Neighbour has blocked access path with a fence

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    Neighbour has blocked access path with a fence

    Hi all my neighbour who lives in a bought house recently tried to apply for the access path to the rear and side of our properties be blocked and was told no. I live in a mid terraced council property and she is on the end terrace and owns her property. She recently built a 6 foot fence between our property’s at the rear and erected a gate so I could still use the access path for things like taking my bin round to the front to be emptied. On Friday she and her husband removed the gate and extended the existing fence blocking off my access completely. My bins are stuck at the rear of my property and I also have no way of allowing for things like my windows at the back being cleaned and so on. I do know she was trying to put in an application to the land registry to buy the rights for the access path but was told this is something they would never agree to and that the council would never ever sign over these rights either. However though and behold they have blocked off my right of way even though I have checked the title deeds for the property’s which clearly shows the right of way in yellow. Is there anything I can do given that I am renting my property from the council and don’t own it outright like the neighbour does hers? I’ve never heard of an access path that is used on a weekly basis being allowed to be blocked or bought? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    #2
    Surely you should be speaking to the owner which is the council.

    Comment


      #3
      This happened the total other way with me. I bought my mid terrace in 2011 with join access just like you described. The woman next door was living in a council house and claimed the access was solely hers. She blocked it with her bin and left rubbish in the joint alleyway constantly. I politely would go out there late at night when they were asleep and move the rubbish and bin into their garden and spread it everywhere. She soon got the idea.
      There's no way she could own full access. Maybe contact the police if there is an actual obstruction that can't be moved.

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        #4
        People are idiots.

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          #5
          Originally posted by AddictedMonster View Post
          This happened the total other way with me. I bought my mid terrace in 2011 with join access just like you described. The woman next door was living in a council house and claimed the access was solely hers. She blocked it with her bin and left rubbish in the joint alleyway constantly. I politely would go out there late at night when they were asleep and move the rubbish and bin into their garden and spread it everywhere. She soon got the idea.
          There's no way she could own full access. Maybe contact the police if there is an actual obstruction that can't be moved.
          I know it shouldn't but this did make me laugh.

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            #6
            I have spoken to the council, still haven’t gotten any answers as to what’s going on. Don’t think the police get involved in these things as it’s seen as civil more than criminal and it’s a 6 foot fixed fence that could only be moved by taking it apart, I can’t pass through the access at all. I was asking here to see if there’s anything I can do from a legal point of view given that the use of the access path was written into my lease agreement.

            Comment


              #7
              Obviously they don't want you passing their windows, but what they have done appears to be 'Substantial interference' with your easment/right of access. (The gate would have been allowed as long as you could open it when wanted/needed).

              You can get a court order to have them remove the obstruction.
              That can be expensive, but a solicitors 'Letter Before Action' might do the job without having to go to court.
              I'd wait and see what, if anything, your landlord (the council) comes up with first.

              Plenty of solicitors pages about this online, a random eg. https://www.wilsonbrowne.co.uk/news/...being-blocked/

              Comment


                #8
                I would ring the council and say that as your Right of Way is blocked and they have not done anything about it you are going to make a complaint to the Ombudsman.
                Councils hate complaints to the Ombudsman as it highlights their failings.
                I would also contact a Local Councillor and ask if they would support your Complaint to the Ombudsman.
                (the chances are that a phone call from the Councillor to the Council would expedite things)
                I once made a successful complaint to the Ombudsman.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I was asking here to see if there’s anything I can do from a legal point of view given that the use of the access path was written into my lease agreement.
                  You have a legal right of way over the path. Anyone who blocks it is trespassing on the right. There are two ways to assert the right.

                  One is to ask the court to grant an injunction requiring the removal of the fence and prohibiting any further obstruction. That will be expensive and time-consuming.

                  The other is to remove the fence. The law discourages self-help as it can lead to damage to property, injury to persons and a breach of the peace. It is not therefore recommended, except perhaps as a last resort.

                  If there is no immediate response from the council (who probably have no obligation to resolve the matter as it is your right which is affected) the next step is probably to write the neighbours a suitable letter. Let us know if you need help drafting it.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Lawcruncher,

                    I have since been contacted by the council who have said that the neighbour has made an application to the land tribunal to have the access blocked and that they have given her permission to do so. Interestingly when the council asked the neighbour for proof of this she told them to go and find it for themselves. I have since contacted the land tribunal who hinted that they would never give permission for an access path to be completely blocked off. They said they do remember a request being put in and something about a partial change to the access path but couldn’t say what it was without looking at the file. They have asked that I email them the details and they will look up the file and get back to me with what changes have been allowed to be made. Now I’m wondering what change could have been passed when it’s predominantly used for the emptying of my bins and maintenance to the rear of my house. I don’t even use it for bikes and things.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Another Fine Mess,

                      Thanks for your reply. The council have definitely been less than helpful in the matter and when I asked about alternative arrangements they didn’t have an answer. Would never have thought about contacting the ombudsman so thank you

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by DoricPixie View Post

                        I know it shouldn't but this did make me laugh.
                        Hehe, Not something I would usually do, but I think it set the stage for what could be called an amicable relationship going forward. I think she respected me more for it as strange as it sounds.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          As the Land Tribunal says, it has no power to order the blocking or alteration of a right of way.

                          I do no think there is any point complaining to the ombudsman. The right of way is your right and it is up to you to defend it.

                          Time to write a letter to the neighbour, I think.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I once had a Right of Way matter. I asked the Council for the document which they said was proof, and the Council refused to send it to me. I successfully complained to the Ombudsman who forced the Council to send the document to them, and when received the Ombudsman sent me a copy. So complaining to the Ombudsman can work.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              If the OP has a tenancy agreement which says he has a right of way that is all the proof he needs.

                              Comment

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