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: 25 May 2018 | 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]
Hello i have recently done an attic conversion to my property this is causing problems with my downstairs neighbour in a bolck of 2 . We share the same roof and share the cost of repairs now he is saying he is not liable for these costs as i now use the roof space for living . This i dont agree with as it clearly states in the title deeds that we are both responsible for up keep of the roof who is right
Gazie05 - 25-May-18 @ 4:47 PM
Bonny - Your Question:
We have been graanted planning permission to build an extension. The builders need access to the passageway at the back of the house. However, it is obstructed by a tree growing off the back of house A and over the shed of the house opposite (house B). House A says it is not their tree eventhough it is growing from the hedge of their backfence (which House B says they have moved so as to not 'own' the tree). House A are happy for us to remove the tree, but house B wants to keep the tree claiming 'it gives them privacy' (the overahanging branches and leaves cover their shed). However, the trreee does not belong to House B. It appears no-one 'owns' this tree. Can we cut down the tree so long as we have House A's agreement?

Our Response:
If house B denies ownership but thinks house A owns it and House A is in agreement, then it's probably safe to say just cut it down, but we would advise you to seek professional advice before proceeding as a precaution.
ProblemNeighbours - 23-May-18 @ 3:21 PM
Rashid - Your Question:
Hi Our property is end terraced and neighbours on right side have bin access through our back garden. How do we find out how long it is g for? We need to extend the property but we aren't sure what will happen?

Our Response:
Most access rights like this last indefinitely/in perpetuity. Check your deeds and think about how your neighbours can get their bins out if there's no access...if you can find an alternative, you might succeed in getting the access rights changed via the legal system. Seek professional legal advice
ProblemNeighbours - 23-May-18 @ 11:26 AM
JMR - Your Question:
The side wall of my house forms the back wall to a neighbour's garden (three houses in, so I have no access to it). This neighbour has grown ivy and other climbing plants up my wall and these are getting near to the roof. I asked the neighbour to remove all climbing plants from my wall a few months ago. They agreed they would, but nothing has been done. I asked again today and the owner said he will look into it. I don't want to leave this for another few months. Please would you be able to advise me what I can do? Many thanks.

Our Response:
To force the issue, you may have to take more positive action such as sending a letter, maybe followed up by a solicitor's letter etc
ProblemNeighbours - 22-May-18 @ 2:35 PM
We have been graanted planning permission to build an extension. The builders need access to the passageway at the back of the house. However, it is obstructed by a tree growing off the back of house A and over the shed of the house opposite (house B). House A says it is not their tree eventhough it is growing from the hedge of their backfence (which House B says they have moved so as to not 'own' the tree). House A are happy for us to remove the tree, but house B wants to keep the tree claiming 'it gives them privacy' (the overahanging branches and leaves cover their shed). However, the trreee does not belong to House B. It appears no-one 'owns' this tree.Can we cut down the tree so long as we have House A's agreement?
Bonny - 22-May-18 @ 12:35 PM
Our next door neighbours have put up scaffolding and are doing major work on their loft,when we saw the owner he said did the architect or council not get in touch with us! He owns the property he should have told us. My partner is recovering from a brain tumour( which is incidental) but noises change his manner as he gets seizures and anxiety attacks. If we had known a few weeks before hand we could have gone away. We understand work has to be done but common courtesy seems to have been thrown out the window!
Michael Somers - 22-May-18 @ 9:57 AM
Access21 - Your Question:
Hi if one has a house which one has been in since being built. It is end terrace which has a detached house next to it. On side wall of property is the Electric meter which has been there since property was built. There has never been an issue with gaining access to read meter before with previous owners of detached property, which have been two. Now since the new owner has been in they have blocked access to meter. Having major problems with electric company. Previously my house was rented out this was before the new neighbours came. They stopped the tenant from access saying had no right. Since then noone has been allowed to even take meter reading. I have now moved back into my property. The electric company refuses to change the name on their system. There is money owing I have offered to pay but as not in my name they refuse to accept payment. They want copy of contract for last tenants but there wasn't one as was a friend ( but not anymore). On my dears it's says I have right to access my meter side of house for repairs etc. Neighbour says well it's not on his deeds so I have no right he has put up a gate so cannot even see meter. Please help any ideas.

