Home > Rights > Your Rights Under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992

Your Rights Under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 3 Jul 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Access To Neighbouring Land Act Access

For the most part, you should rarely have to concern yourself with this Act if you have a decent relationship with your neighbours. From time to time, each and every one of us will have to repair or replace things on our property which might require ourselves or workers carrying out work on our behalf to gain access to our neighbour’s land in order to resolve the problem.

Generally, it’s a simple matter of letting your neighbour know what work you’re intending to carry out and to ask their permission if you can Gain Access Their Land and in order to conduct the work and to arrange a suitable time. Nevertheless, disputes can arise or you might just not get on with your neighbour, and both of these issues can make it difficult to carry out the work.

However, the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 can facilitate matters in some cases, if you need to resort to a more formal solution. Therefore, it’s good to know your rights with regard to this matter, what the Act covers and, often more crucially, what it doesn’t.

Your Rights

In order to grant an access order the court must be convinced that the reasons you need to gain access to a neighbour’s land, if they have been flatly refused permission, are valid as contained within the Act. Valid reasons for granting an access order would include:

  • The maintenance, renovation or repair of a property (or parts of it) in order to preserve it
  • The clearing or repair of any sewers, drains, cables or pipes
  • The removal or filling in of a ditch
  • The felling of a tree, plant or hedge (or parts of it) which have died, become diseased or which have become insecurely rooted and unstable which is likely to pose a danger

The basic interpretation of the law here is that the work must relate to the ‘preservation’ of an existing structure as opposed to granting permission to gain access to a neighbour’s land in order to make it easier to construct a new development, such as a new conservatory or extension.

Therefore, even if you have been granted planning permission for a ‘new build’, this does NOT mean that you can automatically gain access to a neighbour’s land if parts of the work need to be carried out from their side of the Boundary Line. That is not covered by the Act and any such work in this instance would have to be agreed to by both you and your neighbours themselves.

Exceptions To Granting Access

In some cases, the courts can refuse to grant an access order if they decide that in doing so, it could cause severe hardship to your neighbour or land owner, or that it would significantly reduce their capacity for enjoying their own land.

