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End terrace advice please?

(26 Posts)
Winos71 Wed 19-Oct-16 14:55:09

We purchased an end terrace three in row been fine for 5 yrs we have gutted it and are happy here.
When the houses were built they were not terraced more of family of family so no fences etc when we bought we have a fence and gate
Next door never used this for access now they use it regularly we have 2 friendly dogs and so have signs asking for gates to be closed.
The thing is her hubby uses front door and she uses back to gain access she has to come through our drive gates through a side gate then our back gate 3 in total
Her father also uses it it's driving me mad more so as I'm home during the day noone of them speak unless we speak first.

There is nothing on our deeds to say we have to provide access I have spoken to our solicitor who says it's an agreement in principle and we have to provide and suggested we employ a solicitor who specialises in rights of way

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

lalalonglegs Wed 19-Oct-16 15:20:54

I suppose the neighbourly way to do it would be to approach them and say that you aren't keen on them using your gate and could they please only use it when necessary - ie, for moving bins or carrying something into their garden. If they ignore your request, then put a lock on the gate (having first checked with a solicitor that this is within your rights).

YelloDraw Wed 19-Oct-16 15:22:55

Sounds annoying - I would pay for some legal advice and depending on if they have a right of way or not, get some locks on the gate.

TisConfusion Wed 19-Oct-16 15:40:06

I think you'll have to get some legal advice. It would be nice to think that you could just talk to them and explain about your dogs etc but it depends what the neighbours are like.
We're end of terrace too with a side access although our deeds state that the people who lived here before us said next door have access, no such legal right of way can be established. However, we've seen next doors deeds and theirs state that they do have right of way. It's been in use a lot lately but I know it's due to them doing work on their garden but if they were to use it all the time (I don't see why they would as they'd have to go through 3 gates, same as your situation) then I would seek legal advice. Also, I don't know what yours is like but with ours they have to walk right past our bathroom window and they can also see into our kitchen window so I hate it when they use it as I feel I have no privacy in my own home.
I hope you get it sorted smile

Winos71 Wed 19-Oct-16 16:13:07

They also walk past kitchen side window and back room window.
They are both young and arrogant,i had a telling off by the father saying it's on there deeds they have right of way.
I really don't see why you would go through 3 gates chances of our 2 dogs out (obv supervised) when you could use your front door?her hubby does
It makes me a little on edge tbh as I'm home during daytime and often think iv seen someone..
Hubby says maybe we add another gate or add locks and give them a key.
Really can't afford to move and spent all our cash on the house sense why I haven't got any further legal advise

TisConfusion Wed 19-Oct-16 17:24:27

Oh no I really do feel for you. Have you actually seen their deeds? On Land Registry you can download them for a few quid. It would be interesting to see what theirs does say.
I don't understand why they would use the side access either, maybe a key would be a step forward. We put a lock on our gate and gave them a key so obviously they can still use it but it's pretty much stopped them using it as a dumping ground for their rubbish - they quite often put their rubbish down the side of our house (no idea why) but now having to unlock the gate first with the key is obviously too much effort for them.

Winos71 Thu 20-Oct-16 10:59:07

been looking at having one or two of these fitted what do you think?

ClaudiaNaughton Thu 20-Oct-16 11:08:45

Rather than a code which can be easily remembered I'd go for locks by key which is not so convenient for them. Maybe a different key for the three gates. A nuisance for you, but far more nuisance is having them trailing through.

YelloDraw Thu 20-Oct-16 11:11:13

You could make it really inconvenient for them to get access - have a gate with about 6 locks on... give them keys but make sure you keep them ALL locked ALL the time. Nip out and re-lock the door if they don't. Then hopefully they will find it more-convenient to use their front door.

Kidnapped Thu 20-Oct-16 11:24:25

They have a right of way? If they do then they can use it - without restriction usually. Find out what it says on their deeds before you go putting locks on.

