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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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my wife and i have had subsidence problems as a result of two

Resolved Question:

my wife and i have had subsidence problems as a result of two huge tree's on my neighbour's property, which is a sports and social club and is mainly grounds / playing fields. Last time we paid for the tree's to be pruned which was ok as we have a right of way on that part of land which had a path. However the neighbour has now erected huge gates and internal fencing to prevent access even if we wanted to pay for the trees to be cut. We are kind of at his mercy/ goodwill, but he has proved to be unreliable as he often walks away from his debts even though others have tried to take him to court for various reasons. He has now grassed over the path so as to hide any evidence of a footpath having existed and i am also unable to trace the true owner of the 3 hectare piece of land as there seems to be several addresses and names associated with the property, with some of the land showing up as unregistered. What can i do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

I assume you want the trees pruned please?

Customer:

Okey dokey.

Alex Watts :

Yes but you want to get the tree pruned? Is the same person who owns the land the tree is on the same as the path owner?

Customer:

Well, the apparent owner has 'sub let' the land that the trees and a groundsman's bungalow that he should be living in as caretaker owner of the sports fields. It is unlikely there is a formal tenancy agreement in place between him (the caretaker / owner) and the tenants using this part of the land. So the short answer to your two questions are yes and yes. The original owner of the land was Transport For London, who claim they have sold it so as to distance themselves from any responsibility, some of which are probably being ignored. He, the alledged owner, is also really difficult to get hold of and is rarely there. The trees have a tpo on them.

Alex Watts :

But you know who has the land now?

Customer:

Well, I know who claims to have the land but can't trace it via the land registry. He could just be fronting a syndicate of Serbians who just keep turning up and all seem to be chipping in and redeveloping the site with a variety of businesses (i know this sounds like a plot from a thriller novel but this is what has been going on).

Alex Watts :

What you need to seek is a Court Order for the owner or persons unknown to allow access

Alex Watts :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

And Form N16a

Alex Watts :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n016a-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

You will ask the Court for an Order to allow access

Alex Watts :

The Court will consider the application and make an Order

Alex Watts :

Then whoever owns it can not refuse access, if they do it would be contempt of Court

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

What happens if the 'owner' is not present or fails to show knowing a court order is in force? Can I present the order to the tenants who are occupying the land / bungalow where the trees are situated? If so, what happens if they say no, are they in contempt of court? What happens if i get the i don't understand line? If someone is deemed in contempt, what happens then?

Alex Watts :

You can still enforce it.

Alex Watts :

It can be made out to persons unknown or current occupier

Alex Watts :

They have an opportunity to object at Court or pass to the Landlord

Alex Watts :

If they dont let you then they are in contempt.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

Customer:

Sorry, but that didn't answer all my questions, how do enforce it? what do i do against a load of burly blokes on my own? What happens if someone is ruled in contempt?

Alex Watts :

If they wont allow access then you go back to Court and seek an order committing them to prison

Alex Watts :

If it is contempt them they can be sent to prison

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Alex Watts :

You enforce it by applying to the Court to have the people refusing to let you go onto the land in contempt of Court

Alex Watts :

If someone is ruled in contempt they can be sent to prison

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?



Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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