Property Law | Stepping Over The Boundary

Spring is traditionally the time to rebuild the nest, or in the case of homeowners, make necessary repairs both inside and outside the property. However, problems can arise when something that needs renovation can only be accessed by going onto a neighbour’s land.

Hopefully your neighbours are good ones and will allow you to take your ladder and tools into their garden or onto their driveway so that you can carry out the work. However, in some cases they may not be so amenable, at which point you need to consider whether the work is important enough for you to take legal action to gain access.

The Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 can be used to force your neighbour to let you onto their land but you have to have very good reason for wanting to apply it and it can only be used when the work to be carried out is necessary to preserve either part or all of your land or property and that either the work could not be undertaken or would be substantially hampered if you could not gain access.

To be awarded access to your neighbour’s land under the Act, you must apply to a County Court, which must be satisfied that you have a valid reason for wanting to do so, and pay the fee.

Valid reasons include the maintenance, repair or renovation of your property or land, such as replacing gutters, drains or repairing a septic tank or the felling of an unstable tree or replacing cables.

However, all of these reasons relate to the preservation of your property or land, so would not apply to work that would merely make you happier, such as building an extension. Therefore, even if you have planning permission for such work, you do not have the automatic right to go onto your neighbour’s land and cannot use the Act to force them to grant you access.

For more information about property law or help with property disputes, speak to the property law solicitors at Mackrell Turner Garrett.

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Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London