Neighbour has padlocked gate and not provided key

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    Neighbour has padlocked gate and not provided key

    Hi,

    I'm a tennant and I've just moved into a new property a few weeks ago. It seems my neighbour (a hairdressing salon) do not like me very much.

    They complained that I was leaving the shared access gate (to the back yard) unbolted. This is a bit of an issue for me, as I cannot physically access the bolt from outside the back garden, and I cannot enter my property from within the garden. This leaves me with two options, lock the gate and leave the garden via the back gate and walk half way round the block to my front door. The other option (which I mentioned to them) is that we can get the landlords to discuss matters and maybe share the cost of installing a gate/lock that allows locking/unlocking from either side.

    I returned home on saturday to find the gate locked with a padlock, and I have not been supplied with a key. I'm trying to move house, have a lot of boxes to move, and the hairdressers is closed from from saturday until tuesday.

    What can I do? Am I allowed to remove the bolt from the gate to gain access? Who comes out top in this situation. I'm guessing I should have access to my own garden at all times, from either side of the gate. With the current gate/lock configuration, this is close to impossible.

    Any help much appreciated.

    Regards,

    Matt

    #2
    Hope that some vandals remove the lock, therefore allowing you to get on with your business.
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Rorg View Post
      Hi,

      What can I do? Am I allowed to remove the bolt from the gate to gain access? Who comes out top in this situation. I'm guessing I should have access to my own garden at all times, from either side of the gate. With the current gate/lock configuration, this is close to impossible.

      Any help much appreciated.

      Regards,

      Matt
      In this situation I think it is entirely unreasonable that you should be locked out of your own property. Inform the LL of the situation and tlel him that unless s/he is able to unlock it for you urgently, you will be left with no option but to remove it yourself and replace with one which can be operated from both sides. Then do it, if need be.

      Your LL should be speaking robustly to the HD or her LL - what she is doing is intolerable.
      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

      Comment


        #4
        I always take great offence at this kind of selfish act.

        In your shoes I'd have someone cut the padlock off the gate and have the gate removed entirely.....it probably just requires undoing a few screws holding the hinges on. ou can refit the gate before you move out of the property.

        If the hairdressers cant meet you half way they deserve some real grief.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by subjecttocontract View Post
          I always take great offence at this kind of selfish act.

          In your shoes I'd have someone cut the padlock off the gate and have the gate removed entirely.....it probably just requires undoing a few screws holding the hinges on. ou can refit the gate before you move out of the property.

          If the hairdressers cant meet you half way they deserve some real grief.

          I'm not sure that this kind of vengeful action will help OP much, really. He will be left with an unsecured access to his property which will be a magnet for burglars and vandals in some places.

          Plus, it is disproportionate, it will no doubt inflame his already-poor relationship with his neighbours and he will find it very hard to justify if the HD or her LL takes action against him for damage to property.
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

          Comment


            #6
            I dont want to make any enemies, but this is a bit ridiculous. She sent her husband round before to give me a talking to about it, and I explained the confusion (he was under the impression I had access to the house from the back yard). I thought that we'd came to a suitable interim conclusion in suggesting that they keep the gate open at all times during their opening hours, and then lock it on leaving. This was meant to be a temporary solution until the problem with the access from either side is sorted - this solution also was biased in their favour in that I'd still need to walk around the block to gain access to my car out of business hours.

            When I asked her husband about ownership of the gate, he said it was 'shared' because it provides access to both of the properties. I would have thought that one of the properties had ownership of the alleyway and gate, with some sort of contractual obligement to allow the other party access? If they get shirty and the gate is indeed shared, I'll find out which half is mine and put a saw down it! haha

            I'm going to try and reason with them, and I'll speak to my LL about it. My LL is pretty good so I'm guessing that they will come up with some way of allowing access from either side - via a new gate, or new fitted lock. As long as I provide the HD and their LL with a key can they actually stop us fitting a new gate/lock?

            Regards,

            Matt

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Rorg View Post
              I dont want to make any enemies, but this is a bit ridiculous. She sent her husband round before to give me a talking to about it, and I explained the confusion (he was under the impression I had access to the house from the back yard). I thought that we'd came to a suitable interim conclusion in suggesting that they keep the gate open at all times during their opening hours, and then lock it on leaving. This was meant to be a temporary solution until the problem with the access from either side is sorted - this solution also was biased in their favour in that I'd still need to walk around the block to gain access to my car out of business hours.

              When I asked her husband about ownership of the gate, he said it was 'shared' because it provides access to both of the properties. I would have thought that one of the properties had ownership of the alleyway and gate, with some sort of contractual obligement to allow the other party access? If they get shirty and the gate is indeed shared, I'll find out which half is mine and put a saw down it! haha

              I'm going to try and reason with them, and I'll speak to my LL about it. My LL is pretty good so I'm guessing that they will come up with some way of allowing access from either side - via a new gate, or new fitted lock. As long as I provide the HD and their LL with a key can they actually stop us fitting a new gate/lock?

              Regards,

              Matt
              That seems a perfectly reasonable solution to me and they should not object to it.

              It may well be the case that the alley/access path between your properties is shared, but the LL will know best what that means in practice. Both LLs/owners may be jointly responsible for repairs, etc.
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

              Comment


                #8
                Unfortunately, they dont appear to be 'perfectly reasonable' people! haha

                I've got a fair bit of my tether left at the minute, so I'm still being nice about the whole thing. I plan on speaking to them tomorrow about it. If they refuse access, am I entitled to call the police?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Rorg View Post

                  I'm going to try and reason with them, and I'll speak to my LL about it. My LL is pretty good so I'm guessing that they will come up with some way of allowing access from either side - via a new gate, or new fitted lock. As long as I provide the HD and their LL with a key can they actually stop us fitting a new gate/lock?
                  This problem is the landlord's responsibility to sort out. Do not fit a new gate/lock yourself; your tenancy agreement will almost certainly contain a provision forbidding you to make alterations to the property.

                  If the LL fails to act and you are unable to gain access, then remove the new padlock (ideally, without damaging it, and return it to neighbours, as it's their property).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Rorg View Post
                    Unfortunately, they dont appear to be 'perfectly reasonable' people! haha

                    I've got a fair bit of my tether left at the minute, so I'm still being nice about the whole thing. I plan on speaking to them tomorrow about it. If they refuse access, am I entitled to call the police?

                    I really would advise you to go through your LL on this if possible and keep some distance between you and your neighbour until things have calmed down a little. After all, he is ultimately responsible for ensuring that you can access your home, since you are renting it from him. It seems to me that so far he has failed to do this. If my tenants were denied access to their home by the neighbours, I'd be up there like a bat out hell! What is he doing all this time?

                    You may well have a case for calling the police - after all they are preventing you from accessing your property.

                    I agree with westminster about the lock. Try not to damage it if possible.
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Surely, they'd just put it back on again. Lets hope it doesnt come to that.

                      Thanks for the advice!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Rorg View Post
                        Surely, they'd just put it back on again. Lets hope it doesnt come to that.

                        Thanks for the advice!
                        You're welcome!

                        Please post back and let us know how it is resolved.
                        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I certainly will do!

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