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    • P2P
    • By P2P 14th Mar 18, 5:38 PM
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    P2P
    Ginnel
    • #1
    • 14th Mar 18, 5:38 PM
    Ginnel 14th Mar 18 at 5:38 PM
    Could someone help/advise re who owns a ginnel behind properties?

    There is a ginnel that runs across the back of our properties, and my neighbour has a large walled garden on the other side of the ginnel behind their house. They have recently demolished their garden wall and raised the surface of the ginnel path way and changed the surface finish so that it is flush with their existing court yard and the patio in their walled garden effectively attempting to make their garden one continuous space, and have put gates on either side effectively blocking access to the rear of both my own and my neighbours property.

    Can they do this?

    The ginnel has for many years been a rear access method for bins and general garden access and this 'feels' wrong.

    They have not discussed with any other neighbours and are new to the street.

    We have written to them and asked for evidence to show they have rights to this land (via their deeds) and contacted the council which was useless as the council are not interested.

    My other concern is how this will effect drainage as there was a surface drain that has now gone where they have raided the ginnel level.

    Any help of advise would be most welcome.
Page 1
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 14th Mar 18, 6:00 PM
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    xylophone
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 18, 6:00 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 18, 6:00 PM
    You need to check your deeds.

    A relation of mine owns an Edwardian terraced house in Yorkshire where a "lane" runs behind the terrace - this separates his yard from his garage and garden- the same applies to all the other houses in the terrace.

    Access to the lane can be obtained both through his house and through what looks to me like a carriage entrance half way along the terrace.

    The deeds to each property show that each house owner also owns his portion of the lane but must allow the neighbour on either side both foot and vehicular access.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 14th Mar 18, 6:05 PM
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    AdrianC
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 18, 6:05 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 18, 6:05 PM
    It's entirely likely that the deeds/LR entry show the property as finishing at the wall, with the ginnel (an alleyway for those who don't know the word) not being registered - in other words, nobody really owns it. There may be an explicit right of way for foot traffic registered, but there's almost certainly one established through use.

    They most certainly cannot just block the entire passage off... but how much time/effort/blood pressure/money do you want to put into it?
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 14th Mar 18, 6:09 PM
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    shortcrust
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 18, 6:09 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 18, 6:09 PM
    Check you own deeds and pay a few quid on the Land Registry site to get a copy of theirs.

    My mum has a ginnel (well a gennel with a soft 'g', but live and let live...) at the bottom of her garden. She owns it but neighbours have right of way.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 14th Mar 18, 6:16 PM
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    xylophone
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 18, 6:16 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 18, 6:16 PM
    It's entirely likely that the deeds/LR entry show the property as finishing at the wall,
    It is essential that the OP checks his deeds - see my post above.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 14th Mar 18, 6:18 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 18, 6:18 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 18, 6:18 PM
    Maybe the easiest way to deal with it is for you and other neighbours to take down your existing back walls and put a new one in halfway across the passageway.

    Then that evens it out and houses both side have got a bit of extra land - rather than one house grabbing for what it wants and blow everyone else.

    I do know what you mean and sympathise though - as my last house was a terrace one and it was sheer good fortune I spotted the wotname neighbour across the alley from me trying to put down paving slabs identical to the ones he had just put on his back yard right across our alley.

    So I was able to lean over the wall and say - "OUR alley belongs to the Council. Stop doing that right now - or I'll get onto them".

    He stopped.

    If he'd tried to continue - I'd probably have got them sliced in half and removed the half nearest me and handed them back to him - with a comment of "Thanks for the safety hazard mate. You might be wise to remove the half that's your side before someone trips on them and sues you".
    It's ok, I didn't believe in reincarnation the last time, either.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 14th Mar 18, 6:52 PM
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    xylophone
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 18, 6:52 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 18, 6:52 PM
    I spotted the wotname neighbour across the alley from me trying to put down paving slabs identical to the ones he had just put on his back yard right across our alley.

    So I was able to lean over the wall and say - "OUR alley belongs to the Council
    But he must check his own deeds - in my relative's situation, there is nothing to prevent the owners putting down whatever surfacing they like on the portion of the lane they own (and indeed some have), provided that they do not obstruct pedestrian or vehicular access to their neighbours on either side as set out in the deeds to the properties.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 14th Mar 18, 8:45 PM
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    TBagpuss
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 18, 8:45 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 18, 8:45 PM
    OP, as others have said, step one is to check your deeds, and see what they say. Pay to get copies of your neighbour's deeds from the land registry also.

    There are a number of possibilities:

    - The ginnel may be a road/street adopted by the council
    - the ginnel may belong to each property - subject to rights in favour of the other properties
    - the ginnel may belong to a single property, subject to access rights for the other properties
    - the ginnel may belong to each property without any formal rights for the other properties.

    for instance, Depending on the deeds, the neighbours may be entitled to use the space and even change the level, but may not be entitled to install gates, or only to install them if they allow you and the other neighbours to use the gates to access your own properties. Or they may not be entitled to do anything more than demolish their own back wall.

