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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Good morning, I have a question regarding shared access rights

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Good morning, I have a question regarding shared access rights to a particular piece of land. I own a house which is at the end of a short terrace of 4. The house was built around 1908 by a family of builders and remained in the family until very recently (being passed on with a deed of gift thru the family. I purchased from person A, person A purchased from the last remaining family member approx 9 yrs ago (I purchased in May 97). There is a piece of land at the bottom of my garden which I, together with my four neighbours, have gated access to from the bottom of our gardens (the builder left this land intentionally for access rights). As far as I understand, the land in question originally 'belonged' to my house (as this was the builders/owners wish) but rights of access have been passed to the other three houses. Now, a house whose garden (left hand boundary) abuts this piece of land, and who does have a gate leading out onto said land, has erected a fence along the centre line of the piece of land, in line with his existing garden fence. In over 100 yrs this land has never been segregated and myself and my neighbours are unsure as to the legality this man erecting this fence and obstructing our access. Please advise! Many thanks. C

Thanks for your patience.

In the first instance I would establish who exactly does own the land from looking at the respective land registry title plans. If this is not his land then the person who is the owner of it can prevent him access on the basis of trespass
You can download a copy of the register for your property from the land registry's search engine to find the title number :-
Enter the postcode for your property and if it is registered it will give you the -option to download a copy of the register.

If none of the titles you download cover the area then you should carry out an index map search of the area by submitting form SIM to the Land registry, they will tell you which title owns the land and then you can download the appropriate title register.

In any event if the right to access that you benefit from is not documented on the title registers then you would have acquired a legal right of way over it in any event on the basis that you have used it in excess of twenty years and have therefore legally acquired the right of way by prescription.

You should write to the n eighbour confirming that you have all acquired the right in this way and state that an application to the LR will following to have the right expressly registered against his title.

If the neighbour offers to put a gate in the fence then you will probably have to agree to this though.

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Kind regards,

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FAO TOM - Thx for speedy response. I should point out that he is not preventing our access as he has erected the fence along the center line, leaving us a strip of land approx 2ft in width. We would like to know what rights we have to ask him to remove the fence - if we establish that the ownership of the land rests with my house or jointly with my neighbours, do we have the right to make him take it down even though he has probably secured the same rights of access if he has lived there 20 yrs?



This is the type of question not well suited to this website, it's always a bit difficult to visualise.

If none of the land over which he has erected the fence is within his ownership then he may not erect the fence unless he proves a right to do so. Until he has proven such a right you (or whoever does actually own the land) can insist the fence is taken down by him or you if he does not take it down within a reasonable time.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Kind regards

Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7406
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Thomas and 4 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry, last question. What period would typically be a 'reasonable time'


7-14 Days of written request would probably be reasonable, or at least it would not expose you to liability.

Thanks for your kind rating of your answer.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


No problem

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