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LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 822
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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From 2003 until 2014 my father enjoyed sunlight from 2 windows

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From 2003 until 2014 my father enjoyed sunlight from 2 windows which were installed as part of a side extension which was built in 2003. The neighbour joining this extension was kept informed of this. Because my father is elderly (90 years old) and is a carer for my disabled sister it was agreed that he would spend time with me (his eldest daughter) at my house and some time at his own. In around 2013 my neighbour started harassing my father about a gas flue that was hanging into his air space which he said was dangerous because of the fumes. The gas central heating at that time was broken and so we felt his concern was untrue. He also threatened my father saying the the gas board were going to fine him which again nothing transpired from. My father as an elderly man was very upset by this bullying and later when he started to receive notes posted through his letter box he became very anxious and worried.
Since then my neighbour has erected a fence which is on his boundary line but now we cannot open our side windows as the fence blocks this. I understand that the fence is 2/3 metres which is legal. We have been told that we have no recourse to this as our extenstion was built less that 20 years ago. Since then we needed to access his property to undergo emergency roofing problem as our newly decorated kitchen had been subject to a leak in the roof. Our neighbour refused us access to his property to undergo emergency repairs which caused my father even more anxiety.
In addition to all of this our neighbour has bought 2 trees (2014) which are positioned so that they block the light from the windows to the side of our kitchen. The leaves are now spreading over to our side and the wooden fence is leaning against our side wall.
What can we do as this man and his family are truly adamant about causing my dad this unnecessary anxiety and worry? We also want to sell our property so we are aware that if we enter into anything too legal then this will need to be reflected in the Enquiries before Contract which can cause us further problems
LondonlawyerJ :

Hello I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

As far as the fence is concerned, if it is over hanging your land it should not do so, it should certainly not touch your father's house.

LondonlawyerJ :

Any branches or leaves which overhang your land can be cut down, although you must offer the cuttings back to the neighbour.

LondonlawyerJ :

Assuming the fence is the neighbour's legal responsibility you can ask him to fix it but if he doesn't and in order to avoid any dispute you might need to declare in a sale you could simply get it fixed from your side if that is at all practical. This would be at your expense which would no doubt be irritating.

LondonlawyerJ :

Unfortunately, as far as the right to light is concerned, the 20 year rule you refer to regarding the fence will also apply to rights to light blocked by trees.


So can our neighbour refuse us access to his property to undergo maintenance ad repairs?

LondonlawyerJ :

Has that work been carried out? I thought that had been done form your question.

LondonlawyerJ :

In brief the legal position about that is as follows.

There may be a right of entry specifically for the purposes of inspection or repair in your father's property’s legal documents. If there is no such right, the law allows you as the person wishing to carry out repairs to apply to the county court for an access order allowing you to enter your neighbour’s land to carry out the repairs. There is a fee for the application. If successful your neighbour would have to pay the costs. If there is a right in the legal documents for access to his land and he has unreasonably blocked access it may be possible to gain compensation for any resulting harm.

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