neighbours want access to my garden

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sammyshammy
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neighbours want access to my garden

Post by sammyshammy » Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:00 am

please help someone!!!
we have just bought a ground floor flat with private garden, however the upstairs flat has a staircase leading into our garden - which we tried to block but they claim to have right of access to the garden.
our conveyers confirmed the garden is private and there is nothing in either lease to suggest any right of access for the neighbours....HOWEVER we were today approached by their lawyers saying they should have right of way as it was granted in the neighbours original tenancy agreement (when it was council property)...the neighbour has since bought the property but his lease states nothing about the garden. a bit long-winded, but do you think we can block them out??
thanks to anyone who can help!

span
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:34 am

Re: Strange easement situation

Post by span » Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:04 am

If you do it, the onus is then on them to either accept it or fight it. So, block them out and see what happens.

sammyshammy
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Re: Strange easement situation

Post by sammyshammy » Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:18 am

we did it, hence the call from their solicitors threatening an injunction if we did not remove the plantpots :)
i cant figure out if theres anything behind their claim...

despair
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Re: neighbours want access to my garden

Post by despair » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:33 am

Sounds like the Council messed up on the sale and the upstairs flat owners may have rights by long use of themselves and any previous occupants

I suspect the vendors of your flat may also be liable for misrepresentation

arborlad
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Re: neighbours want access to my garden

Post by arborlad » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:00 am

sammyshammy wrote:......... the upstairs flat has a staircase .........
How long has that been there, was it there when you viewed?
Last edited by arborlad on Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

Geometer
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Re: neighbours want access to my garden

Post by Geometer » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:18 am

sammyshammy wrote:please help someone!!!
we have just bought a ground floor flat with private garden, however the upstairs flat has a staircase leading into our garden - which we tried to block but they claim to have right of access to the garden.
Is this staircase a fire escape? If it is, blocking or obstructing it would be illegal, regardless of any access rights.

Anon
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Re: neighbours want access to my garden

Post by Anon » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:44 pm

"the upstairs flat has a staircase leading into our garden - which we tried to block but they claim to have right of access to the garden. our conveyers confirmed the garden is private and there is nothing in either lease to suggest any right of access for the neighbours...."

Did you tell your conveyancer specifically about the staircase?

"HOWEVER we were today approached by their lawyers saying they should have right of way as it was granted in the neighbours original tenancy agreement (when it was council property)...the neighbour has since bought the property but his lease states nothing about the garden."

Does his lease refer to any other documents, and/or mention quasi-easements?

Sudynim
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Re: neighbours want access to my garden

Post by Sudynim » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:17 am

sammyshammy wrote:please help someone!!!
we have just bought a ground floor flat with private garden, however the upstairs flat has a staircase leading into our garden - which we tried to block but they claim to have right of access to the garden.
The staircase is a strong clue that the upstairs flat did have that right at one time. If you block them, they will have to prove that it still exists. It would be surprising if the right was removed during a right to buy purchase. If they win a court case, you might have a liability for costs.

You can download their title deeds from the land registry for a modest fee, and check for yourself.

arborlad
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Location: Hertfordshire

Re: neighbours want access to my garden

Post by arborlad » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:34 pm

sammyshammy wrote: right of access................ right of way
These are two seperate and different rights.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

pilman
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Re: neighbours want access to my garden

Post by pilman » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:16 pm

"HOWEVER we were today approached by their lawyers saying they should have right of way as it was granted in the neighbours original tenancy agreement (when it was council property)...the neighbour has since bought the property but his lease states nothing about the garden."
When a property was transferred under the right to but scheme, all rights that were used when the property was tenanted would have passed on conveyance under the terms of Section 62 of the Law of property Act 1925, unless this was specifically excluded.

As these transfers were authorised by the Housing Act 1980 or 1985, all existing easements had to be included in the conveyance as the procedure was comprehensively weighted in favour of the tenant buying the property they had lived in. These were not "sales" but a statutory obligation on a local council to transfer the property together with all existing rights and privileges.

It may be that the neighbouring flat owner acquired the right of access, or a right of way, through the operation of the terms of the Housing Act which compelled the council to include any easements already in place at the date of the transfer to the tenant.

That could be what the solicitor has pointed out to you.

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