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  • access to drains

    Help!

    The fence between us and our neighbour blew down at the beginning of the year. It runs in an L shape, with our boundary to the outside of the L. Four months ago our neighbour added a shed to the bottom or her garden. It crossed over where the old fence used to be (the bottom of the L) by over a metre. We queried the boundary at the time but were brushed off quite agressively. Having tried to discuss it, and having checked our deeds and OS maps, our neighbour refused to concede or provide evidence to the contrary, avoided us for 4 months and when we did speak she was abusive. (we are happy to move the fence if she can show we are wrong but she refuses to do so)



    As a result we took matters into our own hands. We had always agreed with our neighbour that we would put in a new fence at our own expense, even though the ownership of the original fence was unclear. This we have done, and in the process reclaimed our land - pushing the shed back into her garden. We then took out an injunction to prevent her removing the fence. Extreme but we were going on holiday and didn't want to come back to a destroyed fence.



    The next problem (which occured before the injunction). There is a gate in the fence, this gives us access to the neighbours garden. The access is to allow us to maintain our drains which run along the wall of our house (our house extends further out than our neighbours so the drains are effectively right on the boundary to her garden. Previously we had allowed her children to take their bikes up our drive as they are mid terrace even though they have an access through the other way. We have now told her this is no longer offered following her rudeness. They only used this access for 8 months on and off so I don't think it is set in stone.



    She has now fixed a bolt to our new fence from her side, removing this access.



    Is she allowed to touch our fence and add a bolt on her side?

    Is she allowed to remove access to our drains?

    We have a court hearing next week if she fails to respond to the injunction.

    We don't want this to go that far but communications have broken down, we have tried and have even written to her so that a calm review of the situation can be made - as all conversation have ended with her getting abusive and insulting making it impossible to continue.

  • #2
    Hi Frenchy, and welcome to the Forum



    This sounds quite an urgent situation, and a complex area of law. Have you got a solicitor acting on your behalf? It sounds as if you have done lots already, but I don't know of oter courses of action open to you. Maybe other members have more knowledge on this issue?



    It may be worth a visit to

    http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/ and

    http://www.boundary-problems.co.uk/ if you haven't come across them already.



    I'm sorry I have little knowledge in this area, but hope that some other members have.



    Wishing you lots of luck with the case, and do let us know how things progress for you.



    Regards



    Sapph

    Comment


    • #3
      welcome frenchy



      sorry to hear of your problems,



      as far as I know you can not even paint your side of your neighbours fence without their permission although I can sorta see why the bolt was put on. out of spite would be the main reason it would seem!



      I hope you dont have any problems with your drains but if you do would the water board or drain person be able to access?

      I have a feeling (but dont quote me) that you cant stand in the way of something environmental like drains.(can effect a lot of people)



      have you considered mediation with your neighbour?

      it means having a middle person trying to help you resolve the issue.



      you could ask your council what mediation they offer



      good luck

      Comment


      • #4
        Could you ask whoever is responsible for the drains to inofrm you -in writing- of what their interpretation of the legla situation regarding the drain access is?

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi,



          You have a right to access to maintain your drains. If your neighbour refuses access you could go to court to get an order to enforce your right.
          'The only kind of courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one minute to the next.' - Mignon McLaughlin

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks to everyone who replied.



            The links were really useful and I have spent ages going through them. - Really must do some work now!



            We are going to check our deeds re the drain access in case anything is written there. If there a stock phrase I should be looking for?



            We are going to phone the waterboard too.



            I'm not sure how we approach her re the bolt - it would seem for your replys that she was trespassing when she put it on - if we ask or write to her to remove it claiming trespass, what if she refuses?



            Our nieghbour has to respond to the injunction by the end of this week. The judge added that we will bring in the drain access issue if it goes to a hearing.



            Will keep you posted

            Comment


            • #7
              I wonder what your title deeds say about the drains more than the fence. if they are on your neighbour's side, then i think you would have a right to access her property if any work was needed to them. (i would have to do the same if i needed to maintain my guttering, and likewise my neighbour ). so i wonder if you really needed a gate? i am not sure i would like it if a neighbour added a gate to his bit of fence which borders my property so that he could get at his guttering. id feel a bit insecure if that happened, so i can kinda understand why they put a bolt on the gate. but they should have asked your permission, definitely. on the other hand they have been belligerent about the boundary in any case and acted in an inflammatory way by putting their shed on your land, andl i think the court will make them see the error of their ways.



              but you might find that they take you right to the day of the hearing then back down
              http://bestsmileys.com/sparkle/1.gif



              I decree today that life

              Is simply taking and not giving

              England is mine - it owes me a living

              But ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye

              Oh, ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye ~ Morrisey/Marr




              Politics is Showbusiness for ugly people ~ Jay Leno



              I don't like liars, I don't like cheats. I don't like bullsh***ters. I don't like schmoozers. I don't like ar*e-lickers. ~ Sir Alan Sugar



              "Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." ~ Samuel Johnson



              The secret of success is the capacity to overcome failure ~ Noel Coward



              An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today ~ Laurence J. Peter



              Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine ~ Lord Byron



              Better bread with water than cake with trouble ~ Russian Proverb



              There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a cup of tea ~ Bernard-Paul Heroux



              Carpe Diem



              Give Yourself to It ~ Sue Gadenne

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi frenchy and welcome to the Forum



                Sorry to hear about the problems you are having with your neighbour - it's never nice when the relationship between you breaks down.



