Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • 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 4
    • chappers
    • By chappers 3rd Oct 17, 8:29 PM
    • 2,948 Posts
    • 1,701 Thanks
    chappers
    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.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    But if access was there before the conversion then afterwards the ROA would have to be explicitly removed as part of a transfer. Just selling the land behind the door to someone else wouldn't be sufficient to nullify the ROA, as the continued access across the land prior to the conversion would be sufficient to establish the access as lawful.
    The owner of the door would have to explicitly give up the right to access or else someone would have to buy it with the denial of access explicitly written into the transfer .
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 3rd Oct 17, 8:40 PM
    • 3,274 Posts
    • 4,562 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    But if access was there before the conversion then afterwards the ROA would have to be explicitly removed as part of a transfer. Just selling the land behind the door to someone else wouldn't be sufficient to nullify the ROA, as the continued access across the land prior to the conversion would be sufficient to establish the access as lawful.
    The owner of the door would have to explicitly give up the right to access or else someone would have to buy it with the denial of access explicitly written into the transfer .
    Originally posted by chappers
    Not if the previous owner of the part of the house that became the maisonette also owned the land. You don't need right of access across your own land.
    • chappers
    • By chappers 3rd Oct 17, 11:46 PM
    • 2,948 Posts
    • 1,701 Thanks
    chappers
    I see what you are saying now, Who would buy a place with no access out of your own back door.
    • Lysimache
    • By Lysimache 3rd Oct 17, 11:49 PM
    • 87 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    Lysimache
    Fiesto88
    ^^ this.
    everybody uses their back door into the kitchen as the main entrance round here.
    Originally posted by Fiesto88
    Why do they do that? Do they have a front door going onto the front garden/street?
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 4th Oct 17, 8:01 AM
    • 2,101 Posts
    • 3,127 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    I see what you are saying now, Who would buy a place with no access out of your own back door.
    Originally posted by chappers
    Would it be any different from buying a flat without a back door at all?
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 4th Oct 17, 10:37 AM
    • 2,004 Posts
    • 5,520 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    Would it be any different from buying a flat without a back door at all?
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Yes, I'd say so. There's a difference between having something you aren't allowed to use and not having it at all. It would feel very weird having a door in your home that you had to basically treat as a wall.
    • Waterlily24
    • By Waterlily24 4th Oct 17, 10:45 AM
    • 866 Posts
    • 459 Thanks
    Waterlily24
    ^^ this.



    everybody uses their back door into the kitchen as the main entrance round here.
    Originally posted by Fiesto88


    We do too, our back door is easier to get to than the front door. The driveway is opposite and about 30ft away.
    • chappers
    • By chappers 4th Oct 17, 11:17 AM
    • 2,948 Posts
    • 1,701 Thanks
    chappers
    Would it be any different from buying a flat without a back door at all?
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Yes particularly in view of what I have said previously about removing the ROW in the correct manner.

    Also back to the OPs situation I would say that if this went to dispute and eventually court/arbitration that as it is clear that at some point there must have been at least access/ROW to the yard, that in the absence of any subsequent documentation to the contrary, that they would grant the access/ROW still valid.
    When the freehold of a property is split in this sort of situation whether by creating leases or dividing freeholds, easements are normally written into the transfer for the sake of clarity, but just because they are not doesn't mean that they don't exist. Easements can be implied, for example by habitual use, however the discontinuation of such and easement, whether written or implied, in a subsequent transfer would have to be explicit.

