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Your Rights Under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 16 Aug 2019 | 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 have a gate at the bottom of our garden that enters the village green owned by a trust. This has multiple public access points and many of the properties that back onto it also have gates. We have been informed that the trust are going to erect a fence up against our existing fence to show the boundary to the field. The new fence will be lower than ours and the trust say it must be done before they lease the land to the parish council. Is this necessary on their behalf and if do so I have the right to be able to access the field due having a gate for a long period of time?
Homer - 16-Aug-19 @ 7:17 AM
Our neighbours are building an horrendous extension that is going to spoil my enjoyment of my sunny patio in the evenings. Their builders have been a nightmare playing a loud radio despite being told I am very sensitive to that kind of noise following a brain injury. They have also been onto our property without consent and their scaffolding is pushing against our fence. At some stage they plan to apply rendering to the wall adjacent to our property and will need to access our land to do this. I intend to make them grovel for this permission after the way I have been treated and I need to know my legal rights as the chief builder is a bully. The work will just involve tarting up the old wall so it does not constitute a repair or necessary renovation but neither is it part of their extension. What rights do I have ?
Stevie - 8-Aug-19 @ 12:11 PM
I own a property (freehold) within the grounds of a resort and i.a.w the deeds they owners of the resort have to provide me with access to the property by use of a road and pathways and in the deeds it states the road should be a minimum of 18ft wide (why I do not know). However the road have fallen into disrepair and now has multiple pot holes and in some areas is overgrown with vegetation reducing the width and making it impossible to see the edge or curb. I have requested the resort repair and maintain the road but they have refused to do so, what is my best course of action to get the road repiared
Mark - 31-Jul-19 @ 8:06 AM
I have worked in a Learning Disabled home since 2011 around the back of the house was a garage that was turned into an office and there are two parking spaces which we have always used as our clients cannot walk that far. We have to gain access to the back by utilising somebody else's driveway. Today I decided to cut the brambles away from the office windows. I didn't ask permission (to be honest I didn't really think about it) it wasn't done as a malicious act just so that we could open the windows. The gentleman who owns the drive now (who has recently purchased his property and has made it quite clear all along that he doesn't want us to park there) has gone absolutely nuts ringing the door bell at the Learning Disabledhome shouting and screaming at staff upsetting the clients and because he did not get a reaction he blocked the driveway and states that he will be doing this till further notice is there anything i can do about this given that our clients are unable to walk far.
paddywack - 22-Jul-19 @ 7:57 PM
I have recently constructed an outbuilding at the back of my garden. I need access to my neighbors garden to finish painting the side of the wall. I also need to replace the boundary fence (which is my responsibility) so i need access to his garden to do this as well. My neighbor has refused to give me access. He is citing that his garden was damaged during the build when the plasterers had access to his garden. This is a false accusation, no trees or plants were damaged by the builders. After asking repeatedly in writing to give me access he has cited the neighborhood act and wants 1500 to give me access for emotional distress. It sounds a lot like blackmail to me.
lee - 16-Jul-19 @ 1:30 PM
There are private flats next door to me, they have 14ft for trees along my driveway.They won't allow their gardeners to cut back the trees ,I payed to get it done and found a boundary fence . The council will put up a fence but they will have to bring my driveway in a bit ,my driveway is narrow as it is . The trees coming through the fence have already damaged my car. The only way to keep my width in driveway is to take down old fence remove all the debris that is between the fence and trees so new fence could go right on boundary line . I am a council tenant and they are not much help very thick branches are bending into my garden they have broken the old fence ,can I cut these from the bottom
Rose - 15-Jul-19 @ 8:44 PM
I live on end terrace and have a garden and garage that is accessed by a small lane which separates my house from a care home type place.I received a letter saying that they were going to put up scaffolding which would close the lane for 12 weeks. This will prevent me from opening my garden gates or garage where I park my cars, being able to take my bins out or more importantly allow access for the removal trucks coming in August when I move home! Do I have any legal right to have them defer the works until I have completed my house sale or to be able to access my own property?
rugbymad - 21-Jun-19 @ 5:11 PM
I live in an end of terraced house with no side access. The current neighbours next door want to sell off the plot to erect a house which would stand a metre away from our side wall which would make it impossible to maintain unless we have access to neighbours land. Is it possible to insist on a right of easement/access to their land for maintenance be formally written into the new property’s deeds?
