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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71130
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi, I have a right of way in my property deeds for both vehicular

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Hi, I have a right of way in my property deeds for both vehicular and pedestrian access down my neighbor's driveway to gain access to my garden via a gate at the end of the drive. My neighbor has failed to maintain the access to the point where I can hardly get to my garden on foot let alone by car because the trees are so overgrown. Because of this, I have put a gate in my fence further up the driveway, near my house, so that my disabled relative can visit. My neighbor is now threatening to put a chain link fence across the gate to block this route of access. What can I do to get him to either maintain the existing gateway properly by pruning the trees, or stop him putting the chain link up?

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Can I just check you are in the UK? I notice the Americanised spelling of neighbour. If you are in the states then I can move this question to another category.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Jo,

I am in the UK, it is the I pad spell checker!
Yes, I know it does that!

Have you offered to contribute to the access upkeep?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No. Where do we stand with the other gate? As it is actually much easier for access than the bottom one, as we have a disabled relative who visits.
Thanks for the information.

Unless the deeds or right-of-way allows you specifically use of the other gate, you cannot use it.

There is a doctrine of mutual benefit and burden whereby anybody who uses a right has the burden of contributing towards it in proportion.

Therefore, if you are the only person using this right-of-way sadly you will have the burden of repairing it even though it is owned by somebody else. If you use it with 3 other people then you would each pay one quarter of the cost of maintaining its and if the others do not contribute then you would have a claim against them.

One possible way forward is to agree with the owner that you will maintain it if he lets you put a new gate in.

In fact actually offering some money to put the case in by way of compensation would be cheaper than going to court to get him to pay his proportion of the maintenance.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
There is actually no gateway position marked on the deeds, does this change anything?
You can argue that it gives you the right to access the right of way from wherever you like.

However, if he puts chain-link fence immediately inside the boundary but on his land it stop you using the new access without actually interfering with your existing right-of-way then you are not able to use the new access
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Do I need to get permission to go ahead and prune the trees? Or just inform him that it is happening?

As they do not actually overhang your land there is no trespass you need consent and therefore to act.

If he will not give it to you then you are faced with a court application but if it comes to that you will get consent and then he will have to pay costs.

Tell him that you intend to do this and that might focus his mind