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Neighbour needs Access on my garden to do repairs

(24 Posts)
Mouse888 Wed 13-Jun-18 12:48:12

My neighbour needs Access on my garden to do repairs. I understand legally they do have this right (Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 and others).

However, I am concerned "Neighbour wants to repair at height 1st floor and roof by means of ladder". I checked with my Insurer Direct Line because I have huge 6 ft stone wall and huge plant ceramic pots, which if the ladder fell back and/or he fell off the likelihood of him suffering serious or fatal injury is high concerns me, as without my permission he could not do the repairs by ladder" who informed I do have Public & Personal Liability Insurance smile

Great said I, so could they claim of me for their injury ? yes but you are insured. So I said "thats great so if I let a young 25 yr old ride my Ducati Superbike on my motorbike Insurance and he crashed, killed others maimed himself ALL parties could claim on my motorbike insurance ? Yes he said. So I would not let anyone ride my motorbike on my insurance ! then I cannot be liable? Yes he said.

So I best NOT let my neighbour go up his ladder at over ground floor working height Because I could be liable for any accident ? Yes he said.

So it is Scaffold only above ground floor height.

My question is, has anyone else experience of this situation ? and did anyone charge daily or weekly fee for garden rent while scaffold in place for the benefit of neighbour doing repairs/or neighbours work persons doing repairs ?

and finally how much per day ? or per week ? or per month ? and was a Deposit held with a Solicitor on account of 1) Damage to my property and 2) payment of Garden rent weekly ? 3) court fees if legal action required due to damage to my property

I ask all this because previous neighbours window replacement persons damaged the foundations for our new large shed and failed to pay for the urgent repairs (as damage happened on friday week before shed was scheduled for delivery & erection costing us over £300 and we are not going to be "caught" again.

I know many shall think I am being petty sad BUT it is not my fault they bought a home with no land to the front sad my home and land cost lots more for the access land for me, and them !

wowfudge Wed 13-Jun-18 12:59:57

I think you are being petty. Let your neighbour organise and pay for the scaffolding as your insurers require scaffolding rather than a ladder.

Have chat with them about the damage caused in the past and, if you feel it necessary, get a documented agreement as to what will happen if any damage is caused this time.

Don't charge them rent.

If anything does go wrong this time then you can ramp things up next time.

Out of interest, what is the work the neighbour wants to carry out?

ShotsFired Wed 13-Jun-18 13:07:37

I don't think you are being petty, OP. As you state, you paid more for your home with more facilities - the land being one of them.

I have a similar "better" plot than my neighbours but they don't try and make free use of it. They moved in first, so they could have chosen my plot if they wanted to.

That said, I wouldn't charge them rent, but I would get a very clear (written) undertaking that the scaffold would only be in place for x days and thereafter you'd consider some form of compensation for the inconvenience.

I'd also double check that advice about your liability- that sounds nuts (like the stupid annual memes about posties suing householders who sweep snow etc) - make them commit to the facts they say in writing and don't just take the word of a call centre bod.

wowfudge Wed 13-Jun-18 13:25:32

Wrt to the OP having paid more for more facilities. He/she must have been aware that the next door property could only access via his/her garden to carry out maintenance. It should therefore come as no surprise. With new neighbours in this kind of situation it would be better to start off on a friendlier foot imo.

Melamin Wed 13-Jun-18 13:44:42

Hmm - our neighbours let our repair man in with a ladder (prior agreement, our wall is the boundary) but he was a professional with his own insurance, would have replaced anything damaged, (covered the greenhouse just in case which is attached to our wall) and it only took half an hour. I would not be happy about the neighbour on a ladder scenario.

The neighbours also have to let in the maintenance staff of the housing association flats as there is only about 1 foot between their wall and the fence and no one can work in that, but that is thankfully very infrequent.

The previous owner had a set to with the chap who lived next door on the other side - the house wall is the boundary there too. He wanted his path repaired because the gutters had overflowed onto it and damaged it. He also said that he had mentioned it to the previous owners and they had done nothing about it when he had mentioned it (so it had been like that for a minimum of 10 years confused ) That owner said the next house would be one that you can walk all the way around!

I think if you have good neighbours, you work round it but if you have had previous problems, you do need to be more up front and formal about how you go about it and that ends up costing more. Having said that, do what the poster above said and get further clarification on the insurance thing.

