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Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 33536
Experience:  Barrister at Self Employed Barrister
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There is a path with side entrance access running behind some

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There is a path with side entrance access running behind some of my neighbours gardens, with a gate at the end to my garden. My immediate neighbour has taken the fence down at the end of their garden, basically extending their garden by taking the pathway at the back. They now locked my gate from their side and don't allow us access claiming it intrudes their privacy. We can prove we have access as it's written in our deeds. Also, we moved in a couple of years before them and never had problems before. As you can imagine we are very upset and they join any form of communication. What are my rights? can I get them to put the fence at the end of their garden back up?
They are in breach of your right of way if it is set out in the deeds. I would be minded to get a solicitor to write to them threatening that if they do not remove the lock and reinstate the fence then you will apply to the court for an injunction (damages and costs) against them. You would appear to have a good case against them in this regard.Please rate positively
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

the owners before us did not want to use the access so they closed the gate. They kept the two posts on either side of the door which is of concrete. The gate is made of fencing the same as the rest of the fence. Our neighbours claim we can't reopen the access. When they moved in and took down the fence at the end of their garden. We didn't mind as long as they allowed us access. However, we needed our builders to access and they were very difficult so we feel that if that's the way they behave we want the fence and access back. Is it true we can't re open the gate? To who does this path belong?

Strictly speaking the land behind the property is owned as set out in the deeds, which means that that part of the path at the back belongs to them (check deeds) but that does not mean that they can do what they want with the path. You will have from what you say an easement over the land (a right of way) and by blocking it they are in breach; hence you will be able to take action in law as set out above.Please rate positively
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Can they restrict my access that I would have to ask permission first? Will they have to put up the fence again? Is this a common problem that the court has to deal with? And what has been the outcome in these cases in court?

This is a very common problem. If they are in breach of a right away without your permission then the court will usually order that they comply with the right of way. If necessary they will either ask for them to put the fence back up or ensure that you have safe access to use the right of way.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank goodness I have never been or taken anyone to court. It sounds quite scary.I am only considering it in this case as they are the kind of neighbours who don't appreciate good relationship. For example they didn't allow us a surveyor for our party wall when they built an extension. I only would proceed if I know we can get access back properly. Which solicitor has won these cases in court? Who can you recommend? How much will a solicitor and court cost me? And how long is this process?

Very often a solicitors letter will actually resolve such matters - its is a straight forward case and a local solicitor would be able to deal - these things do end up costing usually a few thousand pounds but you may be able to recover some of that back. With injunctions it can be resolved often within a month, but like all litigation there is a risk of it going on for longer. remember to rate
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, Thanks. Although it feels unfair to have to dish out so much money for something like this. What happens if they don't listen to the ruling? Does anyone check it out?

If an injunction was put in place and they breached it then they could be imprisoned, so these things are taken very seriously. If they breached then you would need to tell the court.
I hope this helps
Please remember to rate positively
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

How can I keep all this communication? Or at least be able to review it again. Are you able to give me your contact details? Thank you very much. I will rate you Excellent.

I can be contacted here and this communication will stay on your account so you will be able to access.
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