If the terraces are old and that right of way has been used for 20 years or more then they probably have a prescriptive right of way anyway, even if the deeds say nothing.

You are effectively trying to stop them accessing their own back door. Is that right?

All this talk of locks and codes is probably going to piss them off. Are you prepared for a neighbour dispute? You'd have to declare that when you sell.

Winos71 Thu 20-Oct-16 11:58:26

Hi I'm just fed up of her and with her father having a go at me why should I have to put up with it?
I'm not stopping right of way if I give them a code or key I'm just making the entrance more secure as I'm home alone all day on a busy main road,
The neighbour at the other end doesn't use the gate they use there back door only the woman next door even her hubby uses there front door.
I don't see how it will piss them off I don't see why anyone would come through 3 gates chance of bumping into our dogs when the front door seems ok for her husband?

Kidnapped Thu 20-Oct-16 12:10:14

You really don't see how having to unlock 3 gates every time is going to piss them off? When that house enjoyed entirely free access before you started putting gates up? People who don't like you already by the sounds of it?

They have a right to use that access. The fact that you don't want them to use it does not negate that right. It really does not.

And if they effectively cannot access their own back door, then their own house is dramatically devalued because of the loss of access. Can't you see that?

If it really bothers you so much then sell and find a house where there are no access issues.

PikachuSayBoo Thu 20-Oct-16 12:17:35

I would be checking deeds, yours and theirs and if it's not in the deeds I would get a load of locks on the gate.

If they want to argue they've been using it for X years then let them prove it. Chances are when it's hassle and money for solicitors for them they won't bother.

If it isn't on their deeds that they've got access (and I bet it isn't if it's not on yours) then they shouldn't have been using it for the past x years. Doing so and then trying to claim some sort of squatters rights pisses me off.

Obviously if it's on deeds then that's different.

Winos71 Thu 20-Oct-16 12:25:28

Firstly all 3 gates where there when we moved in 5 yrs ago
Secondly I wouldn't fit all gates with a lock just the one to aide of house
So am I not allowed to have a secure entrance to the back of my own home?
And no nothing on our deeds to show access we will continue to provide access to all neighbours if I lock was fitted the key/code would be passed onto them,

Where am I unreasonable please tell me?

Kidnapped Thu 20-Oct-16 12:26:58

But that's how terraces were built back in the day. There were rights of way to the middle terraces via the end terraces. They wouldn't have worked otherwise. It would be very unusual to build houses that don't have access to their own back doors.

I can't help but feel that you are heading down the path (no pun intended) of a neighbour war, will end up miserable, and can't sell precisely because of the access issue which will be in dispute by then. That is going to be much more annoying than your neighbours choosing to use their own right of way.

Kidnapped Thu 20-Oct-16 12:39:06

Okay. Do it your way. Get a lock. And watch as the neighbours use the access way more than they used to. And there are other neighbours entitled to use this access? They'll start using it more too. And not locking the gate behind them.

If it were me, I would start using it more as it seems that you are trying to deny access, and I would want to make sure that the access is very established when I came to sell. Even if I didn't want to use the back door to access my home, I would start doing it.

Of course they may also start legal action against you.

Winos71 Thu 20-Oct-16 12:55:01

Wow what a reply
I only asked for advise
The houses were never built as a terrace just 4 houses and now three remain
So until I get my house broken into you can't see any need for a security fitted lock to a gate?
Well thanks I feel safer and my neighbour can have there access anytime then sorry to have ruffled your feathers,

Kidnapped Thu 20-Oct-16 12:59:46

Winos, I didn't intend to be snappy.

Your OP was about how to stop your neighbours using their right of way. You can't stop them. That is the long and short of it. Trying to stop them may well result in consequences that you do not like. That's all.

Peace and love.

YelloDraw Thu 20-Oct-16 13:01:42

Of course they may also start legal action against you.

