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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I ask is this for the purpose of carrying out maintenance please?
There are two reasons. One is for maintenance of fences etc. and the other is to see why my land gets flooded from this land when rainfall is heavy. The owner of this land has declined my requests for a site meeting.
Conflict of interest ?
Has he refused to allow you access? Are you able to obtain access whilst he is out practically?
I have written to him three times. I know he has received my letters but he has not replied. The land is fenced in
Thanks. There are two approaches you can take
The first is a pragmatic one of simply waiting for an opportune time and accessing the land (if access is possible) to carry out investigations and repairs as necessary. This is trespass but he can only take action under trespass if you cause damage to his land. Providing you don't then there is no comeback on you.
The other is to seek an order under the Access to Neighbouring Lands Act; under this Act you can request permission for access for the purposes of maintenance and inspection. If the neighbour refuses you can obtain a court order for access.
Look forward to hearing the two approaches. My plan was to get an access order but I don't know which form to submit to the county cort
The above can be a slightly labourious process hence why you may prefer to simply elect to enter onto the land as above but you can seek a court order if necessary by using form N244 to apply
There is a fee of £80 initially to make the application. It is important to note the application can only be made for the purposes of carrying out maintenance and inspection as opposed to development of new structures and you cold be asked to pay for some of the other party's costs if he opposes the application and the judge finds that this is appropriate.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
This was helpful. If I go down the N244 route do I attend court to submit my application to a judge ? Guess the form might explain the process? Does it take time to get things sorted? Re costs,if my case is considered sound am I likely to get my costs paid by the other party given that he is being very unhelpful over the whole matter.
Once you submit the application form the court will send you directions - instructions - as to the evidence it requires. You can submit evidence by post and ask the court to deal with the matter in your absence but if you are available to attend it can help because you can respond to any questions the judge may have.
Is there anything else I can help you with?
Just the one re costs. Is it reasonable to hope that that my costs could be borne by the other party if the access order is granted ?
Unfortunately this is rarely ordered in such applications which is why many people choose to exercise pragmatic access than go down this road. It is useful as a last resort but is a slightly cumbersome process in all honesty. Costs on the hand should not be excessive
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help with any further?
One final question. If I choose the pragmatic option and cut down the weeds and brambles and leave them on his land, this I presume could not be deemed to be 'damage' ?
he needs to show loss of value in order to claim damages. Weeds and brambles are unlikely to have any value associated with them so there would be unlikely to be a claim.
Thanks for your advice
A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.
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Can I ask a follow up question to Joshua ?