access is blocked.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 2nd Oct 17, 9:09 PM
    • 757 Posts
    • 268 Thanks
    sevenhills
    I'm just trying to help the lady out as she is very distressed about people trespassing, and wandering past her open back door. They are also littering and leaving things lying around her yard, both of which are certainly illegal whether they have a right of way or not.
    Originally posted by Pingfah
    Most likely blown by the wind.

    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 2nd Oct 17, 9:16 PM
    • 2,004 Posts
    • 5,519 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    They own their property, not rent.

    To be clear, I am the joint freeholder of the land, I also have a back door onto the yard and even I do not have a right of way. I am quite certain of this as I asked my solicitor to check when I bought the flat, and I have seen all the relevant documents pertaining to our own shared property I don't walk through her yard myself, despite having her permission, because I am not a !!!!, and I respect her privacy.

    I'm just trying to help the lady out as she is very distressed about people trespassing, and wandering past her open back door. They are also littering and leaving things lying around her yard, both of which are certainly illegal whether they have a right of way or not.
    Originally posted by Pingfah
    Sorry, I’m confused now as this doesn’t seem to match the original post. Who is this lady? Why do you not have a ‘ROW’ on what you referred to as your own private property? Why would you need one?
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 2nd Oct 17, 9:18 PM
    • 6,257 Posts
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    davidmcn
    The house is a terrace, their house has never been part of ours, they just have a back door into our yard, it isn't clear why. We have the full title to our property, it makes no mention of any rights of way. We only have the main extracts for their register But we have asked that if they wish to continue using it, they prove that they have a right of way, they have so far not been able to do so. If they have an easement, they have not produced it, but simply continue to trespass.

    If they can prove it, we will of course comply with the law.

    As far as the 20 years issue goes, the house was rented to multiple occupants. far too many to track down, over many years. None of whom used the back yard without permission in any regular or continuous fashion. This is why we want to act now, as the new owners have suddenly decided to help themselves to our yard, and we want to make sure no right of way is established.
    Originally posted by Pingfah
    Can you give us an idea of how long the current layout has existed? It seems improbable that doors would have been built leading into the yard without all the parties at the time accepting that there would be some of right to use the doors, I doubt there's going to be much point trying to argue the contrary. Whether there is any restriction on how far the residents can stray and whether they can use the gate is a different question.
    • Skutter47
    • By Skutter47 2nd Oct 17, 9:41 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Skutter47
    Red squirrel, both owners in this building share the freehold, myself and the person upstairs . She has the lease on the yard, it's her property. Between the two of us we are attempting to prevent people next door, who do not own or lease the land from trespassing.

    I'm involved because I own the other flat and I'm the joint freeholder of the yard. Neither her nor I wish to have people from next door wandering through the yard.

    I don't have ROW because when our house was split up, into upstairs and downstairs that's what was agreed. I don't want or need ROW and neither do they.

    David, 40 years at least. There's no mention of any rights of way in our deeds, and this is the first time it has been challenged. They have a back door to the yard, but no need to use it as their front door opens onto the same road, just round a corner.
    Last edited by Skutter47; 02-10-2017 at 9:46 PM.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 2nd Oct 17, 10:05 PM
    • 2,004 Posts
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    Red-Squirrel
    Red squirrel, both owners in this building share the freehold, myself and the person upstairs . She has the lease on the yard, it's her property. Between the two of us we are attempting to prevent people next door, who do not own or lease the land from trespassing.

    I'm involved because I own the other flat and I'm the joint freeholder of the yard. Neither her nor I wish to have people from next door wandering through the yard.

    I don't have ROW because when our house was split up, into upstairs and downstairs that's what was agreed. I don't want or need ROW and neither do they.

    David, 40 years at least. There's no mention of any rights of way in our deeds, and this is the first time it has been challenged. They have a back door to the yard, but no need to use it as their front door opens onto the same road, just round a corner.
    Originally posted by Pingfah
    So there are at least three people with doors onto this yard? Are there any more?
    Is it not in fact communal space?
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 2nd Oct 17, 10:19 PM
    • 444 Posts
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    ProDave
    I don't think any of us will ever understand the situation until the OP posts a drawing or satellite image of this yard.
    • chappers
    • By chappers 2nd Oct 17, 11:11 PM
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    chappers
    So you are saying that both you and the old lady are the freeholders and each own leases in one building, and you each have a door to the yard.
    Then a second building in separate freehold ownership has a door onto the yard too.
    If the yard and the doors are part of the original setup, I would say it's highly unlikely that both buildings don't have rights of access. I can see if your building had been split that a ROW might not have been created for your flat.
    But find it hard to believe that two separate buildings with a common yard wouldn't have had shared access or a ROW.

    I would guess that one of two things have happened;
    1) someone has in fact given away their rights to access in which case you are correct
    2)someone has cocked up a previous conveyance and say assigned a piece of land to a sole owner when they shouldn't have

    Also if the doors onto the yard and the setup with the yard is original it might be said that denying access is unreasonable as a setup as unusual as you suggest would normally have to be explicitly noted, you don't build doors into buildings which open onto land over which you have no access, nor would it be reasonable for someone to expect that when they bought a house that they couldn't use the doors to get in and out.
    Also just because you can't find record of something in the current documents doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    How old do you reckon the properties are?
    • bris
    • By bris 3rd Oct 17, 12:15 AM
    • 7,089 Posts
    • 6,105 Thanks
    bris

    David, 40 years at least. There's no mention of any rights of way in our deeds, and this is the first time it has been challenged.
    Originally posted by Pingfah
    It only takes 20 years of unchallenged access to create a ROW even id the don't already have one, which I still doubt.


    Maybe the mother who is ignoring you knows more about this than you do.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 3rd Oct 17, 7:17 AM
    • 23,677 Posts
    • 89,638 Thanks
    Davesnave
    I expect the OP will have found and read this.

    http://blog.landregistry.gov.uk/guide-prescriptive-rights-way/

    The matter is complex, but if the pesent occupants of the house have been there only in recent times and previously their house was let out to a variety of people, obtaining statutory declarations will be difficult, or more likely impossible for them.

    Locking the gate, and doing it in conjunction with a solicitor's letter will force the other party to act within a year.

    Let's hope it's a strong gate!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 3rd Oct 17, 8:38 AM
    • 2,101 Posts
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    They own their property, not rent.
    Originally posted by Pingfah
    Then when you said in your first post "I am confident that neither the owners nor the tenants have a right of way over the property.", who are the tenants in question?

    To be clear, I am the joint freeholder of the land, I also have a back door onto the yard and even I do not have a right of way. I am quite certain of this as I asked my solicitor to check when I bought the flat, and I have seen all the relevant documents pertaining to our own shared property I don't walk through her yard myself, despite having her permission, because I am not a !!!!, and I respect her privacy.

    I'm just trying to help the lady out as she is very distressed about people trespassing, and wandering past her open back door. They are also littering and leaving things lying around her yard, both of which are certainly illegal whether they have a right of way or not.
    Originally posted by Pingfah
    You've suddenly launched into talking about "her yard" and "the lady" when you have previously described it as your property and not mentioned any lady. In addition it has moved from one visitor occasionally walking through to numbers of people leaving "things" and litter. It all seems rather inconsistent.
    • bertiewhite
    • By bertiewhite 3rd Oct 17, 9:23 AM
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    bertiewhite

    I'm involved because I own the other flat and I'm the joint freeholder of the yard.

    I don't have ROW because when our house was split up, into upstairs and downstairs that's what was agreed. I don't want or need ROW and neither do they.
    Originally posted by Pingfah
    I'm more confused than I was at the beginning of the thread now.

    Why would you need to be told you had right of way over your own land? My last neighbours had a right of access over my driveway and this was clearly stated the deeds stated but nowhere did it say I had ROA because it was my land.
    • Aytoun27
    • By Aytoun27 3rd Oct 17, 10:03 AM
    • 83 Posts
    • 107 Thanks
    Aytoun27
    Common sense suggests that the OP should find out exactly where he stands before he starts putting up gates and locks.
    In his shoes I’d find a good lawyer and ask the following questions;-
    · 1) As joint freeholder am I within my rights to take direct or legal action, given that I don’t hold the lease on the yard or even have a ROW myself?
    · 2) When the back door from my flat into the yard was installed was a ROW not created because I have automatic access rights to the yard as joint freeholder or do I have no rights of access to the yard at all?
    · 3) As I understand it there were originally two houses both with back doors into the yard, does this imply shared access and how common was this kind of arrangement with these types of houses in this area?
    I wouldn’t want to do anything before I knew exactly where I stood legally and putting up fences, gates and locks in a yard he may not even have legal access to himself might not be a very good idea.
    I think that he has to at least consider the idea that the neighbours may be correct about the ROW and find out what his own legal rights and obligations are before he does anything.
    • Scotbot
    • By Scotbot 3rd Oct 17, 10:12 AM
    • 139 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    Scotbot
    I am confused too but as Davesnave says put a strong lock on it, send a solicitors letter then the next move is up to them. If as the original post says it is only the visiting mum who is the problem I suspect this will stop her.

    Putting a lock on an existing gate is easy to rectify if the neighbours can show tgey have ROW
    Last edited by Scotbot; 03-10-2017 at 10:15 AM.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 3rd Oct 17, 3:55 PM
    • 10,032 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    It would be very unusual for 2 houses which both have doors on to a piece of land which has its own access, not to have an ROW across the land to that access
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 3rd Oct 17, 5:00 PM
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    Cakeguts
    I visited someone once who lived in a converted maisonette. It was the back part of a row of shops. There was door in the property that was kept permanently locked because when the conversion had been done there was no longer any access across the small piece of land outside this door. The land belonged to someone else and there was no right of access across it so the door was never opened. This is just one example of how a conversion can affect the right to access a piece of land. I can imagine that this could be the case here and not only should the gate be kept locked but also the back door as it no longer leads anywhere.
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