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wingrovebuyer
wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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My house is on an estate consisting almost exclusively of link

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My house is on an estate consisting almost exclusively of link detached dwellings, where the link is a single storey flat-roofed garage between two storey houses. In the event that repairs to or maintenance work a roof, or gutters and fascias is required, access is only available from the garage roof, your own on one side of the house, or your neighbour's on the other.
My neighbour has sought planning permission to replace the flat roof of his garage, which was converted by a previous owner into a living area, with a pitched roof which will effectively prevent me having access to my roof to affect repairs.
I have no wish to fall out with my neighbour, but I am concerned that his proposal will render me unable to cope with any necessary repairs or maintenance by making access impossible.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 2 years ago.
wingrovebuyer : Hello. Have you spoken to the neighbour about your concerns? Will they need access to your garage roof to undertake the extension build?
Customer:

No. My garage is on the other side of the

Customer:

No. My garage is on the other side of my house and does not come into the problem. My neighbour is planning to build on his own [converted] garage, but the pitched roof that he plans will deny me access to my gutters and fascia, and to my roof should this prove necessary. I appreciate that I would presently need his agreement to using his garage roof as the access point to my property, but all the dwellings on this estate have the same problem and I am not aware that such agreement has ever been denied when needed. I imagine that all estates constructed on the link detached basis have a similar problem of access to ones own roof needing the cooperation of your neighbour, and I would have thought that there might be some regulatory framework dealing this.

wingrovebuyer : Thank you. Will the extension essentially fill in a gap, using your gable wall? Sorry, I just need to be absolutely clear in my mind as to what is proposed.
Customer: Thanks as well. I am sorry that I have not made the problem clear. The dwellings are link-detached and there is no gap. The extension is replacing his existing flat roof with a pitched roof, and whereas at the moment I could, with his agreement, place a ladder on his flat roof to access the eaves on my house, if this extension goes ahead, this will not be possible since the base of his new pitched roof will come right up to my wall. I am sure that when link-detached estates are developed initially, it is accepted that there will have to be some leeway on the part of adjacent owners in this question of access. The owner on the other side of my house has on occasion asked my permission to access his roof in this way,and I have readily agreed, and as far as I am aware, this is common practice in similar situations. I suppose my real question is, do adjacent owners on link-detached estates have any legal rights to access using their neighbours flat roofs ? I have an idea that there is legislation covering this type of situation, but not beiing a lawyer, I do not know if this is so. Thanks again.
wingrovebuyer : Thanks. There may be rights contained in the deeds, when the estate was developed and sold off. You will need to check - is this possible? If the roof will interfere with those rights, you could seek to prevent it. Alternatively, you have rights of entry for repairs and maintenance under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992. However, the roof will prevent you from exercising those rights too. If you don't want to fall out with your neighbour, I suggest you speak to them and say you have these concerns but you don't want an argument. Ask if they can help suggest any alternatives - presumably the new roof will also prevent them from accessing the side of their house too.
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