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Path running between front garden of 2 properties

(13 Posts)
SweetGrapes Mon 08-Aug-11 15:58:54

There is a path running between the front gardens and the neighbours use it (have used it for 17 years to access there front door. They have a perfectly nice front garden facing the pavement but it seems when the houses were made the path was thrpough the middle of the gardens and each went lft and right to their front doors.

Our garden is all paved over and the path is at the side and we assumed it was part of our garden (as a straight line from between the two side gates to the pavement means 80% of the path is on our land.) Ther garden has a nuice big hedge etc and then they walk out the side onto my land and then access the pavement.

The neighbours are council tenants and have asked the council to repair the path. They think of it as their path and just let us know about it as good neighbours. We think it's on our land (as per the staright line).

The council says anyway since they have been coming out the side for 17 years we don't have a leg to stand on.

Is this true??? Seems silly for someone to require access to their front door through our garden when they have a perfectly good boundary on the pavement themselves....

Anyway, they are coming to repair on wednesday.
What do I do? Dh says call the police if they try to repair as if we let them it will set a precedent and access will be guaranteed.

Council says let us repair and if your and our laywers decide that it's your then we will move the path.
What do I do?

Collaborate Mon 08-Aug-11 16:07:19

They might have a right of way over it. Look at the deeds. Check with the solicitors who did the conveyancing for you.

If they do have a right of way (either express of gained by usage - seek detailed advice from a solicitor over how this can be acquired) that does not mean that you can be made to allow them to repair the path. but if someone's offering to do it for free, don't look a gift horse in the mouth. If it needs repairing, I'd say let them if it won't cost you anything.

SweetGrapes Mon 08-Aug-11 16:15:07

Is the fact that they have used it for 17 years enough to make it their path?

The deeds say something in giberrish. The diagram seems to show some shading in the middle at the front. Could that be it?

Collaborate Mon 08-Aug-11 16:21:13

Yes to both BUT:

It doesn't make the land theirs - it just gives them a right to pass over it. They can't for example, leave their bins out over it.

BikeRunSki Mon 08-Aug-11 16:26:06

Speak to the Land Registry if the deeds are unclear, or get a solicitor to interpret the deeds (they may well refer to the Land Registry anyway).

SweetGrapes Mon 08-Aug-11 16:27:58

I have uploaded a picture of the diagram to my photos. Could you have a look please?

It is exactly where they leave their bins smile

LIZS Mon 08-Aug-11 16:33:42

Looks shared to me with you owning adjoining boundary and rear boundary

LIZS Mon 08-Aug-11 16:35:19

or is the shading in the same colour as your boundary ? incldued .

Collaborate Mon 08-Aug-11 16:42:29

Looks shared.

BTW remove the photo and repost without the adjoining street being identified.

SweetGrapes Mon 08-Aug-11 16:42:48

The document we have is black and white. But reading through it again...
it says :

"Purchasers right of way" - way on foot only... area coloured brown... we need to pay to fix it.

"Reserved right of way" - right of way on foot for council and successors... blah blah... land shown in green.

So now I'm thinking the shading on their side means I have right of way over that which I need to repair , and the shading on my side is their right of way which they need to fix.

Collaborate Mon 08-Aug-11 16:51:22

Something like that, although you'll both share the cost to fix it?? Run it by a conveyancing solicitor.

SweetGrapes Mon 08-Aug-11 17:15:44

Thanks lot for your help...

Just one more question now... the diagram shows approx 60% path on their side but in actual fact the path is more like 20% on their side and 80% on my land. Can I restrict them to just 50% on my side or when they say that 'it's been like that for 17 years' I have to grin and bear it?

Collaborate Mon 08-Aug-11 17:22:59

You'd have to consult a surveyor to see where the lie of the land is re the plan. However by dint of long usage they may have acquired the right of way over the existing path (and you over their part too).

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