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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 16655
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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A piece of land on the driveway to our gate is owned by our

Customer Question

A piece of land on the driveway to our gate is owned by our neighbour. They leave dog dirt on this land at our gate. We have common right of access on the driveway and over this piece of land. We and visitors have to walk/drive on the land to get to our property . Can the law help us?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No.
JA: Where is the land located?
Customer: It is in the countryside on the B9140 Sheardale Road, Dollar
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 was given a formal warning by the police today for lifting dog dirt and putting it beside their vehicles, which sit on the opposite side from where the dog dirt is left. My neighbour gave them CCTV footage of me doing this and made the complaint. We have ongoing issues over access to our property and over a number of years have sought legal advice, but apart from court action or selling, there seems to be nothing we can do. We are both in our 80s, and have been subjected to harassment, verbal abuse, threatening behaviour. There was an incident in January that I reported to the police and I was told today that my neighbour was warned, but no official warning was given.
Submitted: 8 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 8 days ago.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer.

I am one of the legal experts on the site and I am a dual-qualified solicitor (UK & Republic of Ireland)

Thank you for the question, I am reviewing the details now and I will aim to resolve it as quickly as possible for you.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 8 days ago.

Sorry to hear of the issue.

There is an option which is to speak to the environmental health department at your local council – they are under a statutory duty to investigate this sort of antisocial behaviour (and the dog mess could be considered an environmental health issue too) - they may be able to deal with this. I recommend you speak to the environmental health department at the local council first of all.

There is a further option and that would be to apply to the local county court for a civil injunction. This a court order requiring the neighbours to do something or refrain from pursuing a course of conduct.

However, before you do this, send the neighbour a cease and desist letter to warn them of your intentions unless they stop (and give them 14 days to stop their conduct to allow them to seek legal advice).

A template “cease and desist” letter is available at this site : https://www.lawdepot.co.uk

If you go to the search box in the top right corner of the site, it will bring up a list - you want the "general" letter. You can use your own letter if you wish - it just has to make it clear this is a cease and desist letter, that you demand they stop their conduct, and that if they do not within 14 days you will apply to the court for the injunction and seek your costs.

That letter may well be enough to stop the conduct - as an injunction is a serious legal remedy. The judge will want to see that you have sent the cease and desist letter given an injunction is a last resort.

Assuming they continue, you will need to complete the application for the injunction and send to your county court. You will need to prepare a witness statement to accompany the form.

You will need to detail the history of the issues with the neighbour to paint a picture for the Judge as they will not know what this neighbour is like and what they have done to you unless you describe it.

If the injunction application is successful you can ask the court for a costs order to be paid by the neighbour.

The court will list a hearing where you attend and ask the District Judge for an order and the injunction.

The application would be made under the tort of nuisance (i.e. their conduct affects the enjoyment of your own property) and Section 1 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

Harassment is defined as “unwanted conduct designed to cause the victim alarm or distress”. There needs to be more than one incidence of the harassing behaviour but based on your question it seems that to be the case so you would be fine with applying in my view.

If granted, the Order is then served on the individual concerned and they are bound by the court order - if they breach the order, they are in contempt of court and could well face a fine and/or a prison term of up to 2 years.

The order will say they must stop their conduct with immediate effect. They are very effective given the consequences of breaching the terms of the injunction.

The cease and desist letter will hopefully work so you may not need to apply but if you then I recommend you ask a law firm to assist.

I have set out a few choices for you - they should be able to claim their costs from the neighbour so it would be worth asking them to help you with this:

1. Click Here

2. Click Here

3. Click Here



Expert:  JimLawyer replied 8 days ago.

I hope this helps

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 8 days ago.

It was a pleasure to assist you today and I hope this answers the question.

If you have any follow up questions or if you would like me to clarify anything I have said, please let me know and I will be happy to help.

Many thanks,

Jim


Expert:  JimLawyer replied 8 days ago.

Just a final note that if you would like to reconnect with me at a later date, simply add me as a favourite expert and you can then tag me in a question by typing @JimLawyer.

Thanks again,

Jim