Neighbour Dispute

Neighbour Dispute

Postby thegirlone » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:21 am

We have a dispute with our neighbour. In the 4 years we have lived in our property never as much as spoke to each other except for the occasional "hi".

About 4 months ago he changed the pitch to stairs which runs up the left side of our home and gives access to his property as well as some changes to his garage which is to the left of our home. These mods damaged the harling on our wall.

There is also a gate which is joined to our property and only in the last 4 months has he begun to use this gate. Whenever he closes (sorry slams) this it vibrates through our home and rings like a bell.

My partner after a few weeks asked him to try and close it quietly and was met with a barrage of abuse. We have now consulted CAB, Police and 2 seperate solicitors who advise the gate is joined to our heritble property and request this is removed due to fact he cannot respectfully close the gate. He does not own the home but his parents do and they have also been sent 3 letters via a solicitor for which there has been no response.

We have copies of both our title deeds and their title deeds and there is no mention of the gate on either.

He claims he owns the gate and the wall he has damaged as its the gable end (he is an idiot clearly) and the boundary wall on deeds show the wall is ours. We are now about to see a specialist property solicitor but if neither deeds state who owns the gate and he has only used it in the last 4 months as a nuisance - refuses to allow us access to fix the damage he has caused and we have had a window put thru with a rock - if it goes to court are we likely to win or lose?
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Re: Neighbour Dispute

Postby Collaborate » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:20 am

It's not how long he's been using the gate that counts. It's how long the gate has been there. Any idea of that?
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Re: Neighbour Dispute

Postby thegirlone » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:48 am

We have no idea - its not included in the deeds but the neighbour told the police its been up for about 15 years but we have been told about prescription and that the gate must be in constant use - which is hasn't which is why I mentioned usage
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Re: Neighbour Dispute

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:13 am

Hi thegirlone,

we're flying blind a bit here...

could there be something about the layout which calls into question who owns what?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbour Dispute

Postby Collaborate » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:36 am

But the gate is in constant use. It is there, acting as a barrier. It's the same as if he'd attached a fence to your wall.

Ask him for proof of how long it's been there.

It doesn't stop it being a nuisance though.
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Re: Neighbour Dispute

Postby thegirlone » Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:01 am

Not "constant" use -Rights of access can be created by prescription, which requires:

continuous use for a period in excess of 20 years;
with the use having been open and peaceable and
without any challenge having been made, in the courts, to such use.

None of above apply - why would someone not reply to 3 solicitors letters and ignore them or make good the damage?
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Re: Neighbour Dispute

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:12 am

Hi thegirlone,

are you in Scotland? (this forum is dedicated to matters under E&W law).

Kind regards, Mac
PS that doesn't mean you can't use the forum, it's just so we're all aware and you're not misinformed...
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Re: Neighbour Dispute

Postby Eliza » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:03 pm

thegirlone wrote:Not "constant" use -Rights of access can be created by prescription, which requires:

continuous use for a period in excess of 20 years;
with the use having been open and peaceable and
without any challenge having been made, in the courts, to such use.

None of above apply - why would someone not reply to 3 solicitors letters and ignore them or make good the damage?



Point of clarification here re your 3rd point on this (ie stating without any challenge "in the courts").

It's always been my understanding that a challenge, of itself, is sufficient to "stop the clock" if someone is trying to build up time towards a 20 year span (with a view to claiming prescriptive rights). ie meaning you don't have to get the courts involved unless someone has gone over the 20 years/has some sort of chance of "proving it" and is trying to claim prescriptive rights over a part of your land.

Have I got that right?
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....
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Re: Neighbour Dispute

Postby mr sheen » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:36 pm

It would be a wealthy person who would take a matter like this to court in England and Wales.
The owners have failed to engage in discussion by ignoring solicitors letters so this sets the tone and engaging solicitors will just be throwing money away as they continually ignore the letters which just racks up your bill.
Courts are unsympathetic about minor issues and this appears to just be about a gate and allowing it to slam....none of which would be worthy of legal action with courts expecting neighbours to seek out reasonable solutions.
You could put a soft close mechanism on the gate.
You don't seem to know how long the gate has been there, so his evidence about the gate cannot be rebutted without other evidence.
No idea of the situation though if this is in Scotland.
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