Our Response:
Private legal action might be your best route to get this resolved. Get a solicitor (with property dispute specialism) to have a look at your deeds etc.
ProblemNeighbours - 21-May-18 @ 12:59 PM
Hi Our property is end terraced and neighbours on right side have bin access through our back garden. How do we find out how long it is g for?We need to extend the property but we aren't sure what will happen?
Rashid - 21-May-18 @ 12:54 PM
Hi if one has a house which one has been in since being built. It is end terrace which has a detached house next to it.On side wall of property is the Electric meter which has been there since property was built. There has never been an issue with gaining access to read meter before with previous owners of detached property, which have been two. Now since the new owner has been in they have blocked access to meter. Having major problems with electric company. Previously my house was rented out this was before the new neighbours came. They stopped the tenant from access saying had no right. Since then noone has been allowed to even take meter reading. I have now moved back into my property. The electric company refuses to change the name on their system. There is money owing I have offered to pay but as not in my name they refuse to accept payment. They want copy of contract for last tenants but there wasn't one as was a friend ( but not anymore). On my dears it's says I have right to access my meter side of house for repairs etc. Neighbour says well it's not on his deeds so I have no right he has put up a gate so cannot even see meter. Please help any ideas.
Access21 - 20-May-18 @ 8:39 AM
The side wall of my house forms the back wall to a neighbour's garden (three houses in, so I have no access to it). This neighbour has grown ivy and other climbing plants up my wall and these are getting near to the roof. I asked the neighbour to remove all climbing plants from my wall a few months ago. They agreed they would, but nothing has been done. I asked again today and the owner said he will look into it. I don't want to leave this for another few months. Please would you be able to advise me what I can do? Many thanks.
JMR - 16-May-18 @ 11:43 AM
tired - Your Question:
Hello I am wondering if you could help.We have an access drive at the side of our property with a gate at the front.We have a key to the gate so we can get to our garage.At the bottom of the drive their is a height restriction barrier which must be locked at all times.at the back is a car park not in use.The sites not been in use since 2013 only by ourselves.The landowner is bullying my disabled partner and myself and just walking all over us which is causing us both severe distress.We have a letter from the council in 2010 and 2011 which states it must be remembered that this is a staff car park only and commercial vehicles can not and do not use it.The landowner now intends to rent the car park which will mean very large commercial vehicles will be accessing the site when they are not supposed to do.The access drive is for cars only and the people who want to use it for commercial vehicles have informed us that they intend to remove the access drive gate and the height restriction barrier and that they have to knock neighbours walls down and ours to get these heavy goods vehicles down the access drive.The access drive is only around 12 feet wide these huge vehicles will most certainly hit our property because our property is the actual boundry and you can see the actual access drive from our windows.We have tried to speak to the landowner but he won't speak to us and seems to be a law on his own with no consideration for us or our home He's just walking over two vulnerable people.When the site was in use some vehicles that came passed are only around a foot away from our property.Many thanks.

Our Response:
This is a civil matter really, you may have to seek advice from a legal professional in order to take action against the company. Check also with your local planning department to see whether planning permission was needed/obtainted by the owner of the car park to rent it out.
ProblemNeighbours - 15-May-18 @ 3:32 PM
nuri0308 - Your Question:
We bought an old cottage in East Sussex which needs to be repaired. The cottage came together with the piece of land on the other side of the private field. Now we are waiting for the planning permission. The cottage is in the middle of private lands. We have just two neighbour's from both sides. Both of them blocked the access. The piece of land on the other side is for parking at the moment. But our neighbour keeps blocking the access by tree trunks. She is saying we don't have right to drive a few metres to get there. We offered to pay. But she is very abusive. She is saying we are not welcome at all. We have to go back where we are from. It is very stressful situation. I just would like to ask what else we can do to drive to our parking? We have to remove all those trunks all the time. She said we will be evicted from there. From our freehold land? We have to start building work. 1 and a half year and we can not do anything because of her and the neighbour from other side. They don't want to talk and discuss piecefully. Thank you in advance for your advise.

