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  • FIRST POST
    • Marine_life
    • By Marine_life 19th Jan 18, 3:02 PM
    • 886Posts
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    Marine_life
    Access dilemma and (potential) dispute with neighbour
    • #1
    • 19th Jan 18, 3:02 PM
    Access dilemma and (potential) dispute with neighbour 19th Jan 18 at 3:02 PM
    Our house was built around 10 years ago, one of two that were built privately by a local builder.

    We have just uncovered an old agreement which states that there is a right for both owners to build a new access to the site from an adjoining road. Were that new access to be built then it would mainly impact on our property reducing what is already a relatively small garden..

    The properties are both now well established (i.e. gardens with trees) and a different access was built presumably because the access which is the subject of the agreement would have been prohibitively expensive (as it would be a steep access and would require concrete walls to protect neighboring properties).

    The agreement states that if the access is built then the parties would share the costs equally.

    We were not aware of the agreement when we bought the house (but that's another story).

    We now want to sell our house which is complicated by this agreement and we want to have it effectively annulled. Our neighbor is being awkward and does not want to sign as they say the right to put in the drive might have a positive benefit for the value of their property (it might but the potential benefit would be offset by the cost of building it).

    We believe the agreement is unenforceable as:

    1. The existing access is perfectly adequate.
    2. We would never agree to have the access put in.
    3. We would never agree to pay half the costs.


    We are planning to visit a solicitor but before we start incurring costs I would like to know if anyone has any smart ideas on where we stand and what we might do.
    Money won't buy you happiness....but I have rarely if ever been in a situation where more money made things worse!
Page 3
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 8th Jul 18, 11:57 PM
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    Tom99
    The driveway between the houses is not covered by any agreement. However, we do have plans for the plot on which our house stands which shows that our boundary includes the existing shared driveway.
    Originally posted by Marine_life

    This seems to be your trump card, particularly since the shared driveway has only been in existence 10 yrs.
    Any chance of posting a plan showing the existing, the shared and this new potential driveway? Its difficult to imagine how they all fit together.
    Has you solicitor confirmed that the agreement is still valid and live and runs with the land?
    Since the new driveway will be mostly on your land, does this agreement grant your neighbour a permanent right of way over this land or provide a mechanism for how they will unilaterally acquire a right of way, as without that any new access will be a worthless liability to them.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 9th Jul 18, 7:41 AM
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    FBaby
    No, its means we can't sell at a price that reflects the fair value without an unenforceable and meaningless encumberance. As I said, the coucil have said they would turn down a planning application.
    So in other words, it can sell, but not at the price you want. That is YOUR problem, not that of your neighbour. The fact that the Council might have turn down a planning application, might because until an application is made, they can't say for sure that this would be the case, hence why you can't use what they say to make it an official change, is irrelevant.

    Because they have exactly the same issue i.e. it impacts both our properties.
    Except that it impact positively on their and negatively on yours, again, that's not their problem. Your problem is that you didn't see this issue when you chose to buy the house in the first place. Again, that's not your neighbour's fault.

    What you want them to do is make your life easier and help them get a better price for your house when this could impact on them, even if the impact is not definite at this point. Why do you expect them to do you a favour that could potentially cost them later one? They are not your family or friends, they are your neighbour, they owe you nothing.

    If my neighbour came to ask for a clause to be removed to suit them and them only, I would also tell them to get lost.

    As it is, you don't even know for sure that this will decrease the value of the house. If it does though, that's life.
  • Land Registry
    It would be interesting to understand a few of the more specific details shared to date.

    You refer to an agreement you were unaware of and 'rights' to use a shared driveway - can I assume the agreement does not appear on either registered title?
    Or is it an agreement tied up with a right as granted/reserved over the driveway and appearing in each title?

    You refer to 'plans' showing you own the bulk/all of the driveway so are they the title plans or other plans?

    And if it's a shared driveway and they'e built on part if it what's the basis of fencing off your part and then denying access to a shared driveway?

    I don't think the answers will solve the issues faced as there are wider ones involved. But it may help to understand the stances being taken now re the actual situation on the ground and what you each want. At the moment it reads as if there is a fair gap between the two of you and some doubt as to who has the legal upperhand.
    Last edited by Land Registry; 09-07-2018 at 4:56 PM. Reason: Rubbish typing - sorry
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Land Registry. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 9th Jul 18, 8:48 AM
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    Davesnave

    You refer to 'plans' showing you own the bulk/all of the driveway so are they the title plans or other plans?
    Originally posted by Land Registry
    This is a question I meant to ask yesterday; the reason being that one of our neighbours waved a professionally-drawn plan at us when challenged over leaving rubbish bags close to our property.

    We responded by producing a copy of their LR title plan, which told a different story. They aren't owners of the land involved; the council have part and we have the rest.

    It transpired that the inaccurate plan was a drawing supplied by the developer, probably produced in good faith, but with the sort of care he lavished on the properties he built!
    If you are finding huge gaps between your paragraphs, MSE know about the problem. However, they aren't necessarily doing anything about it. More changes on the way?
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5844460
    • Marine_life
    • By Marine_life 9th Jul 18, 11:21 AM
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    Marine_life
    So in other words, it can sell, but not at the price you want. That is YOUR problem, not that of your neighbour. The fact that the Council might have turn down a planning application, might because until an application is made, they can't say for sure that this would be the case, hence why you can't use what they say to make it an official change, is irrelevant.


