Home > Letter Templates > Letter Template: Neighbour Blocking Shared Access Way

Letter Template: Neighbour Blocking Shared Access Way

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 11 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Shared Access Neighbour Restricting

Many older properties share access rights either across a rear garden or via a shared passageway enabling access to individual rear gardens. Details of the nature of access will usually be described in your title deeds.

In general neighbours treat these shared areas responsibly and they work well as access routes. We do however, receive plenty of comments from people experiencing significant problems. So if your neighbour hasn't considered that access for a pram or bin is required, or they're simply unaware that the area must be kept clear, what can you do?

Talk to Your Neighbour

Our advice as always, is just pop round and have a polite word. If your neighbour's never in when you knock, or you don't feel comfortable talking to them, start with an informal note. If this does not have the desired effect, you might want to consider a more formal letter advising them that you may consider further action if the problem is not addressed.

To help you, we've provided sample templates for both an informal note and a subsequent letter below:

Initial informal note:

Dear [name]

Just a quick note regarding our shared access way. I've/We've noticed [bin bags/ a bicycle/ chairs etc] is/are currently restricting the access.
If these are yours would you mind keeping them somewhere else? If not, we'll do some further investigations to find out who they belong to!

Thanks and see you soon

[Name] [Your house number]

If this does not resolve the problem send a more formal letter as in this example:

Letter to Neighbour About Blocking a Shared Access

[Your Address]
[Neighbour's name]
[Address / 'Delivered by hand']

[Date]

Dear [Neighbour's name]/[If unknown, just address as 'Dear Neighbour'],

Re: Shared access way

I/we live at [address], next door and I/we contacted you recently about problems using our shared access way.

You may still be unaware of this problem but [your bicycle/bin bags etc] is/are preventing me/us from accessing the [area e.g. garage] of my/our property.

There is a legal right for residents of both our properties to use the shared access way. In addition there are covenants in the title deeds of our properties which determine how the shared access way can be used.

By blocking the shared access way, you are in breach of these covenants. I would therefore be entitled to seek an injunction to prevent blockage of the access way, and financial compensation for the period during which I have been unable to use it.

I am keen to resolve this amicably; we are after all neighbours! I would therefore be grateful if you could avoid blocking the shared access way, at any time, going forwards.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Kind regards,[Your signature]
[Your name]

If you'd like more information on dealing with more larger obstacles blocking access routes read our guide How to deal with environmental nuisances caused by a neighbour

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I am writing to discuss that my next door neighbours have put up a garden door beside my garden door in our shared drive. My garden door opens inwards into my garden and my neighbours garden door is opening out into the drive blocking my garden door. The door blocks me from getting out of my garden when they have there garden door open. My neighbor did not ask me if he could block my access. They think it is totally fine to have there gate open into the drive. I have asked builders and they have said it is wrong.
Mandy - 11-Jun-17 @ 10:49 PM
In our garden we have a well gate to provide access to the shared well. The majority of the weel is on my neoghbours side but the hand water pump is on my side and according to my neighbours they own the actuall metal pump. The pump has not worked for years as it has not been maintained.. we have only owned the house a year. How do i stand on surley therefore my neighbours dont have a right at the moment to access my garden as the well does not even work anymore?
Well099 - 4-Feb-17 @ 2:55 PM
Paulo - Your Question:
I own one of three private houses which are all accessed from the public highway from a private "access way" as described in the deeds. The two houses prior to mine I believe are servient tenements, and I am the dominant tenement. I have access to my property from the "access way" which runs effectively through the front gardens of the two preceding properties. Both of these properties have three separate parking places attached to the "access way" but differentiated from it by a concrete border strip. The whole "access way is bordered by concrete border strips to show its exact route and size and is shown clearly on the plans and shaded to differentiate it from the house driveways/parking spaces. In the deeds and on the plan, it does not say you cannot park on the "access way" but neither does it show it as a parking place, which are shown on the plan by a "V" symbol. My immediate neighbour restricts or blocks this "access way" frequently even though there are parking spaces free for her to use on her driveway. After several heated discussions regarding this issue she argues that "Its my land, I can do what I want". On almost every occasion there is no need for her to park and obstruct the driveway, she could use her driveway. She deliberately makes it very difficult for us to enter or leave our property by seriously reducing the width of the "access way" and prevents delivery vans from gaining access. Her family and friends have also taken to restricting the driveway even though they could park on the public road 75ft away. My questions are, can she seriously and maliciously restrict the width of the "access way" and prevent us enjoying our property, do I have a right to be able to use all of the width of the "access way" which is approximately 16ft wide. I have a massive amount of photographic and video evidence which even shows her on one occasion after parking her car and locking it she returns to it a minute later and without moving it, turns the steering so the front wheels protrude making passing even more difficult. I look forward to your advice and assistance in this matter.