If an access order is agreed to by the courts, it must then specify exactly the work which needs to be carried out, the date work will commence and the date it must be completed by. Obviously, if the date is not suitable to your neighbour, they can request an alternative date. It would also be your responsibility to pay any compensation to the landowner, i.e. your neighbour, should they incur any financial loss, or put right any incidental damage that might result to their land or property as a result of the work you’re having carried out.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Neighbour has had a new outside telephone wire strung from the main pole. Instead of terminating on his bargeboard where the old one was the engineer has located it 2/3 of the way up the boundary line only just on his wall. It’s now much lower an crosses diagonally over our upstairs window .. it’s between 18” and 24” away from the window which has to open fully to be our top floor fire escape and so is now a hazard. Before the wire was moved it was at least a metre above the window. House is a typical 3 bed semi detached. What can I do about this. Neighbour is unwilling to call Openreach out to move it!
Dave - 3-Jul-20 @ 2:01 AM
We have rats entering our property via our conservatory roof ...we need access via neighbour garden to get to side of roof but our neighbour refuses .. what can we do
Sally - 30-Jun-20 @ 10:28 AM
We live in a through terrace house where we are one of the houses in the middle of 4 so if I need to access my back garden to remove garden rubbish which I wouldn't want to drag through my house and also if we have a fire and need to escape through our back door and through our neighbours end house garden to reach safety are we within our rights, we have difficult neighbours who unfortunately there is some issues with so I would appreciate some advice. regards Mr D Riley
DEN - 28-Jun-20 @ 5:01 PM
A council road runs along the area between the end of our back garden and the garages of the next streets houses. They have said their boundary is close to our fence therefore we can not cross their land from the road to use a drive on our land. Is this the case? Thank you.
Daisy - 22-Jun-20 @ 4:28 PM
Next door won't allow roofer to put ladder on his wall to gain access to my part of the roof.
Ronkey - 22-Jun-20 @ 1:39 PM
My neighbors gas meter sits on our boundary wall he has recently purchased this building for development and assured us the meter would be removed and now refuses to have that done. Do I have to allow access for him or the Gas Company to enter our garden There isn't right of way or access mentioned in our deeds.
Hank - 11-Jun-20 @ 11:55 AM
My neighbor has a large sweetgum tree, directly behind our fence line, with limbs that overhang into my property and causing damage to my trees.She is an attorney so she told me I could not trim the overhanging limbs on my property.I know that I have to right to trim the branches but the problem is, the tree surgeon will have to actually climb the tree in order to do that.He can actually place a ladder on my side of the fence to access the tree, therefore never going onto her property. My question is, does he have the legalright to actually climb the tree to get to branches, even though the tree belongs to her?
pat - 3-Jun-20 @ 6:43 AM
Ilive in a first floor Warner flat.I've returned after 10 years abroad .The ground floor flat was redeveloped and I have a new neighbour. I'm certain a door was createdin the re development which means my neighbor can access my garden at any time...We have 2 seperate gardens but they can get into my garden to use a water pipe ?What can I do
Suzie - 27-May-20 @ 3:37 PM
Hi, I live in a marionette and there are other properties with the same ser up. If I want to get to my back garden from the front, to cut the grass, I go down the communal path that goes through the upstairs neighbours garden to get to my back gate. Unfortunately, I no longer get on with my neighbours, they are extremely noisy,verbally abusive and harass me and my son, we're both disabled. Now, them and my housing association are trying to say it's NOT a communal path and the housing officer is trying to say a previous tenant put the back gate leading to my garden there! My other neighbour has the same set up and so do the neighbours down the road. Hence, I'm not allowed to use the gate and I'm expected to put up with a lawnmower being dragged through my property from back to front! To say I'm annoyed is an understatement.
Jules - 26-May-20 @ 12:10 AM
A neighbour I never met b. Put a 7ft fence down the side of of the garden erected concrete posts andfencing 29ft longand to a another neighbour he wanted a bigger garden so he was having some of mine. He said he had now claimed it as he fenced it. Can he do this can people come into a garden fence it and take land. I have the title deeds which prove he has no rights. He says it will cost thousands to go to court so he will do as he pleases. It will take money to stop him
Jg - 25-May-20 @ 6:08 PM
I have a situation where a developer purchased the ajoining semi detached house and cut the garden in 1/4 with the view of future development. Having failedto directly contacted the developer i took the estate agents word that i could remove the dangerous hawthorn hedge andmaintain the lawn preventing theland from becoming over-run with rodents (we back onto farmland and i have already dealt with an infestation). having sold the property next door (with the layaway land still owed by speculating developer)i have been issued with a trespass order and been instructed to pay damages of £500. The boundary line is mine and the existing 4 foot wire fence was intwine in the hedgerow.I have cut down the hedge (roots still in place and growing). I have also been requested to erect a 6 foot fence. The bush was never 6 foot and with a garden looking out onto country side, i do not wish to erect such a fence. I have also been asked if i object to them putting up a 6 foot fence (which i do) Ultimately all i would like, is to replace the hedge in time and continue to keep the grass low preventing vermin. could this act be my answer to being able to maintain a lawn ?
jb - 1-May-20 @ 5:12 PM
