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Our garden boundary, what are my rights?

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Hello

Hoping you lot can give some advice on a situation in my garden. See attached photo first.

This lean-to/porch/walkway (whatever it is) is attached to our neighbors bungalow but as you can see it looks out into our garden. It has doors at either end and one in the middle (you can see through the glass). I think it is built on their land and is up to their boundary line. But even still, the windows definitely open out onto our land.

I don't know when it was built and thought nothing of it when we bought the house but as I've become more interested in gardening/sorting the garden, its started to bother me, as it affects our privacy.

I did plan to build a sleeper bed towards the bottom and grow trees in it to block it out but what are my rights in doing that? As its on my land but I'd be blocking their light? I am also tempted to put some trellis up and grow something on it to hide it too.

The last thing I want to do is get into an argument with the (new) neighbors but surely they must realise it affects us! The lady that used to live in it was elderly and the people who lived in our house were also old so I'm guessing for a long period of time, no one was bothered. I'm not even sure it meets building regulations or received planning permission!

I have no idea why it was built as you can see the original back door has been blocked up, surely direct access to the garden is better than going through something!

Any advice would be welcome!

Thanks


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Comments

  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,387 Forumite
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    Are the windows frosted?  I wonder if a way forward would be to ask the neighbours if you can go into that room and see how much they can see through the glass. Maybe you will discover you are happy with the privacy it gives you.  Maybe an additional frosting film on the glass would give them light and you privacy and be acceptable to everyone.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • IvyFlood
    IvyFlood Posts: 338 Forumite
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    Are the windows frosted?  I wonder if a way forward would be to ask the neighbours if you can go into that room and see how much they can see through the glass. Maybe you will discover you are happy with the privacy it gives you.  Maybe an additional frosting film on the glass would give them light and you privacy and be acceptable to everyone.
    Yes the windows are frosted. We have seen figures walking through, blurred as the glass is frosted, so I assume they cant see us clearly. But even still it still looks unsightly and I feel I have someone elses house in my garden.
  • FaceHead
    FaceHead Posts: 737 Forumite
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    Oh dear - how would that every have gotten planning consent (probably didn't as you say, but the time to object has passed), and how was the former owner of your house happy with that. 

    They have no 'right to light' with respect to this. 

    Grow what you want in front of it or even put a fence up.

    It would cause some (literal) friction if you put a fence up, or vegetation that obstructed the windows from opening, but the open window (and guttering and window cill?) is likely in trespass, so they wouldn't be able to complain. 

    I'd caution you against putting a raised bed against their wall and growing something, as you'd be pretty much deliberately causing them damp problems. 

    Some big plant pots would be my approach. A fence would be a bit like waving two fingers at them. 


  • marcia_
    marcia_ Posts: 2,078 Forumite
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     I'd not be happy with that in my garden either, frosted or not. I'd definitely be putting either a fence up or a tall trellis with fast growing climbers 
  • DRP
    DRP Posts: 4,281 Forumite
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    I would be wary of doing anything that potentially damages/blocks light/inhibits maintenance of that structure without having a chat with them.

    Have you asked them about it directly? As they are new owners, they may well want to get rid of it anyway.


  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,387 Forumite
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    I think you also need to try to work out exactly where the boundary line is - is it the bricks, so the eaves and windowsill overhang your property?  Or is it set back a little bit?  This may matter if you decide to put a fence or flowerbed up against it.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • IvyFlood
    IvyFlood Posts: 338 Forumite
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    I think you also need to try to work out exactly where the boundary line is - is it the bricks, so the eaves and windowsill overhang your property?  Or is it set back a little bit?  This may matter if you decide to put a fence or flowerbed up against it.
    From looking at the deeds of our house, the red line runs right in front of it, so I’m taking that as where the bricks are, so yes the windows when open are on our property.
  • IvyFlood
    IvyFlood Posts: 338 Forumite
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    DRP said:
    I would be wary of doing anything that potentially damages/blocks light/inhibits maintenance of that structure without having a chat with them.

    Have you asked them about it directly? As they are new owners, they may well want to get rid of it anyway.


    You have a point, we’ve not spoken to them, not really sure how to approach it!

    I think I might put tall trees in pots as a temp solution, blocks it for me and they can always be moved if required.
  • Section62
    Section62 Posts: 7,993 Forumite
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    IvyFlood said:
    I think you also need to try to work out exactly where the boundary line is - is it the bricks, so the eaves and windowsill overhang your property?  Or is it set back a little bit?  This may matter if you decide to put a fence or flowerbed up against it.
    From looking at the deeds of our house, the red line runs right in front of it, so I’m taking that as where the bricks are, so yes the windows when open are on our property.
    The red line is probably drawn on an OS plan at something like 1:1250 scale.  There is usually a disclaimer saying the line is only an approximate representation of the boundary line.

    Working out the exact position of the boundary is a job for surveyors (and probably solicitors) and generally isn't a cheap exercise.

    If you can avoid getting into a dispute with the neighbour it will help achieve a cheaper and friendlier resolution.

    Speak to them - maybe they hate the porch and already have plans to get rid of it?
  • Norman_Castle
    Norman_Castle Posts: 11,871 Forumite
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    Stand in your garden staring through the glass then let them solve the problem.
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