Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Postby copperman » Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:55 am

Hi,

Just a general query regarding the location of the boundary.

My house has guttering running along the entire length of one of the flank walls. The guttering and a small portion of the roof along the flank projects over my neighbours driveway.

The title deeds don't indicate one way or the other the exact location of the boundary.

A couple of property conveyancers I have spoken to have said that the location of the guttering would indicate that the ground directly underneath is actually my property. Could they actually be mistaken?

The house (and neighbouring house) were built in the 1920s by the same builder I believe.

thanks

Copperman
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Re: Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Postby Collaborate » Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:08 pm

I suspect it means very little. You will have an easement to keep the guttering over the driveway if you don't own the land beneath it.

An entirely academic exercise.
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Re: Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Postby copperman » Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:27 pm

Thanks.

Following on from that there are also a couple of windows within the flank wall that open out over my neighbours driveway. As far as I can tell they were installed in the early 1990s and they are constantly in use.

We are looking at replacing all our windows but are not sure how to proceed with regard to the flank windows.

My neighbour has said that he doesn't like the windows and would try to have them bricked up if he could. What would he be able to do if we were to replace them with newer windows of identical dimensions?
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Re: Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Postby Collaborate » Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:34 pm

You can secure access for essential maintenance under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act. If they've been there for over 20 years you'll have the legal right to continue to open them if you don't own that strip of land.
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Re: Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Postby copperman » Sun Apr 03, 2016 3:20 pm

We wouldn't need access to my neighbours land to replace the windows.

What I was more curious about was the idea that the easement is only valid against the existing windows.

Let's say I replaced my windows, would my neighbour then be able to say that the easement doesn't apply any more? or would he have to prove that an injury has been caused before he could do anything?
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Re: Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:58 pm

Hi copperman,

We wouldn't need access to my neighbours land to replace the windows

is that a fact, or an assumption?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Postby copperman » Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:03 pm

The guys fitting the windows have said that all the work can be done from inside our house.
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Re: Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Postby pilman » Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:31 pm

Why not have a sliding sash window installed on the flank wall. Then there is no likelyhood of any future problems with an easement being neded to open a window over a neighbour's land.

I bought one house where the windows opened inwards, something I hadn't seen before, although these ones can be swung open sideways or tilted open at the top.
Swinging inwards can be a problem when curtains and pelmets are involved, but tilting the window from the top allows air into the room with no problems with curtains or pelmets.

Mind you I don't live there, it's now the tenant's problem.
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Re: Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Postby despair » Sat May 21, 2016 8:06 pm

I would suggest that in 1920s the windows would have been sash windows and that if you are replacing opening out windows they need to be sash or limited opening variety
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Re: Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Postby ukmicky » Sat May 21, 2016 9:45 pm

Collaborate wrote:I suspect it means very little. You will have an easement to keep the guttering over the driveway if you don't own the land beneath it.

An entirely academic exercise.



Whilst there will be a few occasions where easements exist allowing guttering to overhang a neighbouring property ,a large proportion of situations will come under the legal presumption instead.

Where the boundary line is shown as the line of the wall, the legal presumption for projections extending beyond the wall such as eves ,guttering and foundations etc is that the land which owns the guttering or foundations owns the exact area of airspace or ground taken up by the projections but everything above ,below or in-between the projection is owned by the neighbour.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Postby copperman » Tue May 24, 2016 12:52 pm

Thanks for the info.

I posted a related item on the general topics forum
http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=20344

We have a couple of windows that when open project over the neighbours driveway. They sit directly under the guttering. Is there a legal presumption for those as well?

Asking mainly as my neighbour has now taken to shutting the lower floor window when he sees it open.
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Re: Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Postby ukmicky » Wed May 25, 2016 1:14 am

copperman wrote:Thanks for the info.

I posted a related item on the general topics forum
http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=20344

We have a couple of windows that when open project over the neighbours driveway. They sit directly under the guttering. Is there a legal presumption for those as well?

Asking mainly as my neighbour has now taken to shutting the lower floor window when he sees it open.


The presumption doesn't work for windows .

The airspace under the guttering under the presumption would be owned by the neighbour. If yours and the neighbours house were built like that as one development there will most likely be an implied easement or if added later they gain a prescriptive easement after 20 years.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Postby copperman » Wed May 25, 2016 10:20 am

Thanks.

The window has been in place for over 20 years so I guess a prescriptive easement is in place.

My neighbour is now shutting the window whenever he sees it open. I can of course open it again but is there a legal means of telling him to leave the window alone?
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Re: Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Postby pilman » Wed May 25, 2016 3:18 pm

The only way this could be settled is for you to begin legal proceedings to prove that your property has acquired a prescriptive easement that allows a window to be opened over the air space belonging to the neighbouring property.

That would involve a claim for an injunction to prevent the neighbour from closing the window each time it was in the open position, although the initial claim would have to be for a declaration from the court that an easement was one recognised in law and which could be proven under the doctrine of prescription.

Evidence of such use of the open window for over 20 years without permission, without force and openly exercised with such frequency that the neighbouring property owner ought to have been aware that such a trespass over his air space was occuring that he could have taken action to prevent the prescription period from continuing beyond the 20 years period needed for such a claim to be proven.

Taking into consideration the legal costs involved and the unknown potential for such a claim to be upheld, I think a more sensible solution would be to have the window replaced with a sash opening window. That way a known cost will be involved rather than the unknown costs and result of a court action.

Getting a quote to have a new window fitted and then getting a quote for the initial costs of starting legal action would be a sensible way forward before deciding how important it is to take on the neighbour who is currently trying to protect his property from a trespass by you each time the
window is left open over his air space.

I remember reading another thread where the poster wanted advice on stopping a window opening over his garden. There were quite a number of posters advising how to erect a barrier that would prevent that from happening. Perhaps you could look at some of those threads because it showed how sympathetic many posters were in trying to advise on how stop such a trespass.

Me, I'm neutral, as long as it's not my neighbour annoying me, but as the side wall of his house is at least four metres from mine it's not something I'm likely to encounter.
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Re: Location of boundary in relation to guttering

Postby arborlad » Wed May 25, 2016 5:30 pm

pilman wrote:I remember reading another thread where the poster wanted advice on stopping a window opening over his garden. There were quite a number of posters advising how to erect a barrier that would prevent that from happening. Perhaps you could look at some of those threads because it showed how sympathetic many posters were in trying to advise on how stop such a trespass.



This one perhaps, all 36 pages: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=18537&hilit=yvonne
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smile...it confuses people
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