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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9335
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My house shares a driveway - both houses have their front door

Customer Question

My house shares a driveway - both houses have their front door onto the drive. The driveway leads to two seperate garages which are not the problem. I would like to have a loft conversion so that my daughter could live with me as I am now 79 and she worries about me. The pitch of the roof has to be raised and this would necessitate scaffolding going up in the drive. It would only be on my side but the driveway is narrow and my neighbour would not be able to use her garage while the scaffolding was up. The builder assures me it would not be up for more than a month but he would hope it could be two weeks.
I spoke to my neighbour today but she would not even discuss it and was adamant that she wanted to use her garage at all times. Can you tell me how I stand legally?
many thanks
Pat Gude
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.
Does the neighbour use the garage daily or at all?Have you offered compensation for the inconvenience?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Like me she is retired. Doesn't always use her garage particularly
when her son is storing decoratings things in it. No I have not offfered compensation.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What would you consider fair compensation?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.
Under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act you can have access to a neighbouring property if it is necessary for you to preserve your property. That means maintain it. There is no provision in the Act for access for new building.The Party Wall Act will give you access but only if you are going to build right up to the line of the junction between the two properties.Reading the facts you have given, neither of those acts will help you.If you put the scaffolding on your half of the drive and ignore her protests she could take you to court for an injunction to get it removed. That could be costly for you because she will get the injunction because you are obstructing her right-of-way over your land. It could take some time to get to court unless she made an emergency application in which case she could probably stop you putting it up in the first place. You may have a defence if she does not use the right-of-way for a vehicle but better not have the argument in the first place.If she will not grant you access you are stuck unless she will accept some money as compensation for any inconvenience. There is no guideline and the amount you offer and the amount that she asks for does not have to be reasonable. It is how much you are prepared to pay and how much she is willing to accept.My suggestion would be to offer her £500 and if she says that is not enough or refuses, offer £1000. It is up to you whether you offer more. She might want an undertaking that the scaffolding would only be therefore 2 weeks and it would not be unreasonable both for her to ask and you to give.Can I clarify anything for you?Please do not forget to rate the service positive.Best regardsFES
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for your advice. It looks as if I won't be able to have the loft extension so will have to move. I have tried without success to rate your advice as 5 star but for some reason it's not playing ball. Again thanksPzr Gude
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.
I wish I could give you a more favourable answer. I am sorry.Regarding the rating service, if you could try again I would be obliged and if it still doesn't work, let me know and I will ask Just Answer admin to deal with it for you.Best wishes
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