Bouindaries and Right of Access

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Louise14
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Bouindaries and Right of Access

Post by Louise14 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:00 am

Hi, hope someone might be able to give some guidance / advice please on the following;

Last year my next door neighbours of 16 years decided they wanted to lay a patio in the lower half of their rear garden. During these works his builder stated hacking at the stone wall that belongs to our property and sits within our boundary, When I asked him to stop as this was our property and he shouldn't be damaging the wall, the builder told me that the fence that also sits on top of the wall and extends up the garden, was going to be taken down. I explained that this was not possible as the fence belonged to us, having been erected by the previous owners and we purchased with it insitu, and the neighbour had not had any discussions with us or notified us of any such works. The fence matches the other perimeters in our garden that were also insitu when we purchased the property from the previous owners. Despite our requests the neighbour ignored us and instructed his builder to remove the wooden posts and to dig under the fence line to build a breeze block wall that would surround his patio. The wall and fence have been damaged. This wall now sits within our boundary therefore would we be in our rights to knock down the wall sitting under the fence and on our land? or could we claim the wall as ours as it is siting on our land? as if we wanted to extend our property out from our internal lounge wall, this breeze block wall sits in our way?

My husband has tired to talk to the neighbours but their response was I have plenty of money take me to court. We did use a solicitor to obtain a surveyors report of the site and to write to the neighbours detailing that they had in fact built on our land which cost us £1500.00.The neighbours are still acquainted to the previous owner of the property who admitted he had built the wall but has tried to support the neighbours saying that the neighbour paid for the fence as he wanted privacy (sitting on our wall and matching our other perimeter fencing whilst the neighbour has left the other boundaries to his garden with simple posts and barbed wire - if he wanted privacy then surely he would have fenced all of his garden with the same style of fencing?) This neighbours seem very confident that they have plenty of money and will win any court case and appear reliant on us not having the money to take legal action, they are basically just laughing in our faces.

Unfortunately due to ill health I am not working and we cannot afford to incur large court bills but now have a dispute with our neighbour that is unresolved and will potentially cause problems if we come to want to sell our house. I understand that we could also ask the Land Registry to clearly define the boundaries however this is also quite expensive for them to come out and undertake this work. We don't want to rise to any passive aggressive bait laid down by the neighbours and want things to be sorted properly but unfortunately it appears that they can do as they please unless we have the money to take them to court. Any guidance / advise would be appreciated. As part of this work the builder also directed a drainage pipe from the upper part of their garden to flood into our garden which we discovered over the winter and has damaged a significant number of plants.

In addition the neighbour is continually blocking one of our rights of access to the front of the property , both pedestrian and vehicular, which is detailed clearly in our deeds, We currently only have a pedestrian gate there as we haven't been able to afford to put in the driveway gates to date, but do want to do this as our other access is a farm track that is frequently blocked by the farmer when he comes to access his livestock and this has become more problematic of late. Despite numerous requests for them to stop blocking the access, they continue to park right up close to the gate, making access difficult for both us and any deliveries, including the postman, and are using the space as their private parking spaces. There are three properties in a row at the site, the old farmhouse that has recently been renovated, and two barn conversions, we live in the outer barn and the neighbour lives in the barn conversion in the middle of the properties - we all have a right of access but no right of parking.

Furthermore at the top of the rear gardens, there is a fenced piece of agricultural land running across the back of all three properties. Both neighbours had a wire fence which they have removed and extended the curtilage of their gardens into this agricultural land. The neighbour in the middle barn conversions has also erected a large timber play structure that sits above 4 metres in height and within a metre of our boundary therefore outside the planning regulations for such structures and blocks the open views. This has been erected without planning permission.

How can we address these matters with our neighbour without it costing us a fortune and to achieve resolution. They seem to ignore planning regulations and go out of their way to try to cause problems, or is it a case that because we haven't got the money to rectify this via the courts, and they apparently have plenty of money. they can just do as they please and we just have to accept their actions?

We only want to be able to enjoy the property as we purchased it and within the proper legal and planning constraints without this aggravation therefore any advise would be much appreciated as this continual aggravation is affecting my health and making for a sad existence.

Collaborate
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Re: Bouindaries and Right of Access

Post by Collaborate » Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:43 pm

Check your home insurance for legal cover. Anything else will cost you money, though I'm surprised you spent £1500 on a surveyor without being prepared to take it further if necessary.

Louise14
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Re: Bouindaries and Right of Access

Post by Louise14 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:00 am

Thanks for your reply. We spent the £1500 with a solicitor who engaged the surveyor and the result was a plan that demonstrated the neighbour had build on or land but the solicitor was not doing what was required and just kept upping the fees which we could not afford.

Collaborate
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Re: Bouindaries and Right of Access

Post by Collaborate » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:24 am

What did you expect for £1,500 when the surveyor took half of that? They advised you about the law and tried to negotiate with your neighbour. Next step is court proceedings, and that's going to cost many thousands of pounds.

Louise14
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Re: Bouindaries and Right of Access

Post by Louise14 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:42 pm

The surveyors fees didn't amount to half of the £1500, a mere £250 and the solicitor did no negotiation with the neighbour - unfortunately the solicitor did not provide the service we paid for and that is why we discontinued their services - an expensive lesson. I am really looking for some constructive advice rather than unhelpful comments formed without seeking out further facts and based on limited information ~Be Kind.