Our Response:
Your deeds should specify details about access to the cottage which means you can enforce your access rights via the courts if necessary. Speak to a solicitor first for advice....a letter from them might suffice.
ProblemNeighbours - 15-May-18 @ 10:05 AM
Hello i am wondering if you could help.We have an access drive at the side of our property with a gate at the front.We have a key to the gate so we can get to our garage.At the bottom of the drive their is a height restriction barrier which must be locked at all times.at the back is a car park not in use.The sites not been in use since 2013 only by ourselves.The landowner is bullying my disabled partner and myself and just walking all over us which is causing us both severe distress.We have a letter from the council in 2010 and 2011 which states it must be remembered that this is a staff car park only and commercial vehicles can not and do not use it.The landowner now intends to rent the car park which will mean very large commercial vehicles will be accessing the site when they are not supposed to do.The access drive is for cars only and the people who want to use it for commercial vehicles have informed us that they intend to remove the access drive gate and the height restriction barrier and that they have to knock neighbours walls down and ours to get these heavy goods vehicles down the access drive.The access drive is only around 12 feet wide these huge vehicles will most certainly hit our property because our property is the actual boundry and you can see the actual access drive from our windows.We have tried to speak to the landowner but he won't speak to us and seems to be a law on his own with no consideration for us or our home He's just walking over two vulnerable people .When the site was in use some vehicles that came passed are only around a foot away from our property.Many thanks.
tired - 12-May-18 @ 1:43 PM
We bought an old cottage in East Sussex which needs to be repaired. The cottage came together with the piece of land on the other side of the private field. Now we are waiting for the planning permission. The cottage is in the middle of private lands. We have just two neighbour's from both sides. Both of them blocked the access. The piece of land on the other side is for parking at the moment. But our neighbour keeps blocking the access by tree trunks. She is saying we don't have right to drive a few metres to get there. We offered to pay. But she is very abusive.She is saying we are not welcome at all. We have to go back where we are from. It is very stressful situation. I just would like to ask what else we can do to drive to our parking? We have to remove all those trunks all the time. She said we will be evicted from there. From our freehold land? We have to start building work. 1 and a half year and we can not do anything because of her and the neighbour from other side. They don't want to talk and discuss piecefully. Thank you in advance for your advise.
nuri0308 - 11-May-18 @ 2:00 PM
Chaz - Your Question:
Hi , I had an extention which was completely passed, my neighbours would not let builders or me to maintain my building , I was told I was to build 300mm from boundary. Now my neighbour as extended his property up to the boundary what can I do

Our Response:
This should really have been something you thought about when you built the extension. You will have to try and negotiate with your neighbour. It's unlikely the Access to Neighbouring Land Act will help as it wouldn't reallly cover an extension built in your time living there. You can check with a legal professional to be sure.
ProblemNeighbours - 4-May-18 @ 12:04 PM
My house is on a busy narrow main road. Storms have damaged the roof at the rear outhouse making it unsafe and in dire need of repair.My neighbour owns the car park to the rear backing up to my house. He refuses to allow my tradesmen access to repair the roof and now that he realises how much I need to repair the roof he has 'upped the ante' by cementing in concrete posts at the entrance to the car park so that a builders van cannot get through. I fear that going to court to try to get access under the 1992 act will make him go even further by building a brick wall across the entrance. I have offered a bond as a deposit to repair any damage and remove any rubbish from his land but he just does anything he can to ensure I can't access my property at the rear to maintain and repair it.Any advice as to how I should approach this please?
Freddie - 3-May-18 @ 8:32 PM
Hi , I had an extention which was completely passed, my neighbours would not let builders or me to maintain my building , I was told I was to build 300mm from boundary . Now my neighbour as extended his property up to the boundary what can i do
Chaz - 2-May-18 @ 3:24 PM
Maidenhead boy - Your Question:
My neighbour has access rights detailed on deeds to come through my garden at any time in day light hours for maintenance, cleaning and erection of scaffold, to rear wall of property which is on boundary with my garden. He puts a slip though my door the day before saying he will make access the following day. He will not allow me to say if it is not convenient and does not provide specific times. This is very stressful for my family. He has even burst into the garden shouting 'maintenance inspection, whilst my wife was in the garden with friends.We had a recent boundary survey conducted and the surveyor stated in his report that this right of way is largely superceded by the enactment of the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992. Does this mean the right of way is null and void? What action can I take?

Our Response:
You should seek professional legal advice if you want to change the existing right of access.
ProblemNeighbours - 2-May-18 @ 1:55 PM
Carol - Your Question:
We have a house in which we have tenants. The house next door, attached by a flying freehold, is unoccupied & in a bad state of repair. Our property suffers from a permanently damp/wet well - almost certainly due to some kind of water leak from next door. This situation has continued now for years. I am most concerned for the health and safety, due to the health implications of the damp there. Furthermore, we waste time and money re-decorating - just for the wall to become wet again, andthe value of both properties is being compromised.Having made strenuous efforts over the years to make contact with the owners, we have now drawn a blank. The council are unable to give us her details (data protection) or to intervene, as the Council Tax continues to be paid. I have been intouch with a number of people at the Council, one of whom inspected the house from the outside, contacted the owner and got an undertaking that she would decorate and improve externally by the end of this April. This is, however, advisory and not legally enforceable - and gives no guarantee of work being done inside - but they must now be aware that there is an issue. I put a letter through her door explaining the situation and asking for help. Additionally, I have pinned a copy on the letter on the front door. It is now the end of April - Nothing has happened - the letter is still on the door, so no-one has been there.Can you offer any advice as to the next step, as we must now take this further. I have been told that we are able to get police permission to gain entry? I would be granulate for any advice.

Our Response:
It's really dificult to take action in this kind of situation. Here are a few pieces of legislation that might help, especially as your property's damage seems to be caused from an issue next door:
Environmental Protection Act - the council has powers to enter the property and order the work to put right any damage and subsequently charge the home owner. Nuisance must be sufficiently "severe" such as extreme dampness
Building Act of 1984 - you can apply for a court order for damages and an order to put the building into good repair as long as you can prove the nuisance.
Planning Regulations - can be used by councils to improve an unsightly property (but these powers are rarely used)
Party Wall Act- you can issue a repair notice again your neighbour if the party wall is in disrepair. Arbitration is used to resolve disputes using surveyors appointed by each party.
ProblemNeighbours - 30-Apr-18 @ 2:30 PM
My neighbour has access rights detailed on deeds to come through my garden at any time in day light hours for maintenance, cleaning and erection of scaffold, to rear wall of property which is on boundary with my garden. He puts a slip though my door the day before saying he will make access the following day. He will not allow me to say if it is not convenient and does not provide specific times. This is very stressful for my family. He has even burst into the garden shouting 'maintenance inspection, whilst my wife was in the garden with friends. We had a recent boundary survey conducted and the surveyor stated in his report that this right of way is largely superceded by the enactmentof the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992. Does this mean the right of way is null and void? What action can I take?
Maidenhead boy - 29-Apr-18 @ 6:24 PM
We have a house in which we have tenants.The house next door, attached by a flying freehold, is unoccupied & in a bad state of repair. Our property suffers from a permanently damp/wet well - almost certainly due to some kind of water leak from next door. This situation has continued now for years.I am most concerned for the health and safety, due to the health implications of the damp there. Furthermore, we waste time and money re-decorating - just for the wall to become wet again, and the value of both properties is being compromised. Having made strenuous efforts over the years to make contact with the owners, we have now drawn a blank. The council are unable to give us her details (data protection) or to intervene, as the Council Tax continues to be paid. I have been in touch with a number of people at the Council, one of whom inspected the house from the outside, contacted the owner and got an undertaking that she would decorate and improve externally by the end of this April. This is, however, advisory and not legally enforceable - and gives no guarantee of work being done inside - but they must now be aware that there is an issue. I put a letter through her door explaining the situation and asking for help. Additionally, I have pinned a copy on the letter on the front door.It is now the end of April - Nothing has happened - the letter is still on the door, so no-one has been there. Can you offer any advice as to the next step, as we must now take this further.I have been told that we are able to get police permission to gain entry? I would be granulate for any advice.
Carol - 28-Apr-18 @ 4:58 PM
A - Your Question:
My neighbour owns the rear fence. They are a old couple.he told a worker he couldn't afford to get it fixed. But it's leaning badly he doesn't care as his garden is overgrown. What can I do ? What are my rights? As I shiuldnt have to pay anything.

Our Response:
Is the neighbour obliged to maintain a fence at all? Do the deeds say? If it belongs to the neighbour and there is nothing in the deeds to say otherwise, the neighbour could in fact simply let it fall down or remove it.
ProblemNeighbours - 24-Apr-18 @ 3:09 PM
My neighbour owns the rear fence. They are a old couple.he told a worker he couldn't afford to get it fixed.But it's leaningbadly he doesn't care as his garden is overgrown . What can I do ? What are my rights? As i shiuldnt have to pay anything...
A - 23-Apr-18 @ 12:35 PM
I have a shared alley with my neighbours I do have things down the alley has I’ve got no shed it’s on my side of the house and there is a path free to walk down the neighbour says she is going to phone the fire brigade up the alley way has never been a promble to them before and I do have the permission of my landlord am stuck what do I do thanks.
Cassy - 20-Apr-18 @ 10:48 AM
Reflective! - Your Question:
Hi,The back wall of our neighbours house is on the boundary of our garden and we have always granted access as and when required for repairs and work to the house. The neighbour recently requested access for 'work on the roof' for workmen who were installing a new wood burning stove. We returned home on the day that the work was carried out to find a brand new, very shiny, approx 10ft high chimney protruding from the said wall and overhanging our garden. Do we have any rights to challenge this? Additionally, the workmen not only trampled the garden and destroyed a flower bed, the also entered our conservatory and plugged in their tools.

