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Well, well, well

(104 Posts)
redbunnyfruitcake Fri 28-Jun-13 14:25:01

I've just bought a house with shared access. This is not a problem as such as the neighbour and I have equal access through each others gardens and providing the gate is closed it shouldn't affect my children's safety.

However, our utility room opens out into their garden and we will obviously use this door most of the time for convenience when bringing a pram through. The big problem is that to the side of their house they have a well. It is surrounded by a low wall but I don't yet know if it is covered. For my own sanity I will need to ask them to cover it but I do not know if I have any rights to. And knowing children as I do there will be an inbuilt fascination regarding the well so just telling them not to go near it will not be enough.

This has already given me a few sleepless nights and I have already unwittingly upset the neighbour by accidently blocking her right of way (long story) so I do not want to get into any further strife but for the sake of my children I need to address this well situation. I am a little concerned that the neighbour is a bit difficult and may refuse to cover the well hence my worry.

How do I find out about my rights regarding the well? And AIBU to ask them to cover the well? Any pointers would be helpful.

CocktailQueen Fri 28-Jun-13 14:26:13

Didn't you know or ask about the well before you bought the house?

cantspel Fri 28-Jun-13 14:28:45

You can ask but if they say no you wont be able to do a lot about it.

Just ask if it is covered and if they say no ask if they would mind if you paid to have a cover made for it.

eurozammo Fri 28-Jun-13 14:29:29

You can ask and pay for any cover, but I very much doubt you have any rights in that regard.

redbunnyfruitcake Fri 28-Jun-13 14:29:54

We had no idea bout the well until after we bought the house. The couple put theirs on the market shortly after we bought ours and we saw it on the particulars. They have so ce decided not to sell and are staying. We haven't moved in yet so we are still unsure of how things will work out.

LineRunner Fri 28-Jun-13 14:30:44

Can I ask, what did you think would happen with the well when you viewed the property? Did you not have some sort of cunning plan in mind?

I'd ask them if they would allow me to cover it and fence it off.

I'm assuming they don't need it for anything? smile

CloudsAndTrees Fri 28-Jun-13 14:31:45

I doubt you have any rights if its private property.

You should offer to organise and pay for the well to be covered, because you are the one who wants it done after buying the house knowing that it was there, and that you have young children.

LineRunner Fri 28-Jun-13 14:31:57

X-post, OP.

mamaslatts Fri 28-Jun-13 14:32:25

I think there is a law which states you have to make your property safe even for those not invited onto it?? (sorry, v vague) would obviously use the law as a last resort but sure that would be covered?

redbunnyfruitcake Fri 28-Jun-13 14:33:00

The well is not obvious from just looking around so we didn't know it was even there. I think it would have made me think twice to be honest.

SoupDragon Fri 28-Jun-13 14:34:45

Um... can't you just keep the door locked and put a high bolt on the gate? You could somehow put a combination lock on the gate so that your neighbours have access.

DamnBamboo Fri 28-Jun-13 14:40:22

If you want her to put a cover on it, you will need to pay.

Why move into a house with a well if you have young kids?

DamnBamboo Fri 28-Jun-13 14:42:20

How can you not see a well if you inspect a property thoroughly?

HoHoHoNoYouDont Fri 28-Jun-13 14:45:52

If it was my well I wouldn't hesitate in getting it covered if I knew children would be near it. I hope your neighbour turns out to be as reasonable.

redbunnyfruitcake Fri 28-Jun-13 14:47:48

Damn bamboo please read the thread. The well is not obvious and it is in their part of the garden which i was not shown as i was not buying their house. I did not know it was there.

Moominsarehippos Fri 28-Jun-13 14:48:14

Is it a real well or an ornamental one?

redbunnyfruitcake Fri 28-Jun-13 14:51:02

Ho ho ho thank you for your reply. It seems that asking a question unleashes a need in people to insinuate that I'm a complete idiot.

redbunnyfruitcake Fri 28-Jun-13 14:52:42

Moomin, it's real unfortunately.

CaptainSweatPants Fri 28-Jun-13 14:54:39

Shared access with young children sounds a nightmar
What if teenagers live there in the future who don't shut the gate ?

DamnBamboo Fri 28-Jun-13 14:54:46

I did read the thread and I'm not trying to be rude or insinuate you're an idiot. You said you have access through each others gardens, and that the well is at the side of the house... unless it's at the other side of the house (where you're kids shouldn't ever be anyway) , I would have thought it would have been obvious, but I can't picture what you're saying.

Could be ornamemtal? There's one in a front garden on my road, filled with soil and plants.

iseenodust Fri 28-Jun-13 14:56:10

Maybe not ask them to cover it but put a metal grid, strong enough to weight bear, in just below top? Boxed in may look unsightly to them but a safety grid out of sight unless next to it may be accpetable compromise?

maddening Fri 28-Jun-13 14:57:34

Move the utility door to open to your garden? Would you still need to cross their land? Would the dc ever be unattended in their garden?

Owllady Fri 28-Jun-13 14:59:03

I agree with cloudsandtrees, offer to pay for it to be covered - that's all you can do really

ExcuseTypos Fri 28-Jun-13 15:00:13

I would have a chat with them and tell them how worried you are. They may not have even thought about the saftey aspect, when you point it out they could say they will cover it. I'd offer to pay for the cover.

If they aren't reasonable then I would go to the CAB. They are very good at dealing with this kind of thing. They'll beable to tell you what you'd be allowed to do re somehow blocking off their garden from yours.

DamnBamboo Fri 28-Jun-13 15:01:55

We have a huge pond with three little kids - if you buy wire fencing, or chicken wire and secure it over the top and sides, it will be secure. Hopefully they will agree to this, unfortunately for you, they don't have to.
Good luck.

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