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Your Rights Under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 2 Sep 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.

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We live in a detached house but me and my neighbor share the fence wall on the rear of the building. Her garden gate is on the side so to access the side of my wall she needs to open her garden gate for me . I intend to have tap at my back garden but to do that the plumber said because my kitchen is on the left front side of the building it’s easier and better to pass the pipe through the rear of my building to the back which will be nicely done . I will need access to the rear of the building to lay the pipe on my wall but will need access because my neighbors garden door is always shut . I told her about my intentions but she doesn’t feel okay about it and will not grant me access though it will be on my wall and will not affect her in any way . Please what are my options and what do I do because I really need the tap
Ken - 2-Sep-20 @ 9:46 AM
My nabour has built an extension to his home and the build now leaves a entry with my footpath , they have had there gas meter moved so access is onto my footpath. I wish to put a gate at the front of the entry footpath as we had a breakin and the footpath was there way in, my nabour has said that no gate is going there on the land that I own. Also there is a manhole drain on the footpath thats not on the deads is new and runs from his property. What can I do about this?
conker - 1-Sep-20 @ 3:20 PM
There was for many years an alley way at the bottom of my garden which was access to the rear of the houses at the bottom on my garden only. I have a privet hedge growing across the back of my garden but it has been invaded by a plant called a Russian vile. It us very invasive and has to be kept under control. About 11 years ago new neighbour moved into the house at the bottom of the garden and took the land of the alleyway as it was not used by anyone anymore. As he is not keeping the vine under control it is filing my bush up with vine. I did jump over a couple of months ago andcleaned it out but he objected because I didn't let him know or ask him for access. The problemI have now is that he refuses me access to that side of the hedge. Does he have a right to the land or more important does he have theright to refuse entry just to do work on the Russian vine to try to kill it off. ?
Trev - 26-Aug-20 @ 2:48 PM
Dear Friends At the back of my property is a door leading outside to a small terrace area at the exact level, of my property and the size of it coincides with the walls on each side of m At the back of my property is a door leading outside to a small terrace area at the exact level, of my property and the size of it coincides with the walls on each side of my property. Above me is a neighbour who has a large garden up to which there are steps leading from this small terrace area directly outside mu property which is sunk down from his outside. At some point, the gardens belonged to my property as it is an old cottage dating back about 200 years. About 40 years ago, the land was redeveloped and my neighbours property built above mine and the garden was allocated to that property. My neighbour claims that this small terrace is also his land and I have always believed him, but I am questioning this now especially as I have a door and windows from two rooms which open on to that area. It seems logical that that small outside space be mine and that everything above the steps is his. Also, I regularly need to go out there to clean windows and for general maintenance of my property including the roof. What kind of right of way do I have if he is correct the land is his? Bella
Bell - 21-Aug-20 @ 6:00 PM
Dear Friends At the back of my property is a door leading outside to a small terrace area at the exact level, of my property and the size of it coincides with the walls on each side of m At the back of my property is a door leading outside to a small terrace area at the exact level, of my property and the size of it coincides with the walls on each side of my property. Above me is a neighbour who has a large garden up to which there are steps leading from this small terrace area directly outside mu property which is sunk down from his outside. At some point, the gardens belonged to my property as it is an old cottage dating back about 200 years. About 40 years ago, the land was redeveloped and my neighbours property built above mine and the garden was allocated to that property. My neighbour claims that this small terrace is also his land and I have always believed him, but I am questioning this now especially as I have a door and windows from two rooms which open on to that area. It seems logical that that small outside space be mine and that everything above the steps is his. Also, I regularly need to go out there to clean windows and for general maintenance of my property including the roof. What kind of right of way do I have if he is correct the land is his? Bella
Bell - 21-Aug-20 @ 12:52 PM
I live in a flat where my neighbour has a front and back garden and two doors to enter her property I have a side door only , she thinks that to go through my back garden continually instead of her using her front door is acceptable, I recently put a gate up with my landladies permission and lock it at night as all my garden furniture is out there which has annoyed her and she wants a key do I not have any rights to sit in my own garden without a stream of people coming to see her when she has a perfectly good front door to go through
Woody - 21-Aug-20 @ 8:41 AM
Hi, Can anyone please advise we are thinking of getting a conservatory to the back of our house. Our neighnour's services & our waste pipe would then be under this. He is saying we would have to divert these, however he has put an extension on the rear of his house which covers them too, so we can't see why we also wouldn't do the same? Any help appreciated.