We have a fence at the back of our garden , was built by the developer of our property. Before that we do not have fence kind of boundary between the neighbour and our land. I asked the neighbour to pay for post and fences . They answered they only need to keep the boundary and well maintain it .they said by law they do not have to put fence on, so that is why their hedge and trees there. They mean their huge tree and the overflowing bushes , weeds are their boundary what they have to maintain . My question is if we replace the fences can I force them to keep clean from the overflowing weeds every year (they have grown on our current fence)of their side of my fence ? Do I need to ask access and permission now if I destroy the old fences (I not need enter their land as I can do it from mine by taking off each fence)? Can I leave the weeds which were growing on our fences in their land ? They are not nice to us so to be honest if I am allowed to do it so as they come from them ( although they say they keep it tidy every year , but never saw them to Tidy it, I will take picture ) I am more than happy just do it and leave the weeds under their trees !!!!I am sure in future they will grow back if we do not maintain regularly ! Can I force them to do it and clean it as it is my fence by their opinion too ? Thanks for the answer
Gina - 25-Apr-20 @ 8:03 PM
We have a fence at the back of our garden , was built by the developer of our property. Before that we do not have fence kind of boundary between the neighbour and our land. I asked the neighbour to pay for post and fences . They answered they only need to keep the boundary and well maintain it .they said by law they do not have to put fence on, so that is why their hedge and trees there. They mean their huge tree and the overflowing bushes , weeds are their boundary what they have to maintain . My question is if we replace the fences can I force them to keep clean from the overflowing weeds every year (they have grown on our current fence)of their side of my fence ? Do I need to ask access and permission now if I destroy the old fences (I not need enter their land as I can do it from mine by taking off each fence)? Can I leave the weeds which were growing on our fences in their land ? They are not nice to us so to be honest if I am allowed to do it so as they come from them ( although they say they keep it tidy every year , but never saw them to Tidy it, I will take picture ) I am more than happy just do it and leave the weeds under their trees !!!!I am sure in future they will grow back if we do not maintain regularly ! Can I force them to do it and clean it as it is my fence by their opinion too ? Thanks for the answer
Gina - 25-Apr-20 @ 10:19 AM
We have a fence at the back of our garden , was built by the developer of our property. Before that we do not have fence kind of boundary between the neighbour and our land. I asked the neighbour to pay for post and fences . They answered they only need to keep the boundary and well maintain it .they said by law they do not have to put fence on, so that is why their hedge and trees there. They mean their huge tree and the overflowing bushes , weeds are their boundary what they have to maintain . My question is if we replace the fences can I force them to keep clean from the overflowing weeds every year (they have grown on our current fence)of their side of my fence ? Do I need to ask access and permission now if I destroy the old fences (I not need enter their land as I can do it from mine by taking off each fence)? Can I leave the weeds which were growing on our fences in their land ? They are not nice to us so to be honest if I am allowed to do it so as they come from them ( although they say they keep it tidy every year , but never saw them to Tidy it, I will take picture ) I am more than happy just do it and leave the weeds under their trees !!!!I am sure in future they will grow back if we do not maintain regularly ! Can I force them to do it and clean it as it is my fence by their opinion too ? Thanks for the answer
Gina - 25-Apr-20 @ 3:24 AM
We have a fence at the back of our garden , was built by the developer of our property. Before that we do not have fence kind of boundary between the neighbour and our land. I asked the neighbour to pay for post and fences . They answered they only need to keep the boundary and well maintain it .they said by law they do not have to put fence on, so that is why their hedge and trees there. They mean their huge tree and the overflowing bushes , weeds are their boundary what they have to maintain . My question is if we replace the fences can I force them to keep clean from the overflowing weeds every year (they have grown on our current fence)of their side of my fence ? Do I need to ask access and permission now if I destroy the old fences (I not need enter their land as I can do it from mine by taking off each fence)? Can I leave the weeds which were growing on our fences in their land ? They are not nice to us so to be honest if I am allowed to do it so as they come from them ( although they say they keep it tidy every year , but never saw them to Tidy it, I will take picture ) I am more than happy just do it and leave the weeds under their trees !!!!I am sure in future they will grow back if we do not maintain regularly ! Can I force them to do it and clean it as it is my fence by their opinion too ? Thanks for the answer
Gina - 25-Apr-20 @ 3:11 AM
A house has 2 men in it .They are behind a high net. Atnight they use their ladders to come to our side that was green with lots of birds and a squirrel.. Since they come over they have stripped the green of of our branches so the leaves are yellow. They keep coming over to make sure there’s no green coming in Now the are stating on our treesand making them naked as well. They should not come over the net at all. The wildlife is decreased has greatly reduced from them. So they have breached the 1981 Act of the wildlife andcountry legislation of plants and habitat loss. They are coming over our side all the time , so they can do there worse on our houses side strip ofland and leave it alone.
Jo. - 17-Apr-20 @ 7:03 PM
The house that lives over a net has 2 men in it. They in the nightuse lasers to accessthe people’s on my side. What they keep coming over to take all the green off of our branches and making all of them yellow . They keep doing this to make sure there is no green.They are still doing it and they are starting on the tree So we have naked branches and yellow leaves. This is a wild life crime of 1981, the habitat and plantcrime of the Act. The wildlife has declined because of their actions
