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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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we have the bottom flat of a villa, and our private garden

Customer Question

we have the bottom flat of a villa, and our private garden surrounds 1/2 of the building. our neighbours upstairs have their own gardens and we share the front and side of the land on the ground. in our title deeds there is mention that our neighbours have a right of access to our private garden to maintain their property which is fine, however, one neighbour has taken this that he doesnt have to arrange any time at our convenience and we regularly find strange workmen roaming our garden with no prior notice or consultation. We have also just had a letter telling us to take our hose off the outside tap on the wall of our garden so that he can use it (presumably he comes into our garden when we are not home!) and he claims it is a shared tap - but while we have no proof either way, we think the supply must come from our house. the neighbour in question doesnt like us and has told us he wont talk to us - he ignores us if we say hello - so it does make getting to the bottom of this difficult. We just want to know if we can ask him to make access arrangements at our mutual convenience, and if we can tell him not to come into our garden without our consent and not to use what we think is our tap.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is Alex and I'm happy to help with your question today.

Even if the title deeds are silent on the issue of notice, you are still entitled to "reasonable notice". Failure to give you such notice is unlikely to give you grounds for legal action unless some loss or damage has been caused. If you are unhappy about the present situation you could (a) write a letter of complaint to your neighbour or (b) ask a solicitor to write on your behalf or (c) contact a local mediator to help resolve the issue. You're probably not thinking of formal legal action at present, which is both costly and cumbersome.

Hope this helps. Happy to discuss.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Alex,

I just want the neighbour to come to us and ask when it would be convenient to access our garden - we have no issue letting anyone in for repairs. He however doesnt think he needs our input he just sometimes writes to say without specific detail that workmen will be in our garden, we just want to know if we are in our rights to say that the timing should be mutually agreed. As to the tap - I am not happy with him creeping about our garden when we are not at home - he's a very strange character - we have put a lock on our gate and will write explaining that we think the tap is not communal but if he has evidence to the contrary to provide it. Whilst I have no desire to pursue legal action, I am pretty sure my neighbour will if we block his unimpeded access to our garden - I just want to know if we are within our legal rights to do so.

Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.
Yes, you are well within your rights to ask for reasonable notice. However, I suspect from the tone of your post that your neighbour is not the kind of person who is likely to take any notice of your wishes!
Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.

I am following up our conversation to see how you got on with the issue. If you need any further help then please let me know - remember I am a qualified UK Solicitor and able to help on most aspects of English Law. I am London based and usually able to respond to your query very quickly.

Alex Hughes