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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My neighbour yesterday informed me that their toilet window

Resolved Question:

My neighbour yesterday informed me that their toilet window which is in one of the 4 boundary walls of my patio is to be used as a fire egress point. And that in the case of the fire in their business property clients will come on to my patio to wait to be rescued.
My main concern is can they do this, and secondly am I in anyway legally responsible for their clients whilst they are on my property?
Thank you
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.Has the property (the neighbour) been fire checked please?Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
They say not yet
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Ok - they should get this done to make sure its approved with the Fire Service.Can they do this - well its not unreasonable for you to let them come onto your land if there was a fire. If it was the other way around you would hope that your neighbour would let you escape onto their land!As for being responsible then its not any more or less than anyone else in terms of duty to protect visitors. The law has always said you have a duty to protect visitors whether lawful or unlawful.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
They have recently bought the property and changed its use. The previous owners had a corridor which linked to their other building which was their fire exit. When the building was sold the previous owners retained that corridor, so now next door only has one way in and out - The front door which opens onto a staircase leading to the first floor premises. My patio is at first floor height so obvious for them to use their toilet window in the case of a fire, but I have not given permission for this and wonder if they are telling the fire officer I have.
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
It seems strange using a toilet window rather than a usual exit. So you should also speak to the Fire Service and raise concerns.But if there is a fire you couldnt reasonably refuse to allow them to come onto your land!Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I just don't want to give them a right of access that will later cause a problem if I choose to sell.
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
They dont have a right automatically, so you dont need to worry about that.But I would speak to the Fire service, as whilst you cant stop them coming out the window, there should be a number of areas of escape.Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I don't want to notify the fire officer if that is going to get them into trouble as they haven't got their fire exits sorted as yet and the business is up and running.
But at the same time I don't want to give away rights to my land by agreeing to this.
Are they allowed to open their window over my land? It is a left hand hinged window and when open covers 30cm of my patio? I would rather the window was sash, so it didn't open outwards.
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
You wont give rights way.Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I understand
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Can I clarify anything else for you? If not, could invite you to rate my answer before you go today please, otherwise the site does not credit me for the time spent with you today. Thanks and good luck. Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I think you have clarified they don't have a right, but at the same time I must let them, which to me is a right and restricts my use of my own patio.I'm still not sure that their window is allowed to open outwards, and as I can find no planning permission for it, I cannot check.I think I just need to make the best of a bad situation and allow them to do what they want to be neighbourly. Thanks. N
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Well not that you must let them, but if there was a fire, you couldnt really deny them coming onto your land.There is no right of them for you to allow access a FORMAL route, but emergency only.Does that clarify?Alex

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