    I am in the process of buying a property where something similar happened and access across a small piece of land, linking a lane with an explicit ROW and our property, didn't have any access written. This had been missed over two previous conveyances. Both solicitors were sure that this wouldn't be a problem and that the land tribunal would rule that as there had obviously been continuous access across this land since the original transfer, that a ROW was established.
    As it happened in the end the original owner, from before the property was divided was tracked down and a deed of variation was written into the original transfer.
    Last edited by chappers; 04-10-2017 at 11:44 AM.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 4th Oct 17, 11:40 AM
    • 2,101 Posts
    • 3,127 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Yes, I'd say so. There's a difference between having something you aren't allowed to use and not having it at all. It would feel very weird having a door in your home that you had to basically treat as a wall.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Yes particularly in view of what I have said previously about removing the ROW in the correct manner.
    Originally posted by chappers
    I get the weirdness, but to all practical purposes if you were told you couldn't use that door it wouldn't really put me off buying a place. I wouldn't lose out by the presence of the door.

    If it turned out that the ROW hadn't been removed in the correct manner that could only be to my benefit.
    • chappers
    • By chappers 4th Oct 17, 2:25 PM
    • 2,948 Posts
    • 1,701 Thanks
    chappers
    I totally get what your saying and also understand the person who asked what the difference would be if the door wasn't there.
    But my inkling is that if there clearly was a previous right of way that has been removed, then the property has been devalued.
    I suppose it would depend upon how valuable that ROW might be to you, for example if car parking was to the rear and you had to schlepp all the way down the street and then round the back again from the front or similar.
    Maybe it's just a psychological thing but I would certainly be put off buying a house if in effect I couldn't use any of the doors or windows
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 5th Oct 17, 9:15 AM
    • 2,101 Posts
    • 3,127 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    I totally get what your saying and also understand the person who asked what the difference would be if the door wasn't there.
    But my inkling is that if there clearly was a previous right of way that has been removed, then the property has been devalued.
    I suppose it would depend upon how valuable that ROW might be to you, for example if car parking was to the rear and you had to schlepp all the way down the street and then round the back again from the front or similar.
    Maybe it's just a psychological thing but I would certainly be put off buying a house if in effect I couldn't use any of the doors or windows
    Originally posted by chappers
    Well yes, the property would have been devalued. That means that you shouldn't buy it for the same price as you would have paid before, not that you shouldn't buy it at all.

    Would you not buy a house that used to have a garage but sold it off some years ago, while being perfectly prepared to buy the house next door that never had a garage? It doesn't really make much sense to me.
    • bertiewhite
    • By bertiewhite 5th Oct 17, 9:19 AM
    • 728 Posts
    • 768 Thanks
    bertiewhite
    Why do they do that? Do they have a front door going onto the front garden/street?
    Originally posted by Lysimache
    I rarely use my front door because my "boot room" is round the back of the house and traipsing the dogs and my muddy boots through the front of the house would be a disaster.

    Why is using the back door as a main entrance such a strange concept?
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 5th Oct 17, 9:31 AM
    • 23,680 Posts
    • 89,641 Thanks
    Davesnave

    Why is using the back door as a main entrance such a strange concept?
    Originally posted by bertiewhite
    Because people are odd.

    My first house, which was a re-build after war damage, was the only one in the street with a corridor from front to back, which completely buggared-up the downstairs layout. A neighbour who had lived there all her adult life told me it was built like that because the 'man of the house' didn't wish to push his bike around to/from the back, which involved a slightly muddy lane.

    Presumably it was OK for the ladies living there to clean-up behind him!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • bertiewhite
    • By bertiewhite 5th Oct 17, 10:09 AM
    • 728 Posts
    • 768 Thanks
    bertiewhite