Wilts - 9-Jun-19 @ 3:49 PM
I live in and terrace house and have done for the last 3 years, we have a leats got a long with our neighbours, but she has previously moved homes. In act of this we now have new neighbours, which will be accessing our property grounds in order to access gas and electric box, which is on a pay as you go metre, so will be accessed more often than usual. My living room window is straight next to their metre & I feel this is a privacy issue, having a stranger stood eye level looking through my window. Is there anything I can do about this? The property is also a private rented property.
SamCross - 22-May-19 @ 6:06 PM
We have a willow tree in our garden. Since we have moved into the house- our neighbours have been problematic- Once they cut our willow tree nearly into half coming 2 feet into our boundary- claiming they were doing overhanging branches only. We have a stone wall separating us which belongs to them Now they are saying that the willow tree is damaging their wall and they expect us to repair the wall. The willow tree trunkis about 2 feet away- there are no obvious roots pushing the wall and they have already cut the tree in half- so there are no overhanging branches. Where do we stand legally. Please advice.
holmes - 21-May-19 @ 10:36 PM
My neighbour's large tree trunk has grown into our side of the garden in the past 45 years by one foot. Although he cut the tree down because it died, he left the 8foot tall trunk standing. He's being very uncooperative and he will not remove the ugly tree trunk. What can we do as it has already knocked down our fence?
George - 19-May-19 @ 4:52 PM
Built a extension in my terrace house all built from my side , when it has come to painting the side that my neighbour looks onto they refuse us access to render and paint. All planning permission passed and no objections but we can’t finish our plans due to neighbor not letting us in there back.
Jessy - 17-May-19 @ 11:22 AM
A party wall on our garden flat is being pushed off it's foundation and into our garden. The wall is a 9 inch solid brick party fence wall and it is the expanding root balls of shrubs that have split the wall off it's foundations by some 9 inches - pushing the wall off line and into our garden. The neighbour has also built a raised patio area next to the party wall at the bottom of our garden and due to this they are invading our privacy by overlooking us - a 2 metre fence would not cure this overlooking and would need to be higher than allowed. The settlement of the raised areas in conjunction with the expanding root balls is what has pushed the wall off it's foundation. The wall is also dangerous as it vibrates when pushed and so is in danger of falling over. Our neighbours in our house (7 flats) say that the party wall is for us to pay as it was agreed by a vote at a shareholder meeting but has not been incorporated into the schedules of the leases nor communicated during the conveyance. Do the schedules of the lease stand and should we insist that the neighbour repairs the wall damaged by her shrubs and raised areas that are built tight up to the party wall when a 50mm expansion joint should have been used between the earth and party wall. The way in which the brick patio is laid right up to the wall is surely evidence of their negligence? Can we claim on their insurance policy for buildings insurance?
Mike - 27-Apr-19 @ 3:28 PM
My neighbour is building another house on land next to ours. They've told us the drains will be blocked for a half day while they do some instalation work for their drain access for the new build. Is this acceptable or can I stop them from temporarily blocking our drains off?
Andy - 23-Apr-19 @ 4:08 PM
I erected a fence at the rear of my property which my neighbours hate. It is 1m high with a latch and a lock to prevent a child accessing the mooring within a meter of my back. They have issued me with a court order demanding that I remove access to their property in the middle of the fence as the deeds back in 1987 indicate the only access to the rear of their property is at the side with the other neighbour. There was no fence at the bottom and access was always available since the property was built. They say this is hearsay. There is an original fence down both sides of my property which shows there has not been access there and that it has always been accessed from the bottom where there is a walkway which my neighbours have to maintain. Can anybody advise please.
LizzyJ - 17-Apr-19 @ 9:16 AM
We own our terraced property and are having our garden landscaped.Access through land at back by neighbour verbally agreed but with work half finished they are demanding £250 to continue access.Only one more day access is needed.They are Council tenants and are refusing to negotiate on price.Are they within rights to act in this manner?