Maz - 19-Aug-20 @ 4:30 PM
Today without notice a workman appear on the roof on my neighbours kitchen extension which abuts my garden wall, and start to put apart the garden wall built between me and my neighbour, not notice was given. the wall is shown on my deeds as belonging to my property, he had been called by my neighbour to investigate concrete blocks shown on his side of the wall. later the workman called me to say that during his investigation he had uncovered part of my kitchen roof which is an extension apparently build partly into the garden wall, this extension is very old and I have a site map provided in 1923 by the Land registry showing the garden wall and the extension exactly in the same place. I am very concerned that the roof is exposed and damage it will do and how it will be repaired, can anyone advise me
Maud - 14-Aug-20 @ 12:22 AM
Hi l Live in a mid terrace house and we lived here for 16 year and we have a gate on one side of the fence to get access to our garden going though our neighbours garden but new people have moved it and blocked the access from their end, have they got The right to block it or did we have a right of access alt all time
Lyn - 3-Aug-20 @ 10:35 PM
We from rural area...my family facing a serious problem...we have no way or path to go outside from my home...my neighbor always prevent us to walk from there...we even said them we'll pay more money than the value of the land...but they always deny...how can we legally get that...
rinku - 25-Jul-20 @ 8:44 PM
My house backs on to council allotments and I wanted to take down my rear fence and install a new one but when the builder came to quote we drove around to the rear of my property through the allotment access road and while the builder was measuring up a chap who declared his self as the allotment supervisor said we have no right of access. We ha no side access to our property so everything would need delivering to the front of our house, taken through the house and carried down a 130 ft garden to replace the fence. Seems excessive when there is a route that cars drive through the allotments running right behind my rear fence. What are my rights please. Tony
Tony - 19-Jul-20 @ 6:30 PM
I live in an apartment building where I have patio doors onto my own private garden area. This then leads onto the communal area. Each private space is surrounded my garden planters which are maintained by everyone. Neighbours keep coming into my private garden space to trim, tidy and replant the planters. There's no need to do so, and they can be just as easily accessed from the communal side. I mentioned this recently to one of the women who was in my private space at 9pm tidying the rise Bush. She since, despite us both being adults, has refused to speak to me. This makes it increasingly awkward because she is always out on the communal area, and now when I sunbathe in my private garden, they all have a little chat corner where it's pretty clear they're talking about me and the one other person who has said they also don't want people in their private garden. I'm not rude. I'm not unreasonable. If I had been asked permission I would have said no. My point was that it was a hot night, my door was open with the lights off, while I was sat in my room, and I had a problem with someone being directly outside my door in my private garden without permission. I've been made to feel so awkward which is so out of order and quite frankly immature and unacceptable. If I were to now think... Okay well fair play. You stick to yourself and I'll stick to mine. I'm fine with that. I'm not begging to be civil when there really should be no problem. The woman is in her 50s and therefore should have the maturity and empathy to have simply said "oh okay no problem" when I said I wasn't comfortable her being there. Instead, she stropped off and hadn't spoke to me since despite me saying good morning and making simple small talk. If I were to put a little pop up fence, like a pet gate, to block off the entrance to my garden, and out it on the inside part of the planters, so it was only on my personal property, would this be allowed does anyone know?
Charlie - 19-Jul-20 @ 9:38 AM
I live in a cul-de-sac the back of my house is on the round and the front on to a green. My front garden has massive bushes around and I've had a letter from the council that I need to cut them back. I want to remove them so its less mantinace so today brought my car on to the front green to load the garden waste to remove . I came up via a concrete ramp at the end of the cul-de-sac when I came to leave some neighbours had blocked my way with chairs because the said I crossed their landthey have a garage there but no parking as it would block other houses drive ways. So my question is do I not have the right to be able to maintain my front garden (as requested by the council) because they believe they own the land at the top of the cul-de-sac in front of their garages
kirstin - 16-Jul-20 @ 6:17 PM
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
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