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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
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Our neighbor has obstructed us from having essential work carried

Customer Question

Our neighbor has obstructed us from having essential work carried out on our property. We recently had a boiler replaced and it is essential that an earthing wire is is installed. This wire would normally run outside the house until the most convenient entry point is reached, to prevent running the cable all through the house. Our house is an end of terrace and our side wall is on boundary line. So our electrician would need to step onto their path in order to perform the work. This is very concerning in relation to this problem, and also in regards ***** ***** inevitable work that may need to be performed in the future.
We have read a little about the "Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992".
What would you advise? Would gaining access through the courts be expensive?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 3 years ago.

wingrovebuyer : Hello. Was the old boiler not earthed? If so, could the new wire not follow the same route to earth?
JACUSTOMER-sb5jbimp- :

Hi, thank you for your response. The old boiler was about 30yrs old and did not require an earth wire. New boilers now must include an earth wire.

wingrovebuyer : Hello. Thanks. The 1992 Act is generally for entering neighbouring land to undertake repairs to your property. However, I think replacing the boiler and the resultant upgrade in the regulations meaning the boiler must be earthed, would count as a repair or replacement under the Act. Accordingly, provided the wire does not overhang the neighbour's property, I think the courts would allow access for this. However, it is probably enough to threaten your neighbour with this action for them to allow access. If you did have to go to court, I imagine this would cost around £5,000 to £8,000 in legal fees. I am slightly worried that you may not succeed or may not get costs back if the wire could be run through your house. Access is granted for "essential" works, and if there is an alternative route there is a possibility the court would say the works are not essential because you have an alternative. However, the alternative would have to be reasonable, so if it means ripping up tiled floors and floorboards etc, that might be enough to show that the alternative is not reasonable. Best, WB
JACUSTOMER-sb5jbimp- :

Hi, thank you for your help. Very much appreciated. I discussed the issue with the Electrician who came to finish of the work last week. The work is essential. We have found and alternative route through the house. This looks very ugly. To carry out the work properly through the house would indeed require the laminated flooring to be uprooted and holes drilled though all the under beams (very costly). We are not really prepared to go through the courts unless it was almost certain we would win the case. Again the solution we have now is ugly, and we consider it to be a temporary workaround (I have never seed a house that has this kind of visible routing for a standard boiler). Perhaps we will have it routed under the floorboards so it is not visable when we replace the flooring, That said, the laminate is in pretty good condition, so might be a while:-(