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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 29193
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I own a small yard, behind and to the side of my house, over

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Good afternoon,
JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: I own a small yard, behind and to the side of my house, over which other houses and businesses/workshops have "a right of way for the purchasers and their successors in title at all times but on foot only over and upon the yard or way coloured yellow on the said plan.".  
This is the sole access to two of the houses, and they are the only houses which abuse the right of way.
I have owned my house and yard since 1997 and before this I have always got on well with all my neighbours.Over two years ago a new purchaser of the two houses began work on them.  
I was unable to use my yard as the new purchaser's builders were working there.
Over lockdown I was advised to stay away from my yard for health reasons (Covid 19 virus).  I remained inside my house all through lockdown.
The two houses are now being advertised and used as holiday lets, one for six people and the other for eight. Once or twice a week there is a changeover of people in each of them.
These cottages have no outside space of their own.  Their thresholds are directly on my property.
I now have dogs and children relieving themselves in my yard.  People standing around smoking and drinking coffee in their pyjamas.
These visitors setting up chairs in my yard to enjoy the evening sun.
I made it clear to the estate agent when the properties were initially put up for sale that I would no longer give permission for bins to be kept in my yard, and the bins were taken inside the properties.  The new owner has now placed four bins in my yard.  His visitors often put their refuse in whichever bin they come to first - theirs or mine, landfill or recycling, and, as the Council refuses to empty contaminated bins, these may be foul and overflowing.
The owner has set up cctv on his wall which covers only my yard - no view of his property.The yard leads on to a busy main street and is gated and padlocked to stop passersby urinating and /or fornicating in, or stealing from the yard, sheds and workshop - all of which have occurred in the past when the gate has been left unlocked.
We have supplied the cottage owner with a key to the padlock, but his visitors leave it unlocked almost all the time.
Both cottages are on the Council Tax register.I have spent some time searching through JustAnswer, and now believe that his bins are trespassing, and his cctv is illegal.
Please can you advise me of what I can do to regain use of my own back yard? 
I have engaged this morning with a family who were watching their dog settle to empty itself in the middle of the yard.  They had no idea that this was unacceptable, and had had no information from the owner or letting agency about the situation and told me to take it up with the owner.
I cannot deal with this type of situation each time new people arrive, with the sure knowledge that at some time it will turn ugly.  
I want to be pottering in my yard, weeding and setting out, not hiding in my home with my windows sealed against cigarette smoke and noise, whilst others enjoy my outside space.
Thank you for your consideration.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: I have not. I live in the UK. England.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have spoken to the contractors and builders, and my insurer is pursuing a case against next door as they knocked holes in my bedroom wall whilst they were renovating.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I think that I have given a clear view of the problems. Thank you.

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
please do.
Someone who I have never met, who has imprisoned me in my home for months, damaged, defiled and stolen my property, has set up a business in my yard.  I am frustrated, angry and depressed. I would appreciate any advice you can offer.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Meanwhile, will you please advise me how to have the holiday cottage owners bins removed from my yard?

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

I am very sorry to read of the above and I imagine what a difficult position it must be. I will certainly try to clarify your options.

may I clarify what you describe, both properties you refer to owned by the same individual(s) please?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thank you. I am pleased to have your help.
Yes, two individual residential properties, each with a right of way over my yard, were bought in early 2019 by the same purchaser.
  1. thank you. Finally, I would assume I'm correct to imagine you have contacted the owner of the properties and asked them to cease and desist trespassing on your property other than strictly in accordance with the terms of the right of way please and that they have made clear to their guests that they may not trespass on your land?
  2. whilst tthere is no obligation upon you to do so, other modifications you can make to your land including the use of signage to deter or restrict or prevent unlawful trespass?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I have spoken to the owner's contractors and (initially) the agent, but as this has not helped, I would now like to write to the owner and insist that he desists from trespass and instructs his guests accordingly.
I am unsure what rights the "right of way for the purchasers and their successors in title at all times but on foot only over and upon the yard or way " give to him and his guests.
Are paying guests "successors in title"?
Is he/they allowed to bring animals on to my property? (As I have no notice as to when dogs will be in my yard, I have had to keep my 20 year old cat confined in my home).
Is he allowed to run a business accessible only across my property (from his advertising "This property may be rented with my adjoining cottage for groups of up to 14. Pets welcome") ? Each cottage is on the Council Tax (not Business Rates) register.

thank you. The first step would be to determine the precise nature of the right of way and the extent of land over which it is enjoyed - usually referred to by way of a plan.

From what you describe, if the wording you have typed above his precise, the right is a right of way on foot only over the yard - I am not certain of a specific route is defined or if the right-of-way is expressed to be over the yard generally. Unless there is a contrary intention in the wording of the right of way, the decision in the case of Hammond v Prentice Brothers Ltd [1920] 1 Ch held that in the absence of special circumstances, the right of way shall be construed so as to secure all that was necessary for the reasonable enjoyment of the property to which the ROW was granted and that words in a grant that list people who can use the right of way (such as tenants, visitors etc) are generally regarded as illustrative and not restrictive. accordingly, my initial belief would be that the right-of-way is likely to be sufficient for guests to use it but this view should not be regarded as a definitive interpretation of the law as this would require counsel's opinion.

however, from what you describe, the right is a right of way rather than a right of amenity in relation to yoour yard and as such, the rights use should be for the purposes of access and egress from the relevant properties are not for any other purpose. as such, you can consider in the first instance writing to the owner with a cease-and-desist letter advising him of the use to which his guests are making of the yard and requiring that both he and his guests cease and desist in such use failing which you will seek injunctive relief against him for trespass together with costs.

You could go on to say that you are willing to work with him as regards ***** ***** that can be taken to ensure that his guests are aware of the limitations of his property rights but your concern at present, that there is either an active disregard or at least a negligent disregard as regards ***** ***** rights and you would ask him to make contact with you in this respect within the next 14 days with an undertaking to cease and desist trespass onto your land failing which, you reserve the right to take steps in relation to injunctive relief in the County Court without further reference to him.

In order too apply for an injunction, you would need evidence of the infringement of your property rights that you describe-such as photographs together with dates and so on and apply using the following form:

I hope the above answers all your questions. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me otherwise thank you very much for visiting JustAnswer and I hope we will see you again in the future.

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 29193
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Joshua and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thank you, Joshua. You have provided me with all the advice and information I need to write a comprehensive letter to the owner, and I hope he will now be willing to work with me in order to avoid progressing this to legal action..
I am most grateful for your help with this matter, and will wholeheartedly recommend you.