Jo - 17-Apr-20 @ 6:13 PM
I live on a small development and have been passingbetween this development and land that I have been walking my dogs.My neighbour has recently blocked a path I go through to a field I walk my dogs. Initially he used old bits of trees, I removed this now he has concreted in a fence. The land I cross is communal Can he do this.
Geoff - 8-Apr-20 @ 1:16 PM
my roof needs re roofing-Ive a roofing company due to start work shortly but my neighbors are refusing to allow access to my gable end to erect scaffolding (ng32pq no 8-mine)- and n06 ive loose slates and water damage to my bedroom(detached house) and need to get this done to maintain integrity of the property and to stop rainwater entering!. we are pensioners and its a worry we can do without.regards
pensioners - 25-Mar-20 @ 6:12 AM
my roof needs re roofing-Ive a roofing company due to start work shortly but my neighbors are refusing to allow access to my gable end to erect scaffolding (ng32pq no 8-mine)- and n06 ive loose slates and water damage to my bedroom(detached house) and need to get this done to maintain integrity of the property and to stop rainwater entering!. we are pensioners and its a worry we can do without.regards
- - 25-Mar-20 @ 6:11 AM
My gable end leads onto garden of other house are they allowed to build against my gable end with out informing me thanks
None - 23-Mar-20 @ 12:32 PM
I want to replace the windows in my property.The only way to access my bathroom and landing window is from the neighbours garden.She is refusing access, even for 1 hour.What rights do I have?
Frustrated - 23-Mar-20 @ 11:10 AM
My sister has got building work going on next door they have been constantly coming in and out of her property with out decently asking they have knocked down part of her wall and left it they dug up a conerfur tree and left it to one side they did replant it not in same place now looks dead it is a mess along edge of wall her side who do we see about this .
None - 13-Mar-20 @ 12:02 PM
The previous owner of our property sold his side garden to our next door neighbour in the 1950s or thereabouts. We have right of way/access to clean our windows on the gable end and to do repairs eg. pointing etc. This morning we were told by our next door neighbour in his text we needed to ASK (he used capital letters) him each time we wanted access. He threatened to replace the gate with a permanent fence to stop our access if we do not ASK him. 1) Aside from neighbourliness and courtesy, if we have the right of way/access, do we need to ASK him each time we needed access? Asking implies he may refuse permission which he cannot. 2) The next door neighbour's shrubs and trees now block light from coming into our gable end windows (into lounge on ground floor & into bedroom on the top floor). what are our rights? Thank you.
Adil - 9-Mar-20 @ 1:09 PM
My neighbour at the back of our property has a large weeping willow tree on their land which overhangs our garden. For the last few years every time there is high winds, we have branches come down on our side. We have asked the neighbour to take this tree down due to risk of injury from falling brances however they have refused however told us that we can take the tree down ourselves if we want to and pay for it. We have taken a few of the overhanging branches off however this is a massive tree and it is not possible to reach to cut back the overhanging branches. In the recent wind a big branch had fallen on our side and it is still attached to the main trunk. We have informed the neighbour of this and they have agreed to deal with it however they are not agreeing to cutting down the tree. We love weeping willow tree however do not feel it belong in a suburban garden the size of ours and it is too unsafe as they break easily in high winds. What I would like to know is what is our rights and is there anything we can do to make then take this tree out.
Sarah - 21-Feb-20 @ 12:00 PM
Purchased a house 2 years ago with a section of the front garden being retained by the owner to build a bungalow (had planning permission) Last month the seller came by for us to sign party wall agreement, which we did. Ever since buying our house we have been promised that should he decide to sell this small plot we would get first refusal. We now find out he has sold the plot to a local builder who plans to start work next week. We are furious and do not want to help the builder who is really going to struggle without us letting him use part of our boundary for access and scaffold, storage etc. What are our rights about refusing ? Obviously we had originally agreed with the original seller to let him have access.
Phoebe - 19-Feb-20 @ 8:03 PM
I need to get my conservatory glass roof cleaner. The window cleaner needs access to next doors garden to clean the glass that side. She is refusing access. Is there anything I can do ?
Sazzie - 11-Feb-20 @ 9:19 PM
Which form do I use to apply to the County Court to gain access to my neighbour’s land for “preservation” work on my property. Also what level of fee is payable?
Baza - 10-Feb-20 @ 3:11 PM
My neighbour as put a large heavy planter against the wall of my out-building, this building is in a poor state and I wish to demolish it and rebuild if to match my adjoining garage. My neighbour as refused to move the planter, he will allow my builder to move it but states that I am liable if the planter is damaged. This planter prevents me from maintaining the building, the building is rendered and I cannot even paint and treat the wall in future. Can he refuse to move the planter and what I my rights regarding the positioning of this planter.
Chris1962 - 4-Feb-20 @ 2:52 PM
Hi, my neighbour owns two houses next to me. She has them set up as a six bedsit and five bedsit properties. She has now got planning permission for six bed sits in the back garden. We live on a narrow road with a solid yellow line on the other side. This is a row of terraces with parking only on one side. She is also building a wall and trapping the communal steps behind the wall therefore cutting off my access to my garden. I have lived there for ten years, can she do any of this. Please help, desperate situation. Thank you.
SKIPPITY - 19-Jan-20 @ 6:56 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments