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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10973
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I need to access and put scaffolding on my neighbours property

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I need to access and put scaffolding on my neighbours property to carry out maintenance work. This lady is in her early nineties and has always been difficult since we extended the house in the early 1990's and then erected a fence when the extension was being put up to make life difficult. She made complaints to the police when we parked outside her house and when she got nowhere scratched our car (a neighbour over the road saw what happened). We have just had our front driveway extended and the manager of the firm went round to see her as a matter of courtesy and she made the allegation that they had broken the fence that is in between the two properties and is her responsibility and that she wanted us to replace it all - when, in fact, two of the supporting posts had broken some time ago and the manager pointed out that he had taken photos prior to the work commencing what state the fencing was in before they started. I am loathe to approach her as I feel I would be putting myself in the firing line and if she makes an allegation of say 'harassment' they who are the police going to believe me or a little old lady.
1. What you need to do here is to serve a Notice under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act seeking access to her property to carry out your maintenance work. This will avoid approaching her personally and is the first legal measure necessary in order to gain access to her land. If she refuses to grant access within the 21 day period in the Notice, then you can apply to court to get a n order granting you access. Be aware that applications under the Act are almost always granted. This is so that a person's property can be maintained and kept in good order without some neighbour's conduct prejudicing the upkeep. So, as this lady is difficult, you need to follow the correct legal steps. It will also avoid suggestions of "harassment" or other allegations of a dubious nature being made.
2. Be aware that it is a requirement under the Act, and you will have to undertake to this effect if the case goes to court. to put back the neighbour's property in its original state in which you found it, upon completion of your maintenance work. So, if granted access, you should take pictures of the state of your neighbour's property before you enter upon it, so there is no subsequent suggestion that you did not treat their property as it should be and reinstate it to its original state. it is vital to retain "before" & "after" photos so as to ensure no issue arises which might lead to some suggestion that you did not reinstate her property after you completed the works.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have briefly viewed the viewed the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 which, I presume, is the Act I should refer to when writing to her for access. Should the letter come direct from a firm of solicitors or in the first instance from ourselves
4. My inclination, because of the harassment issue is that it is better if it comes from a solicitor, if you can afford it. This clearly delineates that you are ready to "go legal" if this lady refuses. My guess, from experience, is that a letter from you will go unanswered, whilst a solicitor's letter will mean a response, whether positive or negative.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My Inclination initially was to go straight to solicitors because of her attitude and previous behaviour and although my husband had asked me initially go round and speak to her as I said previously I felt I was going to be in the 'firing line'. Also quite a few years ago we asked for access to property and that went unanswered and we did not pursue this at the time
5. I very much doubt that you will get an answer this time, if you previously sought access and received no response. So I would suggest you start from the outset with a view towards compelling access as this seems to be the approach, when you have someone who is as difficult as your neighbour.
Buachaill and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help