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Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this. When did the new neighbours move in? When was the first complaint about the gate?
If all she wants is to get some work done and agrees t put it back as it was will that be a problem. I can see that threats to rip it down are very annoying (if she did so she might well be committing criminal damage).
They bought the property in May 2007 (3 yrs after we bought ours). The first complaint didn't come until about 3 yrs later after she had tried to get me to remove the tree. Her MO is to say she wants to talk to us about something and then launch into 'This is a problem for me you need to do x/y/z' and when unsurprisingly she gets your back up and doesn't get what she wants she turns immediately nasty.
I don't believe that there is any work needed to repoint the outside, it looks in good condition (the house is under 30 years old).I think that, true to form, she is just trying to make a point that she can do what she likes. She claims that he has a right to access on her deeds but I would have thought it was just under the relevant act as it doesn't appear to be on our deeds. I have asked my husband to check with the land registry here where we live in Gloucester to see if there are any covenants etc that might affect this.
She also came onto our property and stood right in front of my husband yesterday saying she had a right. We told her she was trespassing and to leave - rather stupidly she seemed to be trying to provoke a physical reaction but my husband is a retired police officer with over 20 years experience so he is used to dealing with people like that. He warned her that if she tried to break down the gate we would report her for criminal damage - she could only remove the uprights if she removes the door and to do that would have to climb over it and unscrew the hinges to get the door off.
Having left with a deal of verbal abuse she later returned and took a photo through the open door into the alleyway. Our carpenter told her not to take a photo of him as she hadn't asked but my feeling is that this is harassment as it's not part of the property that is visible from her property or the public highway and she didn't have our permission for such a photo. I am slightly concerned that she may have mental health issues because of the way she deals with people and I have two 17 yr olds who find her rather intimidating so I don't want to engage with her unless I have to. I should also mention that she tried to force us to move our bins to the rear of our property as she didn't like seeing them through the window of the room next to our alley. This despite the fact that she keeps her own bins in exactly the same spot on her property i.e. next to the neighbours boundary. When we refused because it meant having tem outside our kitchen window instead of by our garage, she started a campaign of pushing the bins onto our driveway every day. And I do mean every day. We just put them back and shake our heads. But you will appreciate this is not normal behaviour and we think we need to put something in legal terms to put a stop to it.
Like most lawyers on this site I fit in answers on this site around my legal practice. I will get back to you later today.
Your neighbours will only be entitled to access to your land to carry out repairs if they are necessary. Even in these circumstances they can not just come onto your land without your permission. There is a procedure under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act, which requires notice to be given to you of the proposed works. If you don;t agree then your neighbour could seek an order, but in these circumstances would be unlikely to succeed.
As far as this right of access in her deeds. You should ask her to show you this right. But frankly what is in her deeds may be neither here nor there as far as rights over your land are concerned.