Mouse888 Wed 13-Jun-18 13:46:27

Thank You WOWFUDGE for your contribution sad My other neighbour had Scaffold up for their chimney repairs ... it was up 8 months sad ... soo I have already learned the "Lesson s/he who gives - gets the ziss taken out of them" . ..... and I could NOT get them to take it down except go to Court with Large Legal Costs ... Hence my solicitors advised, write to them state Terms of Access to Repair and include DEPOSIT solicitors hold to cover damages ; rent and going over agreed period of garden rent smile I am late 60's and DH 74

Melamin Wed 13-Jun-18 13:48:27

Just realised that it was not the same people who damaged the shed - yes you need to start off on a friendlier footing. Someone told me that a good neighbour was worth at least 10K on the house value wink

Mouse888 Wed 13-Jun-18 14:04:09

I knew many would read and think "Petty/Mean OP" ... but I have learned to my cost and loss of garden for 8 months with scaffold ... so I would be STUPID to be "nice neighbour" again. Before my horrid experiences I would have thought same - moved from Winchester and terrific neighbours smile

I Thank all those posting with empathy and own experiences shared smile

Both neighbours (down the right side of my garden) need new roofs (these houses were built in centuries 1624 and done up in 1842 due for huge works ... all just had re wiring to get rid of "old fuse wire" sad ... and installed 3 consumer boards at great costs as walls 2 ft 9 in thick sad ... and the "render facing is cracked and falling off, into my garden (they were sad old workers cottages ...) we knew from our FULL Survey we needed to do lots of "Urgent Repairs" (which is why we did not buy either next door homes as Budget had to include scaffold and ask nicely - which were also on the market for 2+ years sad ) ...

Discovering "Local" unregistered building work in the south west is a nightmare - but half expected + in such old properties - gas pipes were found all over floors ... totally illegal old installations

Half the reason I posted on here was 1) has anyone else experience of scaffold and rent etc., and 2) a note of my precarious situation as some people learn by reading others experiences

You cannot just phone the Scaffold company and say "Take it down" if your neighbour ignores your Royal Mail registered/signature delivery letters; and solicitors letters you are faced with the Court only solution and all the ass ociated Legal Costs. and my builder ?

neighbour now wanting Roof Scaffold has "mates rates" for scaffold ... I dont think he shall laugh when he gets my solicitors letter sad

Melamin Wed 13-Jun-18 14:19:51

When we did big work on our wall that is the boundary with next door, we needed to have a party wall agreement. It was the early days of the Party Wall Act and I think that the guidance of where it is appropriate may have changed but it might be worth looking into it.

It involved us hiring a surveyor who surveyed the wall, produced a booklet with photos in of the boundary etc so that it could be referred to at the end of the building work. He also visited the neighbours and talked them through their rights. There are also legal notices that should be served. It cost us a few hundred and we had no problems as they were nice neighbours, but I think it was worth it as it helped smooth things along.

cattreats Wed 13-Jun-18 14:22:10

If you charge rent you'll definitely be liable if an accident injures the workmen. Speak to a surveyor. You may be able to have a party wall agreement to cover this for you. If it's appropriate the. The neighbours should pay for the cost of doing this.

wowfudge Wed 13-Jun-18 14:42:21

If you post on a public forum you can't expect everyone to agree with you! And stop SHOUTING. Do what you like - you've outlined your reasons. You didn't state what work they wanted to carry out and by all means be that neighbour that forces this to go to court.

The moral of the story is don't buy a house where your neighbours can only carry out maintenance to their own properties via your garden!

ShotsFired Wed 13-Jun-18 14:59:46

@Mouse888 I think you can position this formal letter from your solicitor as you having your hands tied.

You spoke to your insurance company to check and they insisted on it. Go round in person for a cuppa and just say "now Bert, between you and me we know this will all be amicable and no problem, but the people at Direct Line insisted on following their process, so I had to - you know how these big companies can be with their red tape blah blah blah" <smile and hand over letter>

Just because it's formal does not mean it has to be hostile.

AgentProvocateur Wed 13-Jun-18 15:10:39

Petty and unneighbourly, and unnecessarily obstructive. Just let him put a ladder up to repair his roof and stop imagining a worst case scenario that’s very unlikely to happen. When you buy a house with neighbours, you have to run along.

AgentProvocateur Wed 13-Jun-18 15:12:25

And yes, I let my neighbours put their scaffold in my garden when they were getting work done. I didn’t charge rent.

pacer142 Wed 13-Jun-18 15:17:05

I think you are being petty.

