Rights of access for maintenance

scotf
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Rights of access for maintenance

Post by scotf » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:16 pm

Hi

Hoping someone can help interpret the Access to Neighbouring Land Act.

I built a block work shed last year some 1 foot off the boundary with my neighbour at the end of my garden. There was an old half dead ivy strangled hedge there (fully on my side) and a small 3 ft wooden picket fence on her side, bolted to the old 6 ft concrete fence posts which mark the boundary. We offered to render for aesthetics at the time, but she refused and took great glee in inviting all the neighbours over to look at the monstrosity she has to look at. I cant fit through the gap to paint or render due to the posts being in the way.

I have now again asked for access to render the side of my shed to stop water ingress through the brickwork but she has again refused. She would rather look at blockwork than a nicely rendered surface. Her choice, saves me money but doesnt solve the problem. I even then requested access for 30 minutes to damp seal, at her convenience, but had door slammed in my face.

If I want access to paint on a damp sealer, do i need to go through the courts? Bearing in mind i dont need access through her gate, up the path etc, i can drop a ladder over from the shed (flat roof) and paint away within 20 minutes. I dont need access as such, i need the right to be on the property for a short period of time. I would much rather have permission, as dont want to have claims of trespass against me. The Act states that it allows access to neighbouring land with or without the owners permission. Is this ONLY by obtaining an order, as seems to be the case on every lawyers website?? If so, thats a £3000 bill that i cant pass on and is entirely prohibitive. I have checked deeds from Land Reg and there is nothing to assist me.

As with 99% of these things, relations go a long way. I have tried repeatedly to reach out to her, offer to help rebuild her garden wall new fence etc, but always met with hostilities. I have tried many many times, and have finally accepted that this route has failed.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks

S

MacadamB53
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Re: Rights of access for maintenance

Post by MacadamB53 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:32 pm

Hi S,

what about using long-handled implements whilst stood on your shed/in your garden if possible? (technically a trespass, but right at the trivial end of the spectrum).

Kind regards, Mac

scotf
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Re: Rights of access for maintenance

Post by scotf » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:36 pm

Hi Mac

Yes and no. Technically NOT a tresspass if i keep the long reach roller inside my 12 inches of space, but agreed that would be quite hard to do as i would have to reach over from shed roof. Id also worry about losing half the sealer onto the floor (just a concrete path on her side). But most of all, id be worried about missing a spot and not being able to see if i had complete coverage :).

span
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Re: Rights of access for maintenance

Post by span » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:39 pm

Is the work you propose to do "maintenance", or is it "improvement"?

It could be a tricky one.

mr sheen
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Re: Rights of access for maintenance

Post by mr sheen » Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:22 am

The rights are to maintain in current state...so having built it in that position has generated a problem for you if you wanted to carry out additional works on it. Since you had the option of using materials that would not have needed access to next doors land and no further works ( brick for example) it is unlikely that your position will generate much sympathy with the courts.

scotf
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Re: Rights of access for maintenance

Post by scotf » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:56 am

Whilst I take your point, no brick unless engineering will be fully water resistant and water would always come through the mortar. It was only ever a single skinned wall so no cavity to maintain a dry inner wall.

Eliza
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Re: Rights of access for maintenance

Post by Eliza » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:25 pm

I am wondering why you quote it as a £3,000 bill to go through the Courts???

Isn't access for "necessary maintenance" (which the Court may or may not agree this is) something that would be dealt with by a Small Claims Court anyway? - ie only a bill more along the £50-£100 level?
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....

mr sheen
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Re: Rights of access for maintenance

Post by mr sheen » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:32 pm

Scotf, Doesn't look like you get my point at all.....once up, you can only 'maintain'. There is no right to carry out building works or improvements from your neighbour's land.
Nothing will be 100% waterproof but that is not your neighbour's problem, it's yours. If you needed a waterproof wall, then you should have ensured that there was enough space for you to carry out works all round.
If the neighbour objects, the court will decide whether to grant you access and under what restrictions but this case would be risky.
This issue is becoming a big problem since people are exerting their right to build right up to the boundary.....only for the neighbour to do exactly the same, resulting in both being unable to get to walls and in some cases walls have been built right up to a neighbour's conservatory preventing windows opening and blocking out light.

scotf
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Re: Rights of access for maintenance

Post by scotf » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:05 pm

No, I get your point entirely. But the issue.you describe is onto that regards the application of a water seal coat as 'building work'. If I had applied a coat to the blocks as they went up, and seeing as such treatments may last only 2 or 3 years, then would i have the right to maintain???? Maintain in my books and in this case means to ensure the weatherproofing by a reasonable means. I don't consider it building work.

mr sheen
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Re: Rights of access for maintenance

Post by mr sheen » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:57 pm

If you want to carry out these works, you have 2 options..
Negotiate with the neighbour
Seek a court order for access to the neighbour's land. In which case It is your burden to prove to a judge that such work is essential and constitutes maintenance as oppose to improvement.

Going round in circles and seeking to prove the work is essential to us here cannot achieve the outcome you want. Although you imply that you are doing it for the benefit of the neighbour so that the wall is aesthetically pleasing for her...if this is the case :? And she refuses access...The answer would then be very simple!

scotf
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Re: Rights of access for maintenance

Post by scotf » Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:16 pm

Hi and thanks. I'm not trying to prove anything to anybody, I'm simply stating the situation and seeking clarification of the act from some people who may have had experience with it.

It seems that the term of Maintenance is key here. I would consider painting external walls as periodic maintenance, for aesthetics or otherwise. I would suspect that given the nature of the works, the inconvenience caused, the fact it would.only take 20 mins and that I have been very polite and reasonable in my requests (not reciprocated) then a court would look upon this favourably.

Negotiation has failed thus far. She would rather look at a short 3m section of block work wall and have something to moan about than have a nice looking wall but no gripes.

Back to original question, is permission only obtainable by the court order. Can't I jump over and paint it, and explain to the police when they arrive that I am exercising my right to access? Or does the court need to determine if the right exists?

Thanks

COGGY
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Re: Rights of access for maintenance

Post by COGGY » Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:56 pm

Hi

I think many people would "jump over and paint it" when the neighbour was out. If it it only takes 20 minutes then more than likely no-one would see you. There would be nothing to show you had been as the coating you are discussing is normally clear.

I am not advising you to do this, it is not my decision to make. Would the neighbour think it worthwhile going to court after the event? I think a reasonable person would not. On the other hand a reasonable person would give permission in the first place.

Life is full of decisions. :roll:

Coggy

Eliza
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Re: Rights of access for maintenance

Post by Eliza » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:10 pm

That would be just the time for a version of Sods Law to come into operation - ie the neighbour had surreptitiously put up a security camera and caught OP doing so on film.
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....

COGGY
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Re: Rights of access for maintenance

Post by COGGY » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:30 pm

Well sometimes we just have to live dangerously. :roll:

despair
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Re: Rights of access for maintenance

Post by despair » Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:07 am

If theres a 1ft gap between your shed wall and the boundary i cant see why you cannot use that to waterproof paint the blocks or even render it

I could manage to do it but then i would have had the sense to do so as i built the wall

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