Our Response:
You can take action for trespass if the new chimney is overhanging your garden. You should make a claim for the damage to your garden.
ProblemNeighbours - 17-Apr-18 @ 12:29 PM
Hi, The back wall of our neighbours house is on the boundary of our garden and we have always granted access as and when required for repairs and work to the house.The neighbour recently requested access for 'work on the roof' for workmen who were installing a new wood burning stove.We returned home on the day that the work was carried out to find a brand new, very shiny, approx 10ft high chimney protruding from the said wall and overhanging our garden.Do we have any rights to challenge this?Additionally, the workmen not only trampled the garden and destroyed a flower bed, the also entered our conservatory and plugged in their tools.
Reflective! - 16-Apr-18 @ 4:04 PM
Threeamigos - Your Question:
Hi, my neighbour converted his attic a few years ago. A few months after that my roof developed a leak. As we rarely saw each other and I was concerned that it would get worse, I asked someone to look at the roof. They found a few cracked roof ties and did a quick repair job but it leaked again. I had the cement filleting which had cracked causing the roof to leak removed and replaced with lead flashing about 3 years before and I believe the new leak was caused by his builders as they allowed rubble etc to roll onto my roof and into the gutters. About one year ago I also noticed cracks on the chimney breasts in the downstairs living room and one of the upstairs bedrooms adjoining his house where he had his chimney breast removed to fit a stairs to the new attic room and some in the ceiling in the downstairs dining room and in the ceiling in the bedroom above. I did mention the roof leak to him and he agreed to come and look but never did and last year about one year after the work was completed he unexpectedly died. As I believe the extension to his attic caused the roof leak and the cracks is there anything I can do to get the roof and the cracks repaired as he is deceased? Thanks, A.

Our Response:
It's unlikely now that the owner has died. Perhaps you could track down the company that did the neighbour's building work?
ProblemNeighbours - 16-Apr-18 @ 2:47 PM
Hi looking for some advice , local authority need access to my garden for planned insulation works on neighbouring properties. My house is owned . To insulate two walls on neighbours properties they need to erect scaffolding , uplift decking boards and move my hut . They also need to move mydown pipe . I feel this disruption is unacceptable , they won’t pay compensation I have to be disrupted for 6-8 weeks on goodwill! They said they would try to work To a quicker timescale , and after weeks of emails finally agreed to take liability for any damage . I live alone as a self employed contractor . I will need to take time off work as I want to be there when they bring a machine In to my garden to move my hut and when the lift some decking to lay scaffolding . They say I don’t need to be there but I’m not having this disruption unsupervised by myself . I also had planned work myself which was due to commence on the 13th April , where do I stand in terms of compensation for disruption , loss or earnings etc . Thanks
Irened - 15-Apr-18 @ 1:32 PM
Hi, my neighbour converted his attic a few years ago. A few months after that my roof developed a leak. As we rarely saw each other and I was concerned that it would get worse, I asked someone to look at the roof. They found a few cracked roof ties and did a quick repair job but it leaked again. I had the cement filleting which had cracked causing the roof to leak removed and replaced with lead flashing about 3 years before and I believe the new leak was caused by his builders as they allowed rubble etc to roll onto my roof and into the gutters. About one year ago I also noticed cracks on the chimney breasts in the downstairs living room and one of the upstairs bedrooms adjoining his house where he had his chimney breast removed to fit a stairs to the new attic room and some in the ceiling in the downstairs dining room and in the ceiling in the bedroom above. I did mention the roof leak to him and he agreed to come and look but never did and last year about one year after the work was completed he unexpectedly died. As I believe the extension to his attic caused the roof leak and the cracks is there anything I can do to get the roof and the cracks repaired as he is deceased? Thanks, A.
Threeamigos - 13-Apr-18 @ 7:11 PM
Hi, looking for some advice please.We have decided to have our front garden landscaped and there is a whirly washing line in the garden, which we have shared with our neighbour.Thing is we have decided to remove the whirly ,which it says in our title deeds that neighbour has access to.Have explained to neighbour that we are removing it, and placing one at the back of the house which they can have access to , or they can erect one in their own garden, but neighbour seems opposed to this.Can you advise where we stand with this please.
Gwen - 11-Apr-18 @ 1:43 PM
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