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Your Rights Under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 8 Apr 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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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
We live down half mile track and have right of way. Since we put our house on market our neighbour started scrapping the surface of the track off as a way of levelling it and dumping it in the drainage ditches. Pot holes are now huge and my children can no longer bring their cars down to visit. Our friends don’t have 4x4’s so have stopped visiting. He runs stables with 30 horses and clients who have damaged their cars complain to us! We have deeds showing we have to pay fair portion of upkeep but he wants us to pay half. Approached council but they say it’s our problem. Any fair advice. ,
Roz - 18-Jan-20 @ 12:04 PM
We live in a semi detached and our neighbours house has been rendered and at the front it is over onto our side by about 4 inches. They are horrible people and constantly moaning is there anything i can do about their rendering coming over to ours?
Becky - 10-Jan-20 @ 7:22 PM
Our next door neighbours have put a garden shed against my wall I now need access to my roof which is leaking slightly. The shed is stopping my access and the neighbours are refusing to move it. Am I right in thinking being against my wall can cause damp? Thank you for any help
GandMbb - 5-Jan-20 @ 2:40 PM
My son has been renovating a property which included a very small ground floor extenstion to the front adjacent to a difficult and abusive nighbour.There is also a rear extenstion but the original wall was kept intact so the boundary is hardly affected. the gutters (in disrepair) and new, soffits and rendering on the boundary wall need doing and the neighbour is not allowing access from his side to carry this out .What are our rights?
Pippa - 10-Dec-19 @ 11:21 AM
A housing association wish to erect security gates limiting access to 8 garages (4 freehold and 4 owned by the HA). My garage is under the freehold of my house The HA wish to charge me for a key to access my garage Can they do this
Kevin - 27-Nov-19 @ 4:56 PM
I'm trying to sort out how to deal with a neighbour who will not give us permission to place safety fencing and props in his garden .We have a dangerous structure order on a garages and cannot demolish it with out the permission to put the fencing and props in place .
Hilary Ball - 23-Nov-19 @ 3:01 PM
My neighbour hates trees and comes into our garden to prune them back beyond the fence line. What can we do to stop him because it is not nice.
Julie - 18-Nov-19 @ 10:12 PM
I live in block of 4 flats i live upstairs so my entrance is at the side of the building my downstairs neighbours main entrance is at the front of the building. When you come in my gate at the back there is a mono blocked path which i fitted in 2005 also there is a boundray wall leading right up the left hand side of my path abd on the other side is my neighbours back door where she gets out to her patio etc . There is a clause in all 4 flats deeds saying which entrance is ours to our house and all the other paths & gated entrances within the whole property of 4 flats have the right to access & igress to all other pathways & gated entrances ONLY for the purpose of maintaing the owners property where the maintenance work thats need done cannot be reached from their own part of the building . But my down stairs neighbour and her boyfriend are using my gate every single day S her majn entrance just so she can get to her back door easier and doesnt have to walk far . Laziness - her dog has bit me when we passed on my path & ive had threats from her And her boyfriend. I pay for all the up keep and maintenace of my mono blocked pathway & gated entrance but she tells me she can use it every day if she likes As its shatred?? There are no such words on any of the 4 flats seeds to say this path and gate leading from my flat is shared access this is my only way out and into my flat , Please advise
Jinx - 19-Oct-19 @ 3:19 PM
I live in block of 4 flats i live upstairs so my entrance is at the side of the building my downstairs neighbours main entrance is at the front of the building. When you come in my gate at the back there is a mono blocked path which i fitted in 2005 also there is a boundray wall leading right up the left hand side of my path abd on the other side is my neighbours back door where she gets out to her patio etc . There is a clause in all 4 flats deeds saying which entrance is ours to our house and all the other paths & gated entrances within the whole property of 4 flats have the right to access & igress to all other pathways & gated entrances ONLY for the purpose of maintaing the owners property where the maintenance work thats need done cannot be reached from their own part of the building . But my down stairs neighbour and her boyfriend are using my gate every single day S her majn entrance just so she can get to her back door easier and doesnt have to walk far . Laziness - her dog has bit me when we passed on my path & ive had threats from her And her boyfriend. I pay for all the up keep and maintenace of my mono blocked pathway & gated entrance but she tells me she can use it every day if she likes As its shatred?? There are no such words on any of the 4 flats seeds to say this path and gate leading from my flat is shared access this is my only way out and into my flat , Please advise
Jinx - 19-Oct-19 @ 3:19 PM
What can I do if neighbours put scaffolding on my land for their extension without my permission. While I'm at work
Floyd - 13-Oct-19 @ 4:42 PM
I have recently purchased a house where there is a communal close shared by myself and next door neighbour. Access is shown on my title deeds and have right of access but my neighbour is adamant I have no reason to enter and they have put a lockable door on the entrance. I have asked for a key but they have refused this request. What is the legal stand that I have with regards to this? Should I have a key? Can my neighbour refuse me access to the close even though it is stated as communal on my title deed?
gbow - 6-Oct-19 @ 7:56 PM
our neighbour has planning consent to demolish garage and build extension...he has a building warrant application pending . We were very supportive until we read the proposal ...which differed from what he told us . He advised planning he had consent to erect scaffold on our drive ...not true as this is where our new caravan sits and our car too . We sat around the table with the couple and architect to explain the impact on us ..the architect was to reconsider and the neighbour get back to us ...I’ve been asking and asking and told “we’ve not decided what we want to do yet “ I then find the warrant app. On line . We went next door and were told they can do what they want “what’s your problem? It’s a tall gable wall pebbledashed and built right on boundary ( we built that house in 89 and sold to him 15 yrs ago ) our caravan sits inches from the gable ! We have told him ...in no uncertain terms that due to his attitude he is not getting any access to our land . It is likely his foundations will also undermine our mono bloc drive . We are going to build fence along the boundary as we will have no security when/if he down takes . ..if he tries to demolish he will undoubtedly damage our caravan due to falling debris ...he expects us to put our new caravan out on the busy street !
Judge Judy - 2-Oct-19 @ 6:32 AM
My neibours garden wall has abig crack and is abouf yo fall what are my right
Sham - 19-Sep-19 @ 10:56 AM
I own my property, my neighbours property is council, my neighbour had took my fence down from the boundary line about 5 years ago, we were both paying half towards a new fence until recently it has come to our attention that this council tenant wants to keep our land, and is not letting us access our property to put the new fence up ( which we are now paying for in full) as we are invading their privacy is this legal
Ken - 17-Sep-19 @ 9:09 AM
do my neighbours have a right to cut back my trees 3ft from the boundary
pandy - 17-Sep-19 @ 7:57 AM
our neighbour has been on to our property whilst we have been away and cut our tree branches back 3 ft from his wall. is this within his rights'
pandy - 17-Sep-19 @ 7:48 AM
my neighbour has cut down our trees and been on to our property to paint a wall without telling us
pandy - 17-Sep-19 @ 7:46 AM
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