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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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We are a charity that has sliding doors opening onto the

Customer Question

Good afternoon, we are a charity that has sliding doors opening onto the ground floor roof of an adjoining property. The doors and we don't live in party wall respect the new commercial landlord of the adjoining property is now getting threatening. We have no rights over the roof but would he have a right to build a fence or wall to brick up what is in effect a window? Pwerhaps we could remove the door opein g device? Many thanks.
Assistant: Where are you located? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: stroud - the above should have said we dealt with party wall issues. Sorry.
Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Not formally - but the adjacent proerty owner had consent for a flat and I suspect wants this as a roof garden! Our cincern is that the large glass sliding doors (probaly should not have been fitted (althoiugh had planning perm. are actually an important source of stairwell light.
Assistant: Anything else you want the solicitor to know before I connect you?
Customer: That's it thank you.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 month ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

  1. May I ask how long ago the doors were installed roughly?
  2. Does the charity own the premises or do they lease them?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The glass sliding doors were, I think, fitted as there was a possibility of purchasing or obtaining a right over the roof space. This did not materialise. Reutable acgitects were used and planning cinsent obtained. All party wall matters (as far as I know, and if relevant) were dealt with. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Some 20 years. freehold ownership of our property
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
That should have read reputable architects!
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 month ago.

Thanks. RE: 1 do you know when the doors were fitted? Was that the 20 years that you were referring to?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
a major refurbsiment and alteration.
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 month ago.

Sorry to repeat myself but I want to be sure I have the correct facts. Was this approximately 20 years ago?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Incidentally, we are not expecting or wanting any rights over his roof space- just to stop him blocking our 'window' The doors are permanently locked.!
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 month ago.

Thank you. If the charity has not in practice exercised rights over the roof for the last 20 years and it does not have any expressed rights in its title over the roof, despite the doors, you will not have a right to enter onto the roof which I note you accept. However, if you could show that the charity (its agents and employees) had enjoyed a right of access onto the roof in practice without the landlord's consent, then the charity may be able to claim a right to long use.

Notwithstanding the above, from what you say, the doors have been fitted for some 20 years and as such providing the period is more than 20 years, the charity will have acquired a right to light through those windows over the roof under the prescription act through long use. You may need to check back in your records to ascertain the precise date the doors were fitted as it is necessary for the charity to show 20 consecutive years of use or more in order to claim a prescriptive right through long use to light. Providing the charity can show as much, then any actions the owner takes to limit the light or adversely affect the light coming through the glass will be a breach of the Charity's prescriptive rights and would be grounds for obtaining injunctive relief to require that the owner removes any such obstacles.

If the charity can show more than 20 years of use, it may wish to consider registering its prescriptive right at the land Registry. It can do so by preparing a statutory declaration and swearing this and then making an application for registration. There is no need to register prescriptive writing order for it to be enforceable. The charity can if necessary apply for an injunction using the following form:

https://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForms.do

Does the above answer all your questions? If it does, I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click a rating for my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
This looks great Joshua thank. Does it become more grey if (Say) 15 years?
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 month ago.

It is ot so much grey as black and white. The Prescription Act requires 20 years of use. Less and there is no claim. More and there is. The clock continues to run however until one of you make an application to a court in terms of restriting or enforcing your rights however so if you are a few months off for example it is likely you can consider stringing it out until you get over the 20 year line. You are obviously continuing to receive light in the meantime so your clock continues to run.

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Joshua and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No - that's fine - I will sign off and rate excellent service. However, the link to the form does not work - but I might be able to search for it? Thank you.
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 month ago.

Sorry I think there is a problem with the courts website at the moment. I too had an issue. Assuming the above link takes you to the search form if you just type in N16A as the form number, it should take you to the right form. Let me know if you cannot find it.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Joshua, Many Thanks
Expert:  Joshua replied 27 days ago.

A pleasure. The courts website is fixed now; in the unlikely event you found any difficulty tracking the above form down, here is is again:

https://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=402