    Except that it impact positively on their and negatively on yours, again, that's not their problem. Your problem is that you didn't see this issue when you chose to buy the house in the first place. Again, that's not your neighbour's fault.

    What you want them to do is make your life easier and help them get a better price for your house when this could impact on them, even if the impact is not definite at this point. Why do you expect them to do you a favour that could potentially cost them later one? They are not your family or friends, they are your neighbour, they owe you nothing.

    If my neighbour came to ask for a clause to be removed to suit them and them only, I would also tell them to get lost.

    As it is, you don't even know for sure that this will decrease the value of the house. If it does though, that's life.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    Are you my neighbour?
    Money won't buy you happiness....but I have rarely if ever been in a situation where more money made things worse!
    • Marine_life
    • By Marine_life 9th Jul 18, 1:17 PM
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    • 1,596 Thanks
    Marine_life
    You refer to an agreement you were unaware of and 'rights' to use a shared driveway - can I assume the agreement does not appear on either registered title?
    Originally posted by Land Registry
    So now we are getting into a bit more of the detail - and I will admit this is where we were at fault - there is an attachment to the rigistered title which refers to a share right of way. We originally assumed this related to the existing shared driveway and so did not read it in detail but it in fact refers to the right to the (as yet) non-existent access. There is no agreement covering the currently shared driveway in either title.

    We understand the builder originally wanted to build the access where the right of way is now but his application was declined and therefore he built the access where it is now. We can'tunderstand why the original right of way was left in place although our solicitor is trying to establish that with the builder.

    You refer to 'plans' showing you own the bulk/all of the driveway so are they the title plans or other plans?
    Originally posted by Land Registry
    Title plans

    And if it's a shared driveway and they'e built on part if it what's the basis of fencing off your part and then denying access to a shared driveway?
    Originally posted by Land Registry
    The property boundaries are situated 5 metres from each house. Because of the way the houses were configured ( in our view incorrectly by the builders), the driveway sits almost entirely on our half. To be clear we are happy for the arrangement to continue as is (on release of the right to build the alternate access) but it seems the only leverage we have (to bring them to the negotiating table) is to enforce our right over our land and effectively block access to their garage (without expenively reconfiguring their garden)

    I do think the answers will solve the issues faced as there are wider issues involved. But it may help to understand the stances being taken now re the actual situation on the ground and what you each want. At the moment it reads as if there is a fair gap between the two if you and some doubt as to who has the legal upperhand.
    Originally posted by Land Registry
    I am also keen to see how it plays out. I think there is so much uncertainty around the legal agreements that for both parties it needs to be sorted out in an adult way. Within that there needs to be some give and take.
    Money won't buy you happiness....but I have rarely if ever been in a situation where more money made things worse!
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 9th Jul 18, 5:33 PM
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    unforeseen
    Do you have a copy of your neighbours plans and deeds? What do they say about this non-existent drive?
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 9th Jul 18, 6:37 PM
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    • 41,502 Thanks
    FBaby
    Are you my neighbour?
    Nope but I'm on his side If I was in their shoes, I wouldn't refuse for the sake of making your life miserable but for the fact that I could find that being accommodating would come to bite me as it often does.

    Within that there needs to be some give and take
    Not there isn't. He doesn't have to negotiate anything with you, only to stick to the law. If you can show that he is breaking the terms of the law and that means getting what you want, then good on you.
    • Marine_life
    • By Marine_life 9th Jul 18, 8:26 PM
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    • 1,596 Thanks
    Marine_life
    He doesn't have to negotiate anything with you
    Originally posted by FBaby
    He does if I fence off my driveway so they can no longer access their garage.
    Money won't buy you happiness....but I have rarely if ever been in a situation where more money made things worse!
    • tlc678910
    • By tlc678910 10th Jul 18, 1:46 PM
    • 588 Posts
    • 976 Thanks
    tlc678910
    He does if I fence off my driveway so they can no longer access their garage.
    Originally posted by Marine_life
    I think it is you that is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    You could have sold your house and if this clause slightly reduced the value of your property that would have been the same as any impact when you bought the property. It is not your neighbours fault if you did not read the paperwork carefully and overpaid for your house.

    If you start fencing off your shared drive you will no doubt need to dec!are a neighbour dispute that your neighbours are taking you to court to get access to the drive/garage. That will reduce the value further or make it impossible to sell until resolved.

    So far there is no dispute as such. You have asked them to remove the clause. They have said only for 100k, you have declined. No dispute but you are fast creating one.

    Tlc
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 10th Jul 18, 2:03 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    In fairness - OP did mention (earlier in the thread) that the neighbours had an equivalent amount of "driveway" space - but they chose to turn it into "garden" as such. So they were responsible for removing the "driveway" space they had (from which they landed up using OP's "driveway space").

    It does sound like they have the option to remove the "garden" they put on their bit of "driveway space" and restore it to being "driveway". After all - lots of people these days are currently turning "front gardens" into parking space for their cars. So, obviously, they could do this same sort of thing in reverse - and turn that bit of "garden" back into road for themselves.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 10-07-2018 at 2:05 PM.
    No (Brexit) deal = no big deal #shrugs and leave anyway

    These boots are made for walkin' and that's just what they'll do....
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