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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We live on a private road of three detached properties. We

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We live on a private road of three detached properties. We are the middle Freehold property. There is only one route of access via a car. However at the opposite end of the road, in front of the 3 properties is a gate, through which we were initially able to go out onto a main road to the bus stop, shops, the park with the children or across the road to our parents. The gate has a lock on it and for 6 years we USED the gate. The keys given to us by our solicitor included a key to the said gate.
Property 1 (Freehold) occupier died and house went on the market. The remaining neighbours (Leasehold) whose house we have to walk past to access the gate, over land on a Title Plan, stopped us from using the gate. They put a new lock on and refused to give us a key. Needless to say on a number of occasions we cut the lock off. After 2 years a new neighbour moved into property 1 and our neighbours had to give them a key to the gate but told new neighbours not to give us the key.
At the time I as very distressed and very emotional and needless to say our children felt victimised s they had been stopped from going through the gate to the park and shops or to go and see grandparents.
We did have a solicitor and ended up in a dispute over the said neighbours not being able to park on part of our drive and we spent 3 months proving why they shouldn't be trespassing on our land and certainly not when they had re-created a triple car driveway in front of their double garage.
The gate is still an issue and I can't explain how I feel when our new neighbours go past with their children to go out to the park.
Everyone tells us it's lovely where we live but I have never been happy or settled here.
I would like to move but I am concerned about the gate issue and wonder if this will affect the sale of the house but even more I will be deeply furious with the neighbours if they give new occupiers a key (new occupiers need to have a key) when we haven't had a key for the last 4 years. How would they explain this.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Who owns the land the gate is on please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We think the neighbour at no 3 owns it as it is on their side but we are not sure. However we have a Title Plan highlighting the road and pathway to the gate in brown.

We are required to share

the costs of repairs to the “Common Drive, coloured brown on the Title Plan” are to be shared equally between the three properties.

If we do not have access and it is due to neighbours having or owning the gate, regardless of what is in the Title Deeds would I be correct in saying that we can disregard anything else i.e. covenants on land to state no fences to be built or sheds to be put up. However prop 1 now has a shed and a fence and has informed us that covenants have to be implemented by someone. Prop no. 3 have 2 sheds and a greenhouse. Unfortunately us in the middle can't have either. I am beginning to feel very bitter about the situation.

How many years has there been access?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The previous occupier of our property had access for over 45 years and we access for 6 years.

I feel that we are now only going to be able to resolve this issue by obtaining an injunction. This issue has and continues to cost us a lot of money. It has upset the family for years and we are not happy about it.

Yes I would agree. If there has been access for over 20 years then a prescriptive right of way has been established. This becomes absolute after 40 years. It does not need to be continual access by you, but the previous owners can have had access.
As such you have a right of way which can't now be blocked. You need to ask a Solicitor to write and set out your position, saying you will apply to the Court for an injunction should they refuse access.
If that is done and they refuse then you can seek an injunction granting access given the 40 years+ use.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
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