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Michael Holly
Michael Holly, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6534
Experience:  BA honours degree in law, over 20 years experience in litigation, contract and property matters
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I am at the end of a terraced block of house (on the right

Customer Question

Hi.
I am at the end of a terraced block of house (on the right hand side when facing the house from the road). On the current deeds, there is a clearly outlined shared and privately owned right of way or easement that runs along the right hand side of my house and garden and then along the back of all 4 houses that share ownership. All 3 houses at the end of right of way have extended into the right of way behind their original back garden fence. I would like to do the same but my neighbours insists they still want their right of way to the road so refuse to allow me to extend into the right of way behind my house. I feel this is an unfair situation. Can I extend my garden into the shared access way as well if they have already? Are my neighbours allowed to extend into the access way with me being the only not allowed to extend? Are my neighbours doing anything wrong? Thanks
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I also read that if they have extended long enough (over 12 or 20 years) they can claim the land. Does that mean the easement ceases to exist?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Do I have the right to use the full area of the easement (as a shared owner)?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The neighbours have all installed wooden fences or inaccessible gates across the shared accessway. The shared accesway was previously used by the neighbours as a dumping ground before we moved in which we have now stopped them doing.
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 months ago.
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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
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Expert:  Michael Holly replied 2 months ago.

These rear access ways were installed to allow the delivery of coal to a house without it having to go through the house and to allow dustbins to be taken out the front again avoiding going through the terraced houses.

Do any of the neighbours still use the passage for this purpose or similar purposes?

Michael

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Not for bins or coal. Our immediate neighbours are tenants and rarely use it. Once for moving a motorbike into their back garden and one other time for moving a fridge. The landlord has been round once and used it to replace a damaged fence.The remaining neighbours cannot use the access way because of the aforementioned erected fences and gates between my immediate neighbour and the neighbour at the end of the shared accessway.
Expert:  Michael Holly replied 2 months ago.

The neighbours have effectively closed the easement by extending their gardens. It is also arguable that the point of the easement , the delivery of coal to coal sheds in the gardens etc has ceased to have any effect due the passage of time.,

I would put gates up and lock them, any neighbour who objects can explain why they have blocked the right of way themselves and , at least, you had the sense to make the back route available in an emergency.

Best wishes

Michael

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
From a legal/deeds standpoint, does the easement/right of way still exist if all shared owner have extended their gardens into the shared accessway? Or does it require explicit consent from all parties to remove the shared accessway from the deeds?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
As a point of understanding, do we have a right to use the full area of the shared accessway as part of the shared ownership ie should the shared accessway be available to all. Also, what happens if we catch one owner dumping items in the shard accessway? At the moment, the immediate neighbour has left their fence in the shared accessway and never disposed of it.
Expert:  Michael Holly replied 2 months ago.

The right of way will still exist on the deeds it has simply become ineffective as a result of the passage of time. This is not unusual many strange laws have never been repealed but are simply not enforced or effective.

No neighbour should have left anything in the passage way. It was a passageway with a right to pass. It cannot be blocked , impeded or stuff left there so I would give them their fence back.

Best wishes

Michael

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