Says someone who probably hasn't suffered neighbour problems with workmen.

I stupidly agreed to let my neighbour put a skip on my drive when they had some building work done. "Only a few days" they said. I endured 4 weeks of not only my drive being blocked, but they decided to do all their "noisy/smelly" work on my drive too as it was handy for the skip, i.e. cutting down slate tiles meaning tiny bits of slate flying everywhere and using angle grinders to cut bricks and breeze blocks. I asked both neighbours and workers several times to remove the skip and not do work on my drive, and each time they just said "only another day or two" to fob me off.

Well never again. Next time anyone asks, they can sod off. If it's necessary, i.e. in the OPs case where access is the only option, then, yes, it'll be written agreement or nothing.

Mouse888 Wed 13-Jun-18 15:35:20

wowfudge I thought your name was in caps sorry was not shouting sad I did not expect agreement from anyone, only if anyone else had experience of scaffolding in your garden and rent.

For the record our past neighbours who window replacement persons smashed one corner of very well built foundations for shed, tried to get "a right of way gate access" in our garden from their ... because they lost that claim/case they moved.

Now the new people in there, who we welcomed ; they did not realise only Black Bags for Rubbish (and did not have any only *white (*for Charity collections here) - we gave them a roll of 20) and let them leave all their cardboard packing boxes and new shopping furniture boxes and the black bags in our garden - because they put them out on the wrong day to save them carting the lot back through their home/garden ... later screamed at me in my garden when I was photographing the male Bullfinch on a tree in my garden (photography being my hobby esp. birds wot I feed to attract) she said that I was "a pervert looking in her windows and called me at 64 a F ' ing C" lucky smile I had hit the video record on my camera at her scream and phoned the police, presented evidence audio and video recording ... since then the "Lady" neighbour of the house wanted to put up CCTV from her front door - I said "no" because it would have to look in and over my garden ... her husband then F'd and blinded at me (also recorded as camera OM D EM 1 always around my neck for my bird images including a huge Sparrowhawk last week)

I again called police ... and said "ok officer please inform [them] I am legally entitled to erect a 2m Boundary fence and shall for my own and their own privacy on my boundary (that would mean little light and no windows could be opened and it is legal) - after that she has not apologised but asked about "permission for ladders on my property to do repairs as her solicitors told her she had to get permission before she bought the house" .

I am not going to be nice to neighbours who abuse myself and my DH we are far too old for this - we wanted a quiet life. We did not buy our home with the land to make money out of our neighbours on scaffold - I dont want scaffold in my garden !

I am not going to "Permit any person to put a ladder on/in my garden and fall injuring themself or worse a fatality and because I Permitted the act I am Liable sad and lose my home No Claim Bonus for their stupidity and mine in giving permission sad let alone a 3 or 4 year Court claim ... "

There is another way and that is their Scaffold goes up in their back garden and over their roof - much more scaffold their way and less mine - but easier and less scaffold if on/in my garden IF ANY ... and I hasten to add, many Roofers work from Inside the roof because scaffold is not an option - the job takes longer smile costs more in labour but less or none in scaffold.

Mouse888 Wed 13-Jun-18 15:39:31

Just seen this posted by MillyMollyMama in 2014 Apr 5 on another discussion
"You could have had a bond, a deposit, that the neighbour could have paid, and then forfeited, if he did not stick to his side of the bargain. If you have the date the scaffolding is to go written into the agreement, the solicitor can help. If not, I would try a stiff letter myself because he does not have the right to inconvenience you for ever more. You might need to counter claim as it might affect your business and income." extract from the Party Wall booklet smile

Mouse888 Wed 13-Jun-18 15:48:57

If petty is being practical and learning from past experiences then yes I am smile sorry to hear of your woes pacer142 sad

When we moved here a neighbour on the right "wanted a little gate in the wall at the bottom of her garden" behind which land we own for parking so she "could put her bins/rubbish out without opening her garage door" I said "I shall ask our solicitors" and smiled ... when she asked every day for the first 2 weeks we were here I replied "they have not replied to my letter yet" and smiled ... eventually I said "solicitors said no" and she went ballistic ... it seems she thought it her right ... this one when we had the new carpet fitted in the rear sitting room "verbally attached our carpet fitters for fitting a log burning stove" ... two local chaps from the village and its carpet shop ... been drinking out on that story in the pubs for 2 years now !

when the Log burning stoves and chimney work persons arrived she pulled ladders away ... camera to hand video it and called police and made the two chaps on the roof a cup of tea and the police smile it is almost the "Warm Welcome" cottage buyers used to get in the 1980's sad personally I think she has lost the plot ... appears our Vendors failed to mention her "previous antics" but we got solicitors to deal with her.

wowfudge Wed 13-Jun-18 15:56:32

@pacer142 - actually you are wrong.

