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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71159
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I live in a terraced house with an entry that is shared with

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I live in a terraced house with an entry that is shared with 1 neighbor who has had insulation blocks fitted to his side reducing the width of entry by about 4 to 5 inches as far as I know entry is jointly owned

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

What problems has this caused?

What problems would it cause if you did the same?

Alleyways like this between two terraced properties are rarely jointly owned. There are potentially several ways that they can be owned.

One property can own alleyway and the other one can have access over it..

Each property on either side and owns to the centreline and each property then has the right to go the other persons side.

The division can be the other way round whereby one property owns the front part of the alleyway and the other property owns the back part of the alleyway and each has the right to go over the other persons part.

It would be necessary to look at your deeds to see which is the case.

If he has built on your land with these blocks than it is trespass and you can take action to get trespass removed although the court may not do that if these have been in place for some considerable time and you have ignored them or you did not raise the issue with him while he was doing it. In the latter case the court would award you compensation rather than asking to remove the blocks this access severely restricted which I will now tell you about.

If he has narrowed the width of the alleyway to make it so tight that you could not (for example) get a wheelbarrow in and out then he also obstructs your right-of-way. The legal test for pedestrian access is, surprising though it may seem, whether you can take a wheelbarrow in and out. Before right-of-way is said to be obstructed the obstruction must be substantial. There is however no definition of substantial and each case would be looked at on its own facts.

It would come down to whether you could still freely walk up and down the alleyway this narrowed it substantially.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have 2 old motorbikes in my garden which will be harder to move . I will probably have to remove the handlebars and get a friend to help The entry was only about 30 inches to start with if I did the same would be down to about 20-22 inches

Based upon what you are told me, you could get an injunction to making remove these blocks to reinstate the access. This is a substantial obstruction. Before taking him to court, you have to giving the option to remove them himself. If you send a solicitors letter he may think the you are serious about this whereas he could well ignore any letter that you send personally.

If you have house insurance it’s worthwhile looking to see if you have any legal expenses cover attached to it which would pay for the cost of any litigation. If this went to court, because the alleyway was so narrow in the first place I think it is more probable that the court would order the blocks removed than not.

You can also ask the court to award court costs against him for making you take the trouble to go to court.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

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