MacadamB53
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Re: Bouindaries and Right of Access

Post by MacadamB53 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:14 pm

Hi Louise14,

notify your Local Planning Authority (typically a dept of your local council) about any potential breaches of planning law and they’ll take whatever action they deem necessary (NB: they are entitled to decide no action is necessary).

stay safe, Mac

mr sheen
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Re: Bouindaries and Right of Access

Post by mr sheen » Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:43 pm

Unfortunately you fell into the trap of believing that a ‘strongly worded’ letter from a solicitor would get you what you wanted.....this is an outdated belief. People do not quake in their boots on receipt of a letter from the many thousands of mediocre solicitors. Solicitors letters should only be used as a precursor to legal action that you are confident you will win and have the resources to pursue.

You ask how you can get resolution?....If you are 100% certain that you are right then collate your evidence (survey, aerial photos, witness statements, old photos, deeds, old documentés etc etc) that PROVE your case and present your case to the neighbour and if they do nothing then you have to decide whether to take the legal route all the way to court, keep negotiating yourself or accept the existing situation.....there is no magic formula just possible routes to try eg..planning authorities, civil courts, alternative dispute resolution etc but no guarantees and unless you go to court no way to force the neighbour to do what you claim is the right thing.

Having sent a solicitors letter and failed to follow through your neighbour knows you were bluffing....so you have the option to follow through to court, try again to negotiate, contact planning authorities to see if they are interested or accept the current situation.

A garden wall and bit of fencing is not worth getting ill over. Try to put these minor issues in perspective in the face of global pandemic and economic downturns and enjoy the positives of living there.

If the annoyances with this property are too great for you then you need to consider if this type of property with rights of way and old walls etc is suitable for your needs and expectations or if you might be happier elsewhere.

Louise14
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Re: Bouindaries and Right of Access

Post by Louise14 » Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:36 am

Hi,

Thank you for your constructive response. Selling the property ultimately will be the option we will have to follow as unfortunately it appears the neighbours can do as they please including blocking our legal right of access and unless we have the money to take them to court they get away with it, which to me makes a mockery of the legal system in this country - do ill to others and get away with it.

We have repeatedly tried to talk to the neighbour but to no avail and honestly we could take a tit for tat approach that could cause them some significant problems but we are not of that nature.. We are law abiding citizens that believe do unto others as you would be done to but not everyone has the same approach. We just haven't got the money to fight them in court for their arrogance, and ignorance.

Collaborate
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Re: Bouindaries and Right of Access

Post by Collaborate » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:51 am

Louise14 wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:36 am
Hi,

Thank you for your constructive response. Selling the property ultimately will be the option we will have to follow as unfortunately it appears the neighbours can do as they please including blocking our legal right of access and unless we have the money to take them to court they get away with it, which to me makes a mockery of the legal system in this country - do ill to others and get away with it.

We have repeatedly tried to talk to the neighbour but to no avail and honestly we could take a tit for tat approach that could cause them some significant problems but we are not of that nature.. We are law abiding citizens that believe do unto others as you would be done to but not everyone has the same approach. We just haven't got the money to fight them in court for their arrogance, and ignorance.
Why does it make a mockery of the legal system?

Clifford Pope
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Re: Bouindaries and Right of Access

Post by Clifford Pope » Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:32 pm

Collaborate wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:51 am


Why does it make a mockery of the legal system?
Because the law, like the Ritz hotel, is open to anybody?
:)

Collaborate
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Re: Bouindaries and Right of Access

Post by Collaborate » Sat Apr 25, 2020 7:22 am

Clifford Pope wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:32 pm
Collaborate wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:51 am


Why does it make a mockery of the legal system?
Because the law, like the Ritz hotel, is open to anybody?
:)
OK - so what's your great idea for funding it?

mr rusty
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Re: Bouindaries and Right of Access

Post by mr rusty » Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:25 am

How can we address these matters with our neighbour without it costing us a fortune and to achieve resolution. They seem to ignore planning regulations and go out of their way to try to cause problems, or is it a case that because we haven't got the money to rectify this via the courts, and they apparently have plenty of money. they can just do as they please and we just have to accept their actions?
If there is any prospect that the neighbour might want to sell, you possibly do have a small weapon and that is to tell them that at the point they put a for-sale board up you will lodge a DB form with the land registry which costs £90. This starts the process to determine a boundary and I believe will show up as a dispute on any searches. AFAIK there is no particular timescale to complete this process, so you could drag your feet for quite a long time. It may not give you any outcome, but just starting the process might gum up the works of his sale.

despair
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Re: Bouindaries and Right of Access

Post by despair » Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:00 pm

You have not answered as to whether you have properly checked mortgages, insurances, credit cards, union memberships for legal expenses cover

You may well gave it or have had it and can use it

cleo5
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Re: Bouindaries and Right of Access

Post by cleo5 » Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:09 pm

Louise 14
Be wary even if you have legal expenses cover on your house insurance or creditcards etc as some insurers wriggle out of paying for what they call neighbour disputes.(from personal experience).
There isno way of sorting this without huge solicitor,s bill and court fees.

I agree with you. The law is for the monied just like tea at the Ritz.
Let the wall issue go if you don,t have reliable legal cover. It will not be worth worry and aggro. If neighbour removes fence from top of wall replace it over time with one of your own.


You can do something about the neighbour parking on your land though.
When there are no vehicles there put soomething in place to block it.
I would suggest a large load of horse manure, (leaving a path for postman,) or a pile of rocks or some green refuse bins bins filled with stones or anything that comes to mind.

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