OP - if this is how they have behaved and there is a more complicated alternative way they can carry out the work then tell them you won't allow access via your garden. Given your update about their behaviour to date, I'm surprised you have asked and didn't just say no to them straight away!

Ebeneser Wed 13-Jun-18 16:02:22

You need to protect yourself. I had workmen put scaffolding on my kitchen extension to fix a neighbours roof. They did this when I was at work without my permission. They damaged several slates of mine, and because they removed the guttering, when it rained heavily I literally had water pissing into my kitchen. I have had problems ever since with my roof leaking on several occasions over the years. I was only in my early 20s at the time, as if they pulled that kind of shit now I'd get get a solicitor and chase them for repairs.

Mouse888 Wed 13-Jun-18 16:21:19

@wowfudge and @pacer142 ... I did not state in early posts there is another way so thats my fault sad sorry pacer142 smile

I have to say that when we bought this darling cottage, our first home together ours only with walking to shops one way and Lidl the other ! my DH (we are not married but Partners of 20 years) and I never in our wildest nightmares could it have been possible to have imagined the horrors with neighbours we have experienced here sad

We have each owned many homes over 15 each, in our lives with neighbours, in flats and terraced and semi and finally detached (last ones each he rented his and we lived in mine it was bigger and bigger garden).

In our first 6 months we spent over £70k putting this place legal for today (wiring & gas installation ; boiler low emissions ; repairing all the window reveals ; getting rid of damp ; decorating ; carpets ; curtains ; new kitchen) and restoring the chimneys and installing 2 Log Burners (hi spec licensed for use even in smoke free zones )

neighbour left has OCPD lung probs and smokes lots (outdoors) sad we have this year had "Environmental Health check out our installed Log Burners iro her Complaint - he said "she mentioned her OCPD" and I had to stop her there, explaining she is not a normal person but a special case ... as hayfever sufferers have to say indoors and close doors and windows to protect self their [our] Log burner installations comply with Hetas and are licensed to burn logs even in a Smoke Free Zone, so you have to close doors, windows and stay inside sorry" . I said to him "my DH lit our charcoal BBQ and she screamed at us we cannot light that for the smoke and her condition, DH went out next day and bought "that" gas BBQ" Envirnonment Officer said "you can have as any Charcoal BBQs as you like, and with reason bonfires and light that "Patio Fire pit" smile smile smile so after he left I lit the firepit and she did not scream over the 6 ft wall at us smile

neighbour who put up scaffolding for 8 months also put a boiler flue and extended gas pipe 20 ft along our boundary wall facing our kitchen and their NEW bathroom ensuite pipes on same wall - Building Control are dealing with all that sad but it has been very stressful sad living here

Our local Councillor said "you could not make all this up" when I have contacted her for advice/help/direction to the right place ...

Yes we would love to move to get away from here, but we cannot afford too, it is our retirement home, we have done it up for Life here and we would not get the money for it NOW with all we have done, prices have dropped and the neighbour problems we have action'd have to be disclosed which means we are staying here !!!

This post is about how we secure our "Garden and Lives" for our future and just maybe help another person not to fall into "Kindness undeserved on their neighbours" smile

Mouse888 Wed 13-Jun-18 16:25:15

wowfudge my solicitors said "you have to take on board their request and process it, no fast response, you are "consulting appropriate bodies; research to know and understand what you may be letting yourself in for and if the worst case scenario how you deal with it" to formulate your response !

It seems to be a bit like sacking someone for time keeping ; quality of work etc., you enter into "a consultative process" yes I want to "your words back to you" but I smile and say ok I shall talk to my solicitors ... Insurers ... etc., about that ...

Mouse888 Wed 13-Jun-18 16:28:25

Ebeneser I am sorry to hear of your woeful experience sad this is why I do not think I am being petty ... I like the "Deposited Bond sum and rent up front for the period the scaffold is insitu and the extra Deposited Bond for extra weeks rent and damages to my property smile

wowfudge Thu 14-Jun-18 07:41:44

Sorry OP but if via your garden isn't the only way they can carry out the maintenance work you don't need to string them along pretending to process their request. Just say no.

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