Our Response:
Check your deeds - this will clarify the access rights - and if necessary show your neighbour a copy (hers will say the same thing). Unfortunately, assuming there is no management company/separate owner of the road area, there is no real way you can enforce these rights other than via the courts (a solicitor's letter might suffice).
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Jan-17 @ 2:35 PM
I own one of three private houses which are all accessed from the public highway from a private "access way" as described in the deeds. The two houses prior to mine I believe are servient tenements, and I am the dominant tenement. I have access to my property from the "access way" which runs effectively through the front gardens of the two preceding properties. Both of these properties have three separate parking places attached to the "access way" but differentiated from it by a concrete border strip. The whole "access way is bordered by concrete border strips to show its exact route and size and is shown clearly on the plans and shaded to differentiate it from the house driveways/parking spaces. In the deeds and on the plan, it does not say you cannot park on the "access way" but neither does it show it as a parking place, which are shown on the plan by a "V" symbol. My immediate neighbour restricts or blocks this "access way" frequently even though there are parking spaces free for her to use on her driveway. After several heated discussions regarding this issue she argues that "Its my land, I can do what I want". On almost every occasion there is no need for her to park and obstruct the driveway, she could use her driveway. She deliberately makes it very difficult for us to enter or leave our property by seriously reducing the width of the "access way" and prevents delivery vans from gaining access. Her family and friends have also taken to restricting the driveway even though they could park on the public road 75ft away. My questions are, can she seriously and maliciously restrict the width of the "access way" and prevent us enjoying our property, do I have a right to be able to use all of the width of the "access way" which is approximately 16ft wide. I have a massive amount of photographic and video evidence which even shows her on one occasion after parking her car and locking it she returns to it a minute later and without moving it, turns the steering so the front wheels protrude making passing even more difficult. I look forward to your advice and assistance in this matter.
Paulo - 5-Jan-17 @ 8:12 PM
M - Your Question:
RE: Shared Access.My neighbour has shared access to his property via a side passage way.en route he has access to my back garden.However, I feel he may be abusing the legal right of way in the form of indirect harassment.This type of harassment is / has been ignored by the authorities but the local council has taken note of the neighbors behaviour with regards to trespassing / boundaries.Further, the lack of privacy & intrusive behaviour preventing garden maintenance is becoming a problem/ nuisance.Any advice is welcome.

Our Response:
Access is exactly that...it should not be used for purposes other than transit from one place to the next. Are you able to fence/gate/screen the main part of your garden off to prevent this?
ProblemNeighbours - 30-Nov-16 @ 10:52 AM
RE: Shared Access. My neighbour has shared access to his property via a side passage way.en route he has access to my back garden . However, I feel he may be abusing the legal right of way in the form of indirect harassment. This type of harassment is / has been ignored by the authorities but the local council has taken note of the neighbors behaviour with regards to trespassing / boundaries. Further, the lack of privacy & intrusive behaviour preventing garden maintenance is becoming a problem/ nuisance. Any advice is welcome.
M - 29-Nov-16 @ 2:03 AM
Alex - Your Question:
I want to re design my garden.My title deeds show I must provide access to my neighbour. Currently there is a gate which allows access into my back garden.My new design involves a fence which will enclose my garden but allow access behind the fence.Am I still meeting the conditions of allowing access

Our Response:
It's not clear from your description but we assume as long as your neighbour can access their property (or wherever access it given to), with a pushchair, wheelie bin etc it should be fine. Discuss it with the neighbour before going ahead, they will be able to check their deedstoo.
ProblemNeighbours - 7-Nov-16 @ 11:26 AM
I want to re design my garden. My title deeds show I must provide access to my neighbour. Currently there is a gate which allows access into my back garden. My new design involves a fence which will enclose my garden but allow access behind the fence. Am I still meeting the conditions of allowing access
Alex - 5-Nov-16 @ 8:27 AM
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