    Presumably it was OK for the ladies living there to clean-up behind him!
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    We always had to use the "tradesman's entrance" at my Nan's when I was a kid because the front entrance was only for "proper" visitors. The front living room was also out of bounds unless we were visiting on a Sunday when the best china came out - Weekday & Saturday visits were always confined to the dining room at the back of the house.
    • LandyAndy
    • By LandyAndy 5th Oct 17, 10:20 AM
    • 23,983 Posts
    • 50,737 Thanks
    LandyAndy
    I'd never really thought about it before but we, and all our neighbours, and pretty much everyone I knew used their back doors as the main entrance to their houses when I was a child (50s, 60s, 70s).
    • Katgrit
    • By Katgrit 5th Oct 17, 11:36 AM
    • 485 Posts
    • 1,294 Thanks
    Katgrit
    I used to live in a small rural village where many of the houses were old cottages, with added back porches, entrances down little lanes, through back yards, conservatories on the front/side,a real hotch potch of different arrangements. Not been moved in long when about half 10 one night I heard someone knocking on my patio doors at the back. Knowing the back gate and side gate were both bolted and locked I wondered who on earth it could be. Went to look and immediately saw that there was no shadow of anyone outside from the nearby street light cast against the closed vertical blinds. The knocking continued, with me feeling scared. Built up enough courage to peep through the blinds and there was no-one there, but just as I looked came another knock on the glass, just inches away from my faces. No-one out there but definetly someone or someTHING knocking! Was completely sh¡Tt¡Ng myself at this point, and despite being a complete sceptic was actually thinking it must be something supernatural. I was absolutely petrified. Built up courage to open the patio doors, all the while the knocking continues. Gingerly stepped into the empty back garden almost in tears to find my 80 year old neighbour stood on her back doorstep with a long curtain pole with a door knob attached to the end leaning over to knock on the patio door!!

    "I've been knocking for ages! I've got a parcel for you. I think the postman will have put a note through your front door."

    What the hell?!! I know she didn't use her front door because she'd lost the key years ago, but apparantly she'd seen me come back from work and couldn't understand why I still hadn't been over to collect my parcel. Why? Becsuse it was a dark winter night and didn't want to scare an 80 year old lady by knocking on her back door in the pitch black thats why!! The irony was lost on her.
    Last edited by Katgrit; 05-10-2017 at 11:39 AM.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 5th Oct 17, 12:43 PM
    • 3,971 Posts
    • 2,954 Thanks
    sheramber
    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 Skutter47
    What about access for maintenance/repairs to the back of the house?

    Could it have been a shared yard for all three properties originally- probably rented houses with the one owner. Over time the houses have been sold and the yard allocated to the flat.

    Presumably it has not been brought up until now as the nobody was concerned about neighbour using it.
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 5th Oct 17, 2:40 PM
    • 3,442 Posts
    • 5,873 Thanks
    Fosterdog
    It really can’t be that unusual for people to have a back door into a small yard that doesn’t lead anywhere. The way old mining towns and villages were built it’s very common for houses to have a back door into at best a garden at worst a thin strip of land the length of the house. The only thing different in OPs scenario is that they don’t have a fence around their part which the neighbours have taken advantage of.

    The first house I ever rented had a small concrete square as the back garden with the only access being from the back door, if the neighbours didn’t have a fence I would have had easy access through their small concrete strip to their side gate.

    Most people’s back garden may be bigger than the small strip talked about here, but the size of the garden makes no difference to how it is accessed, would it be different if the black door opened onto an acre of land? Even if it still couldn’t be accessed any other way than from the house? Having a door leading to a small bit of your own landlocked property (if it can even be classed as landlockedwhen you can access it from your own house) doesn’t give you automatic ROW over your neighbours property. What if it was a row of 100 houses with them all just having a thin strip of land, should they be allowed to walk through 99 other gardens just to get to a rear/side entrance in the first house?
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 5th Oct 17, 3:03 PM
    • 10,032 Posts
    • 8,092 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    The 2 houses could have been owned by the same person, but when either or both were sold on, any potential ROW was erroneously not documented.

    I think this is one of those situations where the true facts will never be known.
    • parkrunner
    • By parkrunner 5th Oct 17, 4:53 PM
    • 805 Posts
    • 1,179 Thanks
    parkrunner
    Back door is better if the front door opens directly into the lounge, a kitchen floor is far easier to keep clean.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

214Posts Today

2,023Users online

Martin's Twitter