If your neighbour rejects your request for access to their land for repair and maintenance work that you need to do for preserving your property, do you then have no choice but to abandon your work?
The answer is no. This is when a property disputes lawyer can help you with obtaining a resolution in this delicate situation with your neighbours.
They can help you with drafting a letter to your neighbour to try engaging them in constructive discussions to find a solution suitable for you both, and explain the rights in your position. Here are a few options provided by property disputes experts.
Enforcing Rights of Access in your Title Deeds
Your title deed, which is a legal document that proves your ownership of the property, can often contain any right of access to your neighbour’s land.
A property dispute lawyer will check the title deed for you first, and if you retain any right of access, the lawyer can help you explain the legal effect of this to your neighbour and how they could be forced by the Court to allow you to exercise this right had they refused to give access.
The Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 states that you may apply for an Access Order at court, providing that the work you want to do is necessary for the preservation of your property, and it would be much more difficult without the access.
Preservation works include filling in a ditch; clear, repair or renew a drain, sewer, pipe or cable; doing work to a shrub and other growing things that have or may die, or any plant that is insecurely rooted, dangerous or damaged.
There will be strict conditions imposed by the Court if the Access Order is granted, like the time frame of the work, when you may have access and compensation if any damages occur as a result of your project.
But the Court can also reject your application. A property dispute lawyer can help predict possible reasons for refusal by the Court and adjust the plan on the work to address the issues.
Party Wall Notice
Party Wall Act 1996 is applicable if the work you plan on conducting will affect a Party Wall or other shared boundaries.
In compliance with the requirements of this Act, you will be permitted to do your work on shared structures. You are required to give your neighbour a written notice in advance, telling them what works you intend to conduct. If your neighbour ignores the notice or has any issue.
A surveyor can be appointed together, or you may have respective surveyors. You must then also show a willingness to comply with conditions a surveyor advises for ensuring that your neighbour’s property does not get damaged.
An Access Licence can also be used to gain access, this will ultimately see a contract agreed which deals with and covers the agreed and temporary access.
If you’d like to discuss your access requirements, speak with one of our experienced Surveyors now.