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Letter to my neighbour over access issue.....advice please

(10 Posts)
queenrollo Thu 06-Sep-07 11:58:15

There is a gate on our property which the neighbour has to cross our front garden to access. It is not on our deeds (our solicitor clarified this yesterday). Our neighbours (the property is empty, they visit it several times a week)have now had two months to produce papers they claim to have giving them legal access and use of this gate. They haven't so our solicitor said to board over the gate and see if thats prompts them into action.

I was going to post the following letter through their door tomorrow.

Dear **

We originally spoke to you at the beginning of July about this issue, and then again a few weeks later. You stated that you had proof of your access and use of this gate. As you have failed to provide this proof we have now spoken to our solicitor. There is no mention of the gate or access on our deeds. If you cannot provide written proof of this access by Friday 14th September then we will board over the gate.

yours
etc


any comments or advice would be appreciated. we have insisted from the start we wanted to do this amicably. we made it very clear that if they have a legal right to this access would get it clarified through our solicitors.
I will give more info if you need it, but didn't want to clutter the post with unecessary rambling.

LIZS Thu 06-Sep-07 14:51:43

"by Friday 14th September then.." we have been advised that we may board over the gate.

SleeplessInTheStaceym11House Thu 06-Sep-07 14:55:19

think LiZ is right, thats the olny bit that stod out to me.

Wisteria Thu 06-Sep-07 14:58:23

I think I would put a bit in about it needing to be clarified legally so as future sales of the properties would not be held up unnecessarily - IME it's the sort of thing which can seriously delay house sales.

queenrollo Thu 06-Sep-07 15:34:32

thankyou......i wasn't sure how to phrase the bit about boarding the gate over. that helps.
we have explained that we wanted it clarified legally to avoid problems in the future. Our solicitor says as they already have an access to the rear of the property, even if our neighbours wanted to take this to court they would be unlikely to win.we have tried to sort this amicably on numerous occasions and our solicitor says that we must force them to take action or concede they have no proof and therefore no access.

fizzylemonade Thu 06-Sep-07 16:07:26

You can, and your solicitor can obtain a copy of their deeds from land registry. It only costs a few pounds so I am suprised that your solicitor hasn't already done this to see if there is anything pertaining to access on their records.

I cannot see any court giving them access if they already have access at the rear of the property.

queenrollo Tue 11-Sep-07 15:53:35

update....

today my neighbour has posted a letter through my door which states she is 'seeking legal advice as she has been using the access for 20 years' and that i am to take no further action until i hear further.

hooray!! a real solid response at last.

although this does suggest to me that they haven't got written proof (as we suspected) and are trying to claim right of access simply because they have been using it.

anybody have any idea what is likely to happen next, and more importantly is it going to cost money. because i can't really afford a costly legal dispute.

Freckle Tue 11-Sep-07 15:57:36

They may be able to prove a prescriptive right of access by virtue of the fact that they have been using it unopposed for 20 years. Have they lived there for 20 years? Do you know the previous owners? If they asked for permission from the previous owners, then their claim of a prescriptive right fails.

You also need to check what was said about this when you purchased the property. In preliminary enquiries, there may have been a question about any other person having a right of way over your property and your vendors should have disclosed this. If they didn't, you may have a claim against them.

Speak to your solicitor.

queenrollo Tue 11-Sep-07 16:05:49

her mother lived there before. the property has been empty since her mother died, they store a load of furniture etc there.
the purchase of the house was rushed (it's a long story)
we have heard that the gate was put in so the coal man had an easier/shorter access to deliver the coal for her mother. this is anecdotal though.
they use it about ten times a year.....and never tell us angry which is my real bug bear. last time he dragged his ladders through, every christmas it's trees that he sells at the country market. it's inappropriate use. they have the original access which doesn't involve trashing someone's garden/path....

we don't really care if they do have access we just want it clarified on our deeds and i want him to understand he can't just use it as and when he pleases especially now i have a young child playing in the garden.

i'm feeling a bit fraught about it all now, and honestly it is one of the reasons we have decided to move. i'm sick of the 'local' attitude of the vilagers.....it's obvious they will never accept us.

MrsPuddleduck Tue 11-Sep-07 16:17:25

The letter sounds Ok to me.

How old is the property?

You can gain a right of way by prescription (using it again and again over time) - I think it is 18 years and you have to prove it.

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