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wingrovebuyer
wingrovebuyer, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  I am a property solicitor specialising in English Property Law, mines and minerals, sporting rights and rural property.
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The adjoining semi detached house to mine was sold recently,

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The adjoining semi detached house to mine was sold recently, and the new neighbours are claiming an easement over my front garden, because in the past the two properties were owned by the same people. My deeds show no easement and their access is via the bottom of their front garden, where the previous owners built a garage, blocking the access, as they owned both properties this was obviously not an issue. The shared front garden was not an issue until now they have decided to fence off their front garden but insist they still have a right over my garden, as the garage has landlocked the property. If they remove the garage they would still have access to their property, albeit with an access right from me to access the garage area which is not and never been a problem.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

MY question was above so not sure what else you need......this was the question.... The adjoining semi detached house to mine was sold recently, and the new neighbours are claiming an easement over my front garden, because in the past the two properties were owned by the same people. My deeds show no easement and their access is via the bottom of their front garden, where the previous owners built a garage, blocking the access, as they owned both properties this was obviously not an issue. The shared front garden was not an issue until now they have decided to fence off their front garden but insist they still have a right over my garden, as the garage has landlocked the property. If they remove the garage they would still have access to their property, albeit with an access right from me to access the garage area which is not and never been a problem.

You would need to see a copy of their deeds (you can usually get a copy online for the land registry) to determine whether they in fact have this easement or not. If the easement does exist then they will be allowed access on your land to the terms of the easement.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How can they have an easement over my property without me knowing about it ?

It is not uncommon where there were poor drafting of conveyancing papers, hence the need for you to see their deeds.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Poor drafting? this indicates that someone would therefore be at fault for drafting it incorrectly..... as this was not mentioned when I bought the house ??

That may well be the case - these things happen quite a lot - hence have a look at their deeds and ask for the thoughts of your conveyancing solicitor.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks but that hasn't given me any more information than I already found on 'google', but thank you for the replies

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Relist: Other. I would like to ask more questions relating to this subject, if it is in his deeds then ok I have little room to manoeuvre but if he does not have an easement, can he still claim an easement as they have used the joint access for about two years, before he decided to start to split the garden, or an am within my rights to erect a fence and force him to remove the garage to gain his original, entitled access ? In theory he has landlocked his own property, but my deeds show his access via the bottom of his garden where the garage has been built??

Hello. I'll pick this up. If there is no express right in the deeds (it should be mentioned in your own deeds too, which will be easier to review) then if the neighbour has only taken access over your garden for just two years, then he won't have acquired the right through long use. For that, he'd need to do it for 20 years +.

When checking your deeds, you should focus on the documents which gave effect to the split of the land when the previous owner sold off both properties separately. It is likely there were various rights granted and reserved for the benefit of both properties, which is normal when one title is split.
Sorry, I see you have checked your own deeds already, but I suggest you check them again in light of the above. You can also download your neighbours title from Land Registry's website.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX is a bit of a complicated one, my deeds show his access via the bottom of his garden, albeit across my land in the car park area as an easement/right of access (not an issue) but no mention or easement re the garden which was has been used for many years previously by the previous occupants, but they only moved in a few years ago, time flies it may even be 3 years. i believe that a neighbourly agreement does not count as an easement? basically their garage is stopping their legal access to their property, as they have used the garden since moving in they believe they have the right to use it. They have hedged off the lower 3/4 of their garden, meaning they walk straight up my front garden, virtually to my front door and then into their property, meaning they have a nice private front garden but mine is rendered virtually useless other than an access for them? I know I need to check their deeds before I do anything drastic, like block it off completely but this is driving me insane, it just doesn't feel right. If for instance they do have a right, can I just make a dog leg fenced access at the bottom of the garden to prevent them wandering through my garden whenever they feel like ?

Thanks. If the previous owners used the garden for access for long enough (ie so that their use and the current neighbours' use equals 20 years or more) then they do arguably have a prescriptive easement. However, if you can show that the previous owner's use was with your permission, this would destroy any claim to a prescriptive easement. If you still know the old neighbours, perhaps they would confirm their use was with permission? Either way, it is a matter of evidence. If they haven't acquired a prescriptive right, you can block the access they are taking, because you have every right to do so.
wingrovebuyer, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience: I am a property solicitor specialising in English Property Law, mines and minerals, sporting rights and rural property.
wingrovebuyer and 4 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX I needed to know, we still know the previous neighbours who will vouch that it was by permission only, so as long as when I get the copy of his deeds it doesn't show an unknown easement from his side, then what we thought are our rights will stand. Unfortunately we now have neighbours that want to take every inch, shame as the shared front garden has always benefited the neighbour - not me !! Thank you for your assistance, if I need further advice on this down the line, how do I request an answer from you?

No worries. In the future, just start any question FOR WINGROVEBUYER. Please also don't forget to leave a rating for this question and answer. Good luck with this! Best wishes, WB.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, back again just wandering if you clarify one more thing for me, on his deeds, I still need to check mine, this is the later part of the paragraph re the easments etc (which are not a problem, sewage, right to cross my drive to access his parking etc the bit I need clarifying and relates to my original question if the last bit which starts (save for the privilege.......I havnt posted all the first bit as that's not an issue, its the licence to revoke bit referring to the yellow land, which relates only to the path through my garden, as its revokable can I revoke/cancel it? ..... his deeds show this ......


AND ALSO
EXCEPT AND RESERVING unto the Vendors and their successors in title
owner or owners for the time being of the adjoining property and their
tenants all such rights and easements or quasi rights and quasi
easements (so far as the same are not expressly referred to herein) as
may now be used or enjoyed in connection with the adjoining property as
if the property had hitherto belonged to different owners and such
rights and easements or quasi rights and quasi easements had been
acquired by prescription (save the privilege of passing and repassing
on foot only over and along the land coloured yellow on the said plan
which said privilege is hereby declared to be used or enjoyed in
connection with the adjoining property by revocable licence only and
not by virtue of the said rights or easements or quasi rights or quasi
easements or any of them."


 

Hello. Yes, if this is the path over which the neighbour claims a "right" then it is clearly a revocable licence, and not an easement. Accordingly, you can revoke it at your discretion. Best to do it in writing.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yipee, yes this is the one he is claiming the 'right' over, thinking it is an easement. Haha he has a shock coming............ thank you, We don't really want to fall out with them but his garage is now blocking his legal right of way, as the previous owners built this built this on the his/their 'parking space'. When he bought the house I assume it stated it had a garage, would this make a difference, as he will have to revert it to a parking space (knock the garage down) to free up his access? Or I suppose we could sell him a tiny bit of the bottom of the garden next to his garage, to allow a access? at least we now hold the 'trump' card.....

Yes, you have the trump card and can offer him whatever you want (including nothing!)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Excellent - thank you so much

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do I rate again, as already done so further up the page? Once again thanks.....

Please do rate again if you can. Best wishes, WB.

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