    Once you have copies of both sets of deeds you may wish to get legal advice.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 14th Mar 18, 9:52 PM
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    G_M
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 18, 9:52 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 18, 9:52 PM
    Asking him to prove he owns it is the wrong first step.

    If you either own it, or have certain rights over it, then you can approach him to enforce your rights - but since you don't know who owns it .....

    If some guy down the road from me wrote asking me to prove I own a bit of my garden I'd chuck his letter in the bin. On the other hand, if he claimed he owned a bit of my garden, and produced some evidence that effect, then I'd get worried and look into it.

    Check your title and Plan (3 each here)

    While you're at it, check his Title and Plan too (3 each).
    • P2P
    • By P2P 17th Mar 18, 12:35 AM
    • 37 Posts
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    P2P
    I can now confirm the ginnel is not registered.

    Knowing this now for a fact (which has actually been confirmed by the resident who dug up the ginnel), and now having established that this has also introduced drainage issues as water is now backing up and flooding the ginnel from the point the changes have been introduced, can anyone suggest next steps.

    I have spoken to the home owner and he simply wants to talk about their plans and explain how they are 'improving' things for all concerned which is rubbish, this is purely a selfish act for personal gain. I have asked them to simply change the ginnel back to the way it was to keep the peace with all of our neighbours but to date no joy.

    I have approached planning enforcement but won't hold my breath on that one, so was thinking under the circumstances whether I have just as much right to dig it up and return to its original condition and charge them for the work. Aside from the visual impact and now drainage concerns I have also noticed that the side wall (to the right facing away from the house) has been raised by 3 brick layers. Surely there must be something I can do?

    Again any help much appreciated
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 17th Mar 18, 8:02 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Well yes - if he doesnt have any right (but he has), then you don't have a right (but are equally able to do work there).

    Either both of you can - or neither of you can.

    So - I would tend to take the view of "If he can - I can too" in your position.

    The wall is a problem - wishing you luck on that.

    One thing that would be a good idea is to take diary entries/notes of what he's up to - and, if he causes any flooding type problems because of his illicit work - then you have some "evidence" to use against him.
    It's ok, I didn't believe in reincarnation the last time, either.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 17th Mar 18, 3:01 PM
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    Cakeguts
    Not being registered is not the same as not being owned.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 17th Mar 18, 3:24 PM
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    • 955 Thanks
    ProDave
    "and have put gates on either side effectively blocking access to the rear of both my own and my neighbours property."

    I would read that as ALLOWING access, unless of course the gates are locked.

    I would be making a point of regularly using the access, particularly in the summer pick a time when he is in the garden to wheel your bin through to make the point you are using the access.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 17th Mar 18, 3:31 PM
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    xylophone
    effectively blocking access to the rear of both my own and my neighbours property."
    You do have a right to quiet enjoyment of your own property.

    If you can't access it then it must be difficult to enjoy it.

    If his work is causing drainage problems then he may be causing damage to your and neighbouring properties.

    Had you thought of consulting a solicitor? Does your house insurance cover legal expenses?
    • P2P
    • By P2P 18th Mar 18, 4:55 AM
    • 37 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    P2P
    Good point re house insurance and legal expenses, I will check
    • P2P
    • By P2P 18th Mar 18, 5:02 AM
    • 37 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    P2P
    One additional and relevant concern is that if everyone on my street did the same as my troublesome neighbours, there would effectively be 12 gates that I would have to open to reach my own garden, and the undulating and changing surfaces could / would become a hazard. I have reported this to the planning enforcement agency as my neighbours have also raised the height of my own garden wall by 3 bricks implying it is a party wall when infact it isn't, it is built purely on my land and finishes along their boundary, so my neighbours really are lording it at the moment with very belligerent attitudes
    Last edited by P2P; 18-03-2018 at 9:27 AM.
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 18th Mar 18, 8:16 AM
    • 632 Posts
    • 642 Thanks
    HampshireH
    Well they certainly forgot to read the good new neighbour etiquette guide

    Why would they even think building up your wall would be acceptable. Take your deeds to them point out the error or their ways seek a resolution and (if you will actually do it) threaten legal action if they won't. Don't do this unless you are going to follow through with it though.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 18th Mar 18, 8:36 AM
    • 6,940 Posts
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    Norman Castle
    my neighbours have also raised the height of my own garden wall by 3 bricks implying it is a party wall when infant it isn't, it is built purely on my land and finishes along their boundary,
    Get quotes for removing these and making good the top of the wall and give them to your neighbour.

    Take regular photographs to show any changes.
    Last edited by Norman Castle; 18-03-2018 at 8:39 AM.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
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