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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7672
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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Hi I have new neigbours that are in the process of moving

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I have new neigbours that are in the process of moving next door to me, they have erected a fence on their grade ii property behind our grade ii property and have blocked out right of vehicle and animal access to the back of our property.

Initially they responded stating that we did not have right of access, I emailed them a copy of our title and register clearly showing our right of access, they are now ignoring me - are they allowed to do this?

Am i left with no option but to escalate this to the local planning authourity (they have no planning consent) and to engage a solicitor?

Many thanks

Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.

If they are blocking your right of access which is secured by a legal easement on your respective title registers then you can enforce this against them.

You have done the right thing initially in writing to them explaining your objection. Ultimately, you can apply to county court for an injunction to ceases the obstruction and they would be in contempt of court if they ignored a court order injunction, which is an offence.

If you consider that it might hold some sway with the neighbours then you may consider instructing local solicitor to write a letter before action to them explaining that you will do so if they do not cease the behaviour within 7 days, otherwise you will instruct them to issue an application to court.

This is the main option open to you.

In addition, you may consider contacting the local authority if you believe that they have acted contrary to planning law as a way of imposing pressure on them. However, you can only do this once, because once you have told the local authority the cat is out of the bag and they would take whatever action they consider appropriate in the circumstances. Even if you told them you no longer cared about the breach of planning they would still proceed with enforcement regardless of your wishes. It may also make the neighbour more difficult potentially, so I would certainly say that you will inform planning to the neighbour but then only use it as an option of last resort.

My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.

Kindly rate my answer if you are satisfied with the information I have provided.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your quick reply.


I have now downloaded a copy of the neighbours title and register, and whilst the plan looks very old, there is no mention of our right of way on it.


I am guessing that this muddies the water somewhat, however, our title makes reference to this to this right of way as an agreement in 1956, we have a copy of this original conveyancing document together with some others of that period that all make reference to it.


The property next door was sold as part of our original neighbours estate on their death and their family, who were not close have stated that they do not believe we have access. Access was never an issue whilst our original neighbour's were alive.


My most important priority is to be able to sell our property at some point in the future without this right of way being an issue during the conveyancing and coming back at us once we have moved.


How would you suggest that we proceed?


If we do have to go legal on this, what would you advise we set aside as a very rough budget to see it through and would this be recoupable from our neighbours?


It's obviously really difficult to tell without sight of the official copies.

I would suggest taking them to a local property solicitor for a free OR fixed fee consultation to examine them and confirm if the right is registered as a legal easement or not.

If the right appears to exist in that it is imposed on an earlier conveyance but not listed on the title, then you will have to apply to now have it registered on the title and then enforce the right.

If the right does not exist on the title but you have used it for over 20 years and were able to prove this then you would be able to claim a right by prescription (ie. long use) and would have to see a solicitor about registering it this way.

Please do remember to rate my answer.

Kind regards,

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