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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Property Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10493
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
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I live in an end of terrace house built 1905. At the back there

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I live in an end of terrace house built 1905. At the back there is a sidegate which allows access around the back of the house from the neighbouring terrace which is adjoined to us. Our neighbours only very occasionally use this gate to come onto our property, the latest occasion was because the sewer channel on our side had become blocked and there kitchen sink was blocked, and we both unblocked it. We had a friendly chat and I suggested moving the gate to further down the garden. My neighbour seemed happy with this idea as he usually blocks the gate on his side with garden furniture they are very private, but insisted access was maintained in case they need access to our property if they had to move a large item of furniture or got locked out. If the side gate is moved this would allow us to extend our property a modest distance, I wonder what the legal position would be if the neighbour insisted on the original access after we have built the extension? Thanks any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Aston Lawyer :

Hi there,

Aston Lawyer :

Thanks for your enquiry.
From a legal point of view, I'm afraid I can't recommend that you do this, without drawing up the right legal documentation.
As it stands at the moment, your neighbour has a documented right of way over a specific area of your property, and if you block this right (by putting up an extension), you are breaching this right. Although the present neighbour may be happy for you to do this, what happens if he sells and the Buyer is not happy? Likewise, as and when you come to sell, you may be making your property unsellable if you build over the right of way.

Aston Lawyer :

What therefore needs to happen is for you both to enter into a Deed releasing the existing right of way and granting a new right of way. Unfortunately, this is going to cost a considerable amount in Solicitors fees (approx £750 plus VAT) and if either or both of you have a Mortgage, your Lender will also need to consent, and join in signing the Deed- if they do indeed consent, you will also have to pay their admin fees which ae likely to be approx £200.

Aston Lawyer :

If and when the Deed is signed, it will then need to be registered at the Land Registry at a cost of £50.

Aston Lawyer :

Pretty expensive business I'm afraid!

Aston Lawyer :

If you went ahead without drawing up a suitable Deed, and you built your extension, your neighbour (or any future neighbour) would be within their rights to ask you to remove your extension, so that their right of way could be exercised.
It is really therefore far too risky for you to proceed without going down the rather expensive legal route.

Aston Lawyer :

I hope this answers your question, and if so, I would be grateful if you could leave positive feedback.

Aston Lawyer :

Kind Regards

Aston Lawyer :

AL

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