What? For putting on a lock a door and giving them a key for access yeah right, funny. I'd like to see what legal action you think you could waste a solicitors time with. You talk about rights a lot, and not a lot about neighborly consideration for others.

Most people are reasonable and only use the access rights e.g. for taking bins out, taking through garden stuff. Most people don't choose to use the back door as their main point of access if they have to cross their neighbors garden.

Lots of terraces do NOT have a right of access through their neighbors and they seem to manage quite well with only access to the garden thru the house (although I have to say that would put me off buying).

I like the terrace layout in my home town of Leeds - road, row of terraces with yards, back ally, yards and row of terraces, road.

Winos71 Thu 20-Oct-16 13:25:49

I accept I may not be able to stop them I have no problem on bin days I even return there bins for them.
I suppose it niggles me as the neighbour isn't friendly avoids speaking to us and it's only past 4 months she's started to use the gates her dad was out of order shouting at me.
All I can hope is with dark nights etc she uses front door more.

Maybe I should get out more smile

CreamCrackerundertheSettee Thu 20-Oct-16 13:32:40

Unless they are causing a problem such as leaving the main gate open, then you can't really add locks to the gates just to inconvenience them. They'd use it more!

I sympathise as we have a similar set up and it can be irritating to have people trapsing past your windows. However, we bought the house knowing there was neighbour access!

Dontyouopenthattrapdoor Thu 20-Oct-16 13:33:25

You need to check their deeds and yours.

There is no point us all saying "yes lock the gate no problem" if their deeds give them free access over your back garden. You will end up out of pocket and in a legal dispute. You don't need to get defensive with people. We're trying to save you that hassle further down the line.

You don't necessarily have the right to secure access to your back garden in a terrace. Your back DOOR, absolutely. But you've really got to check both sets of deeds to understand your rights re the land.

YelloDraw Thu 20-Oct-16 13:37:35

There is no point us all saying "yes lock the gate no problem" if their deeds give them free access over your back garden. You will end up out of pocket and in a legal dispute. You don't need to get defensive with people. We're trying to save you that hassle further down the line.

She said she would give them a key or the access code! That is not restricting their access. Which they may not even have a have a right to anyway.

Is the garden big enough to do something like fence in your garden but make a path at the back for them?

Winos71 Thu 20-Oct-16 14:01:43

No its mainly concrete yard with a side garden and driveway not that big tbh

The neighbours are a young couple they are not sociable at all so we wouldn't ask to see there deeds.

We have tried to speak and be sociable as I say I always bring bins around they have never thanked me we put up with there dog barking last thing we have ever wanted was to fall out with anyone we just want a quiet life and a home where we can relax I suppose like everyone does

8misskitty8 Thu 20-Oct-16 14:29:12

Winos, don't understand how it's a terraced house but it used to be 4 houses but now 3 ?
Diagram would be good.
Giving access round the side of a terrace is usually for taking bins out/moving large items of furniture etc. Not so you can trail through someone else's garden so you can use your back door in place of your front door.
But if the access is not in your deeds then I don't see why you should allow them access.
Of our houses :-
House no.1 was a lower flat in a terrace. All lower flats had gardens, flats above did not. We had no access rights through other lower terraces gardens. Upstairs was not allowed into our garden.We kept bins at front of house, took garden waste through house.
House no.2 mid terrace house. Again no access rights through other gardens.
House no.3 It was 4 in a block 1930's built flat, we were a lower one. Upstairs had their garden at side of building. In the deeds it stated that we could take bins, coal deliveries round side of building, (so through the upstairs garden) Also we had to allow upstairs access to our garden for repairs/window cleaning. So essential access not just to continually use the back door instead of front door. We both kept our garden gates locked and had a key for security reasons and also so my children didn't get out onto Main Street !
For whatever reason it sounds like your neighbour is using the back door to go in/out deliberately. Why walk round a building to use back door when the front door is easier ?

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