Property Access/Right of Way

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sje0703 | 13:28 Mon 30th Jan 2006 | Home & Garden
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Can anyone give advice/their experiences on anything similar?

We live in an end terrace and have a large space between our house and another that is used by both properties to access our garages. We have copy of Land Registry documents that clearly show that the land up to the garages is part owned by us and other property.

The problem comes from the house that is attached to us on the other side. When we bought the property we were told that they have right to get to the back of their property across the back of ours which has been fine until recently. They own a motorbike and daily go past the back of our house on it and 2 -3 times per week maintain it on the space that is marked as owned by our house and the house on the other side of us and not to the house joined to ours. They also on occasion wash their car in this jointly owned space, having their hosepipe across the back of our garden.

They are not the most pleasant of people and we were wondering if anyone held the same view as us that access to property means pedestrian and not bringing a motorbike through twice a day and not washing a car in a space owned by two other properties.

Thanks in advance for any views/ideas.


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Hi sje, i live in a terrace house ( i would be your motorbike neighbours) and i think they are in the wrong. We go round the back of the other house to take the bin out and to take anything into the garden, i would never dream of using it to wash the car.

I know they aren't the nicest people but i would just have a word with them. Although it would have been made clear that they could use that part for access only, they may not be fully aware of it.

Another thought, i would contact my solicitor and ask them about taking the motorbike round because im not sure where you would stand with that. They could argue that they are only using their right of way.

I would take a bicycle round if i had one but a motorbike is another thing.

you really really need legal advice on this one. Would suggest that you don't have any conversations until you are clear what your rights and those of your neighbours are.

The land title usually details how this is supposed to work. When I had this with a house that was built 20 years ago, the common access area was jointly owned by all parties (5 in my case), there was joint liability to maintain it. The title also often says that one cannot do anything to prevent one of the other parties having access - parking a car on it for example.

The best bet is to check out the land title then challenge them politely and firmly. Unfortunately the police or the local council are unlikely to want to become involved and taking legal action is very much a last resort.

The first thing to examine is the bit where you say that you were "told of their right" etc (who told you, solicitor, other?). If it truly exists it will be on noted on your Land Registry Registration in some words giving them "the right to pass and repass at all times of the day or night on foot and with vehicles". If it is not on your Registration have a look at theirs by clicking here and following the instructions (you should look at both Register and Plan to be belt and braces). If it is on neither they may still be able to claim a Right of Way across your jointly owned land by Prescription, and if you are able to follow a bit of legal chatter click here and scroll down to and read LRPGO 52. If you would then care to post the results further down this thread I will continue against the specifics of your case if you wish.
Regarding parking on a Right of Way, this is classed as Seizure of Land by whoever does it and is highly illegal. They are not allowed to do any act upon or hinder, obstruct, restrict, prevent or otherwise interfere with the free and lawful use of the actual or claimed Right of Way by authorised persons for passage at all times and for all purposes on foot and with or without vehicles, and it is quite easy to obtain an Injunction against them if they persist.

We have a similar situation with our next-door neighbour [only the householder....not his whole family] in a block of four having limited access through our property for specific purposes only. Suggest you get your solicitor to check out the title deeds.
For Registered land deeds were done away with years ago and count for nothing at all now.
"The right to pass and re-pass" (assuming that's what they have), is exactly that, and not the right to wash your car and fix your motorbike. A right of way allows you to move over a piece of land, but not to use it for any other purpose.
Have you had any progress with this SJE?
we bought a industrial property unit on 30-06-1986,and used it all the time for lorrys and cars in and out for our business.
but end of may,2006 the owner of the building on the front of our unit built the wall(on the entrance to the yard where we installed the communal gates in 1993 and asked the owner of the front building to pay his share,he answerd that he bought the property after the gate was installed ).which we have used it since we bought the unit.
he is saying that the entrace belong to him.(WHICH IS ON SIDE OF HIS BUILDING).
our ex landlord took the person to court and found out that his solicitor did not registerd the right of way with the land registry at the time he bought the property and made into units five units he sold three and kept two ( ON ADVICE FROM THE BARRISTER HE WITHDREW THE CASE AS HIS TENNANTS HAD THE RIGHT TO USE THE BACK ENTRANCE),.
but we are LAND LOCKED as we were GRANTED THE RIGHT TO USE only the front entrance which is in our deeds and did not have the right to use the side entrance.
we were told by few peoples that as we were using the entrance for more than twenty years , we will get the right to use AS THERE IS SOME LAW UNDER WHICH WE WILL BE GRANTD TEH AUTOMATIC RIGHT OF USE BY THE COURT).
could any one give me some ideas/wiews
best regards.


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