Eddie - 11-Apr-19 @ 12:21 PM
I live in a joint freehold property, I live on the ground floor, my neighbour lives on the frist floor, he has access to the loft which is not to his demised, I would like to put an arile wire through the loftmy arile is in front of the building, the arile wire would go through to the back of the building so that I could watch TV, my neighbour is refusing, I have spoken to my neighbour and his solicitor regarding access, they are refusing, I am worried about the cost, I have spoke mn to his solicitor regarding access to land but continue to refuse
Jacj - 10-Apr-19 @ 12:14 PM
I own a property and the brick wall to the leftof the property is badly damaged /cracked and ready to fall down which is 6 feet high and nearly 40 feet long this wall backs onto a set of 12 council rented garages and if falls down could be very dangerous does the council have the responsibility to repair and rebuild this wall or is it my responsibility to make good the wall which was built on my perimeter when originally built in 1966 thank you
chene - 8-Apr-19 @ 1:54 PM
Hi We moved into a property 4 years ago that had an pre existing extension at the rear of the property that extended beyond the original slope of the roof into the airspace. The roof on this extension has been found to be unfit for purpose as the slope is too flat for the current slate roof to prevent water coming into the property. The roof now needs replaced (fibreglass).We are the top floor of a two story tenement with a commercial property below. They dispute they have any liability for shared costs for the new roof and are quoting 'any extension that serves only one flat' from the Tenement Management Scheme.I am struggling for a clear definition of this. Of course this roof still covers the commercial property so who has liability here? Thanks
St2oH - 30-Mar-19 @ 2:50 PM
My local council gave my neighbour permission to build a business and house across my property without consent I objected said neighbour built his house which was not to which was on the plans but still gave him a full completion which his access for both his house and business .I have had to block part of my access to stop the lorries from driving and causing damage to my property and I've have complained about it to the council which they have said it was mismanagement on there behalf but will not do anything about it what action can I take please help
Eddie - 28-Mar-19 @ 6:08 AM
i live in a private rented property i live in an end terrace house. my neighbour uses there back door so they have to enter my garden to gain access into these witch i do not have a problem with. i have been here over a year now and they have padlocked the double gates so they can not be used but they also have double gates that when they open they come onto my part of the garden but anyway none of that bothers me because they do not use them so because of this i thought i’d get my little girl a play house for her birthday soon as my partner started bringing it into my garden they came outside and started saying we are not allowed to put it up because we are causeonf restriction to there gates even tho there is access as they is 2 single gates aswell as the double gates the problem is they now want to put there car in there back garden witch i don’t understand how this is fair as for them to do this my children can’t play in the back garden or have toys in there or anything anyway before buying the playhouse i did get in touch with my landlord and they gave me permission to do this as long as they was a gate and a pathway to gain access so this is what i have done and all i am getting is grief from them. sorry for the long post i just need advice and needed to cover everything for people to understand my problem. thank you
B - 23-Mar-19 @ 9:35 PM
What form would I need to get a court order under the 1992 access to neighbours land to carry out repairs to my property.
Dave - 19-Mar-19 @ 11:46 PM
Hi How do I stand on replacing my facia on the side of the house my neighbours will be difficult before I even ask as they wouldn’t let me when I had an extension . But during this week with the high winds came home today to find half had blown off so this needs replacing ASAP
Nev - 14-Mar-19 @ 6:32 PM
Hi I was wondering what my rights are with regards to a new development that is due to start soon. I am a council tenant and some garages next to me want to be demolished so they can correct affordable housing. The problem is they want to put 1.8metres of scaffolding in my garden for the duration of the demolishion and build. I have refused this as it will be during the summer months when I will be using my garden. Not only that I suffer with anxiety and the thought of this is unsettling. Please can you advise me where I stand
Jsygirl - 13-Mar-19 @ 6:34 PM
Further to previous posting: Although you don't have to ask permission (especially now re-previous posting) to go onto a neighbour's land to maintain your own property it is still a courtesy to do so and if a refusal then they have breached the 2014 amended Anti-Social Behaviour Act, so then inform the police of their ant-social behaviour and your intention in respect of the 1992 Access to Neighboring Land Act to allow you to maintain your own adjacent property.
Me2legal - 28-Feb-19 @ 8:51 AM
What is now supportive of the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 is the amended Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2014 regarding Crime/Policing, etc. In effect this does give more power to the police but also improves or should improve neighbourly behaviour, so for a refusal by an adjacent neighbour to go onto their land to maintain your own property would be Anti-Social and in breach of the amended ASB Act 2014.
Me2legal - 25-Feb-19 @ 8:32 AM
We have a property that was originally a Gentleman's Villa converted to separate units in the 1950s.Several of us have odd little courtyards with Party Walls in abundance.All the Title deeds give permission to access for repair and maintenance etc which is what you would expect.However, a neighbour is insisting he has the right to come through our property in order to access his roof; the part of the roof he needs to get to does not share a boundary with us, it would simply be easier for him to get access from our property instead of getting access where it is needed.Do I still have to grant access?
Somewhat