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Terraced yard only accessed through two other yards?

(18 Posts)
Leatherboundanddown Mon 06-Feb-17 11:00:35

I am a ftb currently viewing houses.

I went to look at a house that has a tiny courtyard but instead of having a side alley or one at the bottom of yard there is instead a wooden gate leading straight into next door's yard.

To get the dustbin out onto the street each week (council do not allow for them to be left on pavement) I would have to go through these other yards.

Has anyone ever heard of this before or lived with this situation?

What would happen if a neighbour refused access so you could never use the back access?

This situation is putting me off the house a bit so I just wondered if this was common?

AndHoldTheBun Mon 06-Feb-17 11:27:11

My parents current house is a Victorian terrace with this sort of arrangement, there's a coach house access (stone archway, bedrooms are above it) and the houses on both sides have access through the arch (and therefore across that area of garden). It's legally written into the deeds- basically they have right of access across that area for deliveries and removal of things from the property (it actually specifies by foot only).

Having seen the potential issues, I would touch a house with a similar arrangement with a bargepole (even if it was underpriced), and I'd be wary of buying even in your position (where no one has right of access to your land, but you have over theirs. I would be looking very carefully at the deeds.

AndHoldTheBun Mon 06-Feb-17 11:28:41

WOULDN'T touch, obviously!

SkyLucy Mon 06-Feb-17 11:42:50

I live in a terraced cottage on a high street of a small old town....the situation you describe is very, very common - actually to be expected. In our case there's one 'general' entrance with four houses either side...we're the third, so one house has access through our garden, and we have access through two.

We've lived here for two years and never had a problem. We are lucky to have great neighbours, but to be honest, I've only used the access twice! Once when I forgot my keys so went through the back to wait in the garden, and once when we had to carry a large parcel into the house. In terms of bins - we keep these in the garden and just bring them through the house and out to the front for collection. Unusually we don't have wheelie bins though (because we live on the high street and the council's deemed them 'unsightly'!), so it's just bin bags/recycling boxes, which I appreciate is easier.

The access issue has never bothered us, and is so common here. We do have a copy of the deeds which clearly shows the access, and it was explained to us very clearly on purchase. We love our little house and just accept it as part of terraced cottage living - it would never put me off.

Leatherboundanddown Mon 06-Feb-17 11:50:45

The house is tiny you couldn't take the bin through the house it would definitely need to be round the back

SellFridges Mon 06-Feb-17 11:59:26

I think this is common in terraced properties. Certainly we have lived in one previously with no problem and our current property has a similar, if slightly different, arrangement. As long as it's laid out in the deeds, I can't imagine any issues would be there for long!

JT05 Mon 06-Feb-17 15:17:22

DS rented twice with this arrangement. All was amicable, but a bit of a worry if you have pets or children and neighbours leave their gates open. Also you can not extend the house, or stop others walking through your garden.

Leatherboundanddown Mon 06-Feb-17 20:21:09

There would be no reason for anyone to go into my garden as it is the end one, only I would need to go through two others to get to the street.

I asked agent to chase up paperwork for me so I can read what the clause says. Seller has responded to say they have nothing. Surely this should be in house deeds?

dancingqueen345 Mon 06-Feb-17 21:59:34

Very common, our old house was like this and we always used the back entrance to access our house. Never bothered me as was typical in the area we lived, although used to surprise out of town visitors!

A right of way should definitely be written into the deeds though.

PossumInAPearTree Mon 06-Feb-17 22:06:04

It would put me off a bit however the end house is better than the house where everyone walks through your yard. It might be in the deeds of the other houses that they have to allow access. If the vendor can't provide proof of access your solicitor can tell them to pay for an indemnity policy to insure against legal arguments in the future. So your costs of a legal battle would be covered.

Your problem is though in the event of a neighbour dispute it would be such a stress. What if they get a big, aggressive dog, etc?

YolandiFuckinVisser Mon 06-Feb-17 22:08:54

We have this arrangement, written into the deeds is right of access. We can walk through next door's back garden to get to our back door. Other next door can walk through both to get to his back door.

In practice we don't use this route very often. Our ex-NDN got cross with me once when I used the back door path when she was sunbathing topless in her garden but nothing she could back up as she'd bought a house with right of access for 2 houses through her sunbathing space.

buckeejit Mon 06-Feb-17 22:11:00

Had this in our old house-we were at end of 9 houses in total so had 4-5 houses going through our split garden. No probs at all, although I would have preferred to have my back private.

If the house was right it wouldn't put me off. Good luck with your search!

littlewoodentrike Mon 06-Feb-17 22:15:51

We had this, and it wasn't a problem having to take our bins through other people's gardens (except for the fact we had to go through about 6, opening a gate each time!), the problem for us came when the neighbour on the other side (who did not need to go through our garden) started letting herself into our garden to retrieve footballs, and often left our gate open. She never asked which p'd us off, but we also had a young child, so it was annoying that we couldn't lock the gate, and also had to check it was even closed before we let DC play out there.

Burntbum Mon 06-Feb-17 22:25:32

We had this and it wasn't a problem. It's very common where we live. We were the end house with side access at the other end so had to walk across three patios if we went out with the bikes or pram. It was written into the deeds and there were never any issues.

Leatherboundanddown Mon 06-Feb-17 22:27:16

Re the big dog issue, the house I am looking at has a bolt lock on 'my' side of it meaning only I would be able to open it the neighbours could not from their side. Presumably their gates have something similar too but I have not seen.

I don't know, this should be such an exciting time but the only things in my budget are ones with problems. I think it is worth it overall to buy a house and not be forever renting however the only things I can afford are not good investments for selling on when I want to move etc.

Bluntness100 Mon 06-Feb-17 22:32:57

Your house deeds should say you have right of access. Ours is a little different in that it's a shared drive that our neighbour owns the land but our deeds clearly state we have right of access as do theirs and the other neighbours. It also states we have to pay a share of costs to maintain the drive. I'd speak to the solicitors l because unless you formally have right of access you shoildnt touch it with a barge poll,

0hCrepe Mon 06-Feb-17 22:37:43

I've lived in 2 houses like this where everyone used the back door. Quite normal to see people walking past. If you have the end house you're in the best place. Neighbours have to let you through.

Leatherboundanddown Mon 06-Feb-17 22:44:09

I'm going to check land registry to see if I can buy the deeds as seller says they don't have them.

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