                Beth is right about the fence, that is your property if it is within your boundary and your responsibility - I think any tampering by your neighbour could be seen as criminal damage.



                The right to acces for your drains, I would have thought, is a form of easement. Have a look here: http://www.boundary-problems.co.uk/maineasements.htm



                If you haven't already, please look at your deeds in detail to see what they contain.



                Hope that helps?



                Please update us on the injunction situation when you can. Good luck with it all .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Frenchy,



                  Sorry to hear about your difficulties.



                  Its likely that your deeds will say someting along the lines that you have rights to water, drainage etc and the maintenance of these.



                  However, have you checked your house insurance policy? You may well have legal cover included. This is what I am using against my own NFH.
                  Now, these creatures are bringers of death and misery. They will never eat, they will never sleep, and they will never stop.



                  We are part of an ancient secret society. For three thousand years we have guarded the Cities and Towns. We are sworn at manhood to do any and all in our power to stop the NFH from ever being reborn into this world.




                  So what's the plan?



                  Rescue the damsel in distress, stop the bad guys, save the world.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Again,

                    Just thought I'd reply to Annabel. Totally understand your point. The gate was at their original request and we had agreed to let the kids take their bikes through. Otherwise we would have to trapse through their house.



                    In fact, they had prescribed exactly the type and height of fence they wanted us to put up (even though we were voluntarily paying). We have bent over backwards to be helpful since we moved in which makes this even more upsetting.



                    The shed went in and the issues began. We left the gate in when we put the fence up as we knew we would need an access to our drains at the side of the house. The gate is solid, the same as the fence and the same height and has a lock on our side - so there is still total privacy between us and we would of course ask permission before going in. Unfortunately this will probably now come in the form of a court order - lets hope not though.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Reply to Rockbank - I had a look at our house insurance and we do have legal expense cover but there are exceptions which include;



                      Any insured incident intentionally brought about by you or your family

                      and also

                      An application for a judicial review



                      I wasn't sure if these would rule us out because haven't we brought this on ourselves and we have been the ones to instigate the court proceedings by requesting the injunction?

                      Comment


                      • #12




                        cor, frenchy, you even put up a fence that they agreed with and practically chose even though they contributed not one cent and they still are being a nightmare.



                        what ignoramuses.



                        i really think you will whup them in court.
                        http://bestsmileys.com/sparkle/1.gif



                        I decree today that life

                        Is simply taking and not giving

                        England is mine - it owes me a living

                        But ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye

                        Oh, ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye ~ Morrisey/Marr




                        Politics is Showbusiness for ugly people ~ Jay Leno



                        I don't like liars, I don't like cheats. I don't like bullsh***ters. I don't like schmoozers. I don't like ar*e-lickers. ~ Sir Alan Sugar



                        "Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." ~ Samuel Johnson



                        The secret of success is the capacity to overcome failure ~ Noel Coward



                        An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today ~ Laurence J. Peter



                        Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine ~ Lord Byron



                        Better bread with water than cake with trouble ~ Russian Proverb



                        There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a cup of tea ~ Bernard-Paul Heroux



                        Carpe Diem



                        Give Yourself to It ~ Sue Gadenne

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Frenchy



                          Just give the Insurance Legal department a ring. Have a chat to them about your current situation.



                          Although from reading my documentation about our legal cover, they generally like you to contact them at the very first sign of any problems. But there surely can't be any harm in speaking to them about it now.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Frenchy -



                            also check that you are paying the premium for the legal cover - normally it's detailed seperately from your building /contents premium.



                            My first thought when I read your thread was mediation - but if you are going to court already, it may be too far gone? It's prob. cheaper if your problem goes further than one hearing to try mediation and if you suggest it you will look the better person.



                            Like others have said, you will (usually) have rights of access to your drains so even with the bolt, your neighbour can't do 'owt about that.



                            I am also hopeful that the court will see sense and you will get what is rightfully yours although it's aggravating that you have to go to the extreme of court to prove this (a situation I can relate to, believe me).



                            I am very cross that your neighbour has shown lack of respect to you - blimmin' cheek of it esp after the concessions you have made for them. Are you sure you don't live on the other side to my NFH???!!





                            Mazza

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