Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

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somewhat_concerned
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Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

Post by somewhat_concerned » Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:08 am

Advice please? We're hoping to buy a property which has been recently built onto the end of a row of terraces. The side boundary fence at the rear of the property has been placed about 2 feet 'into' the garden of the newer property so that next door's garden is wider and the new property overhangs next doors garden sharing their down pipe from the roof guttering. This has been correctly drawn on the title deeds and there is a right of access to next door's garden for maintenance issues.
We have not been told why this has been set up but we assume it is so that next door can have access around their conservatory in their rear garden which otherwise would be up against the boundary fence.

3 questions: 1) Can I assume this could cause problems if neighbours don't co-operate even though, in theory, they are legally obliged to?
2)Is this likely to cause difficuties for a re-sale in the future?
3) What would be the best way to attempt to get the land back before buying -ie: have the fence in the conventional place between the 2
properties?

Anything else we should be thinking about??!!
Thanks in advance.

despair
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Re: Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

Post by despair » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:35 pm

effectively this is a Right of Way situation

I suggest you read many of the posts in our ROW section

everything depends so much on the neighbours and while existing ones may be great future ones may not be
then i suspect you will want to walk away or refuse to purchase until they move the fence

Certainly not the kind of situation many on here would recomend you buy into

somewhat_concerned
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Re: Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

Post by somewhat_concerned » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:06 pm

Thanks for replying - I'll start reading the ROW stuff. This is all so new to me!

Alicia
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Re: Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

Post by Alicia » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:19 pm

somewhat_concerned wrote: 3 questions: 1) Can I assume this could cause problems if neighbours don't co-operate even though, in theory, they are legally obliged to?
2)Is this likely to cause difficuties for a re-sale in the future?
3) What would be the best way to attempt to get the land back before buying -ie: have the fence in the conventional place between the 2
properties?
1) Yes
2) Yes - I wouldn't buy it.
3) Tell the seller you won't buy it until they sort this out.
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somewhat_concerned
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Re: Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

Post by somewhat_concerned » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:52 pm

Thanks Alicia

somewhat_concerned
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Re: Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

Post by somewhat_concerned » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:33 pm

Interesting that you all feel much the same way - tbh, it was my gut feeling but it's taken SO long to find a house to buy which is perfect for us in every other way :(
Seems like the vendors don't want to discuss trying to resolve the issue so looks like we'll reluctantly have to withdraw...
Of course the estate agent (and our solicitor, even) have stated that they can't see any problem with it as the boundary is correctly drawn on the deeds.

Really helpful to hear the opinions of 'neutral' people instead! Thanks

Alicia
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Re: Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

Post by Alicia » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:31 pm

somewhat_concerned wrote:Seems like the vendors don't want to discuss trying to resolve the issue
That sounds like there might already be a problem with the neighbours about this.
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despair
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Re: Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

Post by despair » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:11 pm

Sounds like they already know theres a problem

walk away there will be another more perfect house

pilman
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Re: Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

Post by pilman » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:09 pm

Here is a contrary opinion to those previously expressed as I have actually built houses by adding to an existing end terrace on a number of occasions.

If I understand the problem, the width of the house is shown as having a greater width than the rear garden because the side boundary fence to the rear of the house has been located 2 feet away from a conservatory that is already constructed in the other garden.

The new house has been granted access rights for maintenance, but what will need to be maintained that is located in the two feet not included in the property sale.

The down pipe that serves both houses will need to be maintained by the original house owner just as much as by the new house owner. It seems likely that this down pipe is the original pipe that drained water from the roof into a soakaway or a drainage pipe.
It would be interesting to know where the original soakaway is located if that is how surface water is drained, but all these easements of pipes, cables etc ought to be granted and reserved in the deeds of both properties, so that there is no doubt that these normal shared facilities are dealt with correctly.

In modern developments, easements are routinely inserted into house deeds to allow gutter overhangs and common shared services to be understood by each purchaser of a newly built house.
Most of these deeds confirm a right of access for maintenance, normally so that a fence can be maintained by the respective owner who will need to access the neighbouring property to do that when a problem occurs such as high winds that move existing panels.

As no one will ever know what sort of neighbour they will come across when buying a new house, is it really the consensus of opinion on this web-site that no one should buy a new house that has an access right written into the deeds.
I could certainly understand the potential problems when no access rights are mentioned in deeds, but when they are clearly set out, it seems ridiculous to assume that is a future problem waiting to happen.
Especially to the extent that advice given to the OP is walk away and do not buy a new house.

This is a house built in the garden of an existing house which already had a conservatory built as an extension.
Naturally the existing house owner wants to benefit from selling the new house that had been granted planning permission on their land, but equally naturally they did not want to stop themselves from having an access alongside the conservatory for its future maintenance.

That is why the fence is located in a slightly offset position, but is clearly defined in the plan attached to the sale particulars.

As long as the house is being sold with a 10 year warranty from a reputable insurance company, starting to worry about how bad a neighbour is likely to be, is rather like asking the same question of every house being sold in the country.

I have never seen the question "How do you get on with the neighbour on each side" posed in the current Property Description Form, but hey, that could soon be happening if more people tune in to Garden Law and read about the NHF and potential NFH's, as yet unknown.

arborlad
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Re: Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

Post by arborlad » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:10 pm

Gotta agree with Pilman on this, the situation with guttering, drains, downpipes, services etc., is no different to any other in a terraced/semi-detached scenario throughout the land.

The layout of the fence may appear odd, but if its location matches the title plan, and the title plan agrees with the fence, everything would appear to be in order - apart from knowing who owns the fence!

despair wrote:effectively this is a Right of Way situation

I suggest you read many of the posts in our ROW section
Nothing to do with Rights of Way.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

despair
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Re: Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

Post by despair » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:13 pm

If very clearly the deeds only express a right of access for maintenance and the details are clearly understood by both parties then i withdraw my suggestion that a form of Right of Way exists

arborlad
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Re: Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

Post by arborlad » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:30 pm

somewhat_concerned wrote:Really helpful to hear the opinions of 'neutral' people instead! Thanks
Neutral?..............not really - not even remotely, if you think about it.

The members of this forum, in the main, have arrived here with a problem, which may or may not have been resolved, but have stayed to help others with their experience - good or bad - hardly neutral!
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

ukmicky
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Re: Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

Post by ukmicky » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:03 pm

arborlad wrote:
somewhat_concerned wrote:Really helpful to hear the opinions of 'neutral' people instead! Thanks
Neutral?..............not really - not even remotely, if you think about it.

The members of this forum, in the main, have arrived here with a problem, which may or may not have been resolved, but have stayed to help others with their experience - good or bad - hardly neutral!
Youve made me feel odd NOW ,like i dont belong as ive not had any problems.

I need a NFH :))
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

somewhat_concerned
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Re: Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

Post by somewhat_concerned » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:17 pm

Thank you everyone for taking the trouble to reply. We're still chewing it over and asking our solictor to write to theirs to clarify the reasons for the current situation.

I think I'm a natural worrier and for that reason I might not be the best person to buy this property unless the situation is changed first....

I appreciate your advice - thanks

victor508
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Re: Overhanging next door's property & rights of access

Post by victor508 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:20 pm

Ukmicky wrote:
I need a NFH )
Be careful what you ask for.
Victor.

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