How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask wingrovebuyer Your Own Question
wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
wingrovebuyer is online now

Hi, There is a lane running behind our terrace of houses,

This answer was rated:

There is a lane running behind our terrace of houses, ending at our property (we are at the top end of the lane), the width of the lane being within our boundary and forming the end of our garden, on which we have built a shed. This lane has always been kept clear for access (pedestrian and vehicular) and has been confirmed by Land Registry as a right of way. Our next door neighbours recently built a shed outside their garden on the lane itself. there is room for us to access our back gate on foot but not with a vehicle, should we ever wish to reinstate the parking space at the end of our garden. The neighbours have stated that only if we provide firm evidence of reinstating the parking space at the end of our garden will they then move the shed.
My questions are:
Is this correct? ie Does our right to park a vehicle on our land only depend on our actively exercising this right?
If the right to vehicular access to our property exists don't neighbours have to keep this access clear whether or not we are using it on a regular basis?
Can we insist that our neighbours remove the obstruction (shed) in the lane, whether or not we are regularly using this access?
If the answer is yes to the above, how do we go about having the shed removed (at minimal expense) if the neighbours continue to be antagonistic?
Hello. Whether or not you actually exercise your right of way, your neighbour has no legal right to block it. You clear,y have a full legal easement, and it's up to you whether or not you choose to use it. It is not for your neighbour to decide that as you don't use it now, he can prevent future use by blocking it off. You are well within your rights to demand the shed is removed. You are under no obligation whatsoever to use the access or prove to him that you intend to use it.

To get him to act, I suggest you write to him, with a copy of your title register, saying you have a full legal easement and whilst you may not currently need to exercise it, that could change at any time or if you sold your house. Tell him that he is unlawfully obstructing your full legal easement and that he has 28 days to remove the obstruction or you will have to take matters further, by issuing legal proceedings. Tell him that you have taken advice, and that he has no defence and as such he will likely be ordered by the court to pay your legal costs if you are forced to issue proceedings.

If the 28 days pass without action by the neighbour, I think you will then have to see through on that threat, and you will need a solicitor to complete the paperwork to submit to the court to request an injunction ordering your neighbour to remove the shed. This will cost something in the region of £2,000 to £3,000 plus VAT in legal fees, so you will also need the court to order the neighbour to pay your costs. I suggest you would be successful in both claims, given the neighbour hasn't got a leg to stand on.
wingrovebuyer and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you very much for your advice. This was my feeling on the matter but it is good to have it confirmed and your advice on what to do next.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
We've taken your advice and written to our neighbours requesting that they remove the shed within 28 days (by 9 March) or we will be forced to instigate legal proceedings. There has been no response so far and we anticipate that they will wait to see what we do. My next question about this is that if we start legal proceedings and the neighbours then decide to move the shed before it reaches court, can we still claim our costs back from them or will we have to pay the court costs?
Hello. Yes, if you instigate proceedings and then they relent, you can ask the court to order they pay your costs, which would include the court fee and any reasonably incurred legal fees. Best wishes.