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Terraced right of way access changed


I’ve seen a few posts on a similar but not identical matter on this group, as such I’m starting a new one.

I live in an end of four terraced houses, for simplification we’ll number my house 1 and the others 2,3 and the opposite end terrace 4.

When I moved in I accepted grudgingly that there was an access right for my immediate neighbours (2) to take their bins out.

They turned out to be a lovely elderly couple and there is no issue.

But their neighbour (3) who had mirrored access through the other end terrace house (4), recently fell out with the other end terrace tennant of 4.

At the same time as the fall out with 4, number 3 redeveloped their garden.

At the time I felt sorry for number 3 as the fall out with number 4 involved them being assaulted and the police called etc, so I agreed to let the builders access to 3 via my garden and that of 2.

The two month proposed job became six and what started in winter spread into summer with me and the family having picnics in the garden whilst a bloke in nothing but shorts pushed a wheelbarrow past us etc (not to mention the mud and debris through winter and having my property damaged by barrows and plant being brought round the back which wasn’t what I’d expected but nonetheless put up with.

I’ve now found that the redevelopment involved bricking up the access gate from 3 to 4, and I now have a stream of tradespeople just walking through my garden unannounced to go to 3’s garden.

I’m a private person and whilst accepting of number 2s need to take their bin out I’m not keen on my garden becoming a through road to number 3 just because they’ve fallen out with number 4.

Apart from the AITA question, can anyone advise as to if I have any legal rights here or if I can inform my council or similar about the bricking up of the access.
I don’t want to deal with the neighbour face to face if I can help it, I’d rather know if some kind of right of way infraction has occurred and if there is somewhere I can report this.

Fundamentally though, all advice welcomed.


  • The_Unready
    The_Unready Forumite Posts: 543
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 28 June at 11:31AM
    First, check your house deeds and those of No 3 to ascertain the precise details of any RoWs/access rights.

    Once you have this info you will either need to inform No 3 that their access is no longer agreed (assuming the deeds support that) or come to an informal agreement on usage if the deeds support their access rights.

    I can't see a way of doing that without communicating with No 3 in one way or another.
  • CSI_Yorkshire
    CSI_Yorkshire Forumite Posts: 1,792
    1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    MPE-J said:

    When I moved in I accepted grudgingly that there was an access right for my immediate neighbours (2) to take their bins out.

    Either they have an access right, which will be recorded somewhere (probably your & their deeds is a good place to start), or they don't.

    The same will go for house #3.

    Start with finding out if they actually have any such right.
  • MPE-J
    MPE-J Forumite Posts: 21
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    For clarity, 2 has an access right through my garden, it was laid out in the feeds and agreed.

    3 has their access through 4, which is a rental property.

    basically the two middle terraces have access rights through their nearest end terrace neighbour.
  • CSI_Yorkshire
    CSI_Yorkshire Forumite Posts: 1,792
    1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Then number 4 has breached their covenant with number 3 - and so number 3 could start legal proceedings to get it restored.  I don't think you can do that though.

    Number 3 has no rights over your land.  Tell them so.  Or pay a solicitor to tell them so on your behalf.
  • MultiFuelBurner
    MultiFuelBurner Forumite Posts: 1,246
    1,000 Posts First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    Just have a nice chat with your neighbour.

    Say it's got too much and affecting your enjoyment of your garden.

    If they need to get things through to their back garden they will in future have to go through their own house or patch up relations with their other neighbour.

  • Section62
    Section62 Forumite Posts: 6,857
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Then number 4 has breached their covenant with number 3 - and so number 3 could start legal proceedings to get it restored.  I don't think you can do that though.

    The way I read it, 3 has done the blocking off themselves, in which case 4 can't be expected to unblock it.

    1 (the OP) can only do something if they also have a RoW through 2,3 & 4 - but even then the claim would appear to be against 3 (for blocking the RoW) rather than 4.
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Forumite Posts: 2,927
    1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 28 June at 2:22PM
    Very presumptuous for No3 to block up their access via No4's garden, and to take advantage of your kindness - and that was very thoughtful of you.
    As much as you are going to hate doing so, you really must have a word with No3 and explain the situation, and how you simply cannot allow this to continue for all sorts of reasons - you might 'like' them, but not future occupiers of their house (that's a gentle way of putting it), so you cannot allow a precedent to be set. You very much enjoy the privacy of your garden, and although accepting that your immediate neighbour does have a RoW through your garden, this was almost a deal-breaker when you bought, and you simply would not have proceeded with the house purchase had more than one other property had this right. And, it is very important that the rightful situation between Nos 3 and 4 is maintained, as this would undoubtedly be picked up on should No3 or No 4 sell.
    Judge their responses to these very valid and unquestionable points; they should acknowledge and accept them.
    Assuming they do, suggest a deadline - a few weeks, perhaps, but dated - to restore the correct RoW via No4. If they don't appear to be accepting your points, then still give them a deadline and also contact your LegProt right away...
    Who assaulted them, the owner of No4 or the tenants? Either way, suggest they buy a small discrete security recorder - around £15 - to have on them whenever they pass through No4.
    If the deadline passes, contact your LegProt on your house insurance.
  • Newbie22FTB
    Newbie22FTB Forumite Posts: 32
    10 Posts Photogenic First Anniversary
    edited 28 June at 3:52PM
    You are an extremely gracious and patient neighbour! I think I would be inclined to meet face-to-face with number 3 and remind them that their ROW is via number 4. If they have chosen to block their own access, that's their choice and problem to deal with. Just advise them you no longer wish to continue giving them access via your property.

    Quite honestly, number 3 is lucky you haven't complained about the damage to your garden caused by the wheel barrow and of course the overall intrusion!!! And just in case they did want to throw out the fact number 2 continues to access your property, remind them also that it's their right to, as per the deeds. They do not cause damage or nuisance to you.

    Stay firm and politely remind them that they need to revert to their previous access points going forward and any issues should be taken up with number 4. I would avoid councils and all that formal stuff as it feels more snitchy and I prefer being upfront.
  • jennifernil
    jennifernil Forumite Posts: 5,481
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    What are no.2 saying about all these people trailing through their garden too?  Cannot be good for them either.   Can they not close off whatever access no.3 was temporarily given via their garden?
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