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Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
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My wife and I own a house with a very small courtyard.

Customer Question

Hi, my wife and I own a house with a very small courtyard. In 1937 the owner of our property gave permission to the neighbour at the time to access the ashpit at the end of our garden with the words "for the time being". Our current neighbour believes this gives him the right to cut across our courtyard whenever he feels like it and allows tradesmen to come and go as well. As a result of the security of our property, the fact we have a dog and use our courtyard for our grandchildren we had a door and archway made which cost over £2000 with two good locks on. He subsequently ordered a locksmith to grind through the locks which in turn damaged the door and frame. We have now double locked this door to prevent him from helping himself. We feel intimidated, concerned over our children's security and feel our privacy is non existent. What can we do please. The permission was originally given in 1937 which is over 70 years ago and with the phrase "for the time being" he has no need to go through our property at all and has made us extremely unhappy at living here
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm happy to wait. Thank you
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am sorry you have been waiting some time for a reply, I will try and help.
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
I assume this "right of way" in enshrined in a deed, but please confirm if this is correct? If so can you tell me the exact wording of the right that was granted at the time
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
Can you also confirm how often the neighbour is using this right? Also you mention he is "cutting across the garden", is he accessing the "ashpit" or the area where is was (and is this area on your land?) or is he accessing another adjoining piece of land by going through your property?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Matt, the wording is in the land registry document. Our house 27 and the neighbour 29 were at some point in history all one property with ours being a news agent or tobacconist and 29 being the residential. Our house is over 200 years old and neither of us has much ground, both only hav tiny courtyards. They measure 31ft x approx 10ft. It states in the document that the vendors of 27 give permission for estate workers and their staff for the purpose to access the "ash pit" in the south west corner of 27 "for the time being".
There has not been an ash pit for over 40 years, my neighbour doe not and does not need to cross for any reason as the only thing the other side of our courtyard is a small public alley way. However he accesses his property from the front of his house at all times. However as a result of tradesmen just reaching over our 6ft gate and letting themselves in to our property to do work on his and without asking, we couldn't enjoy our grandchildren playing or entertain in any way and were consigned to just entertain within our house. Furthermore we have a dog who cannot just roam our property for fear of someone opening the gate. I reiterate there is no ashpit or any facility that he needs access for. We have the right to secure our property and have also the right to feel at ease in our own property. We have now had a proper arch and garden door made which is double locked.
The agreement not only stated for the time being, it was made in 1937 just prior to world war 2 and at a point in history where there were no alfresco entertaining indeed leisure time was not spent in the way it is now at all. Back then also if your dog bit a person there were no destruction orders it was merely a lesson learnt.
The property is now fully residential and there is no commercial activity on his side or mine. This has been the case for decades.
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the reply. Rights of way are knotty problems and there are many different outcomes to disputes relating to them. a few further questions:-1) I am still struggling a little to envisage for what purpose your neighbour would need to access your rear courtyard, it is just for access to the public alleyway of for other reasons? 2) Can you give me bit of history regarding you and your neighbours property - a) how long have you owned (b) how long has your neighbour owned (c) how long has your neighbour (or the people before them if applicable) been accessing your courtyard, and on what sort of regularity (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly) (d) was there always a gateway between the properties?
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
I do need specific information to help me advise you on what to do. If you would prefer to speak over the telephone I can offer this service, or we can continue with the Q&A. i will send you the details of the phone offer separately
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
HI. Can you come back to me on the questions posed so I can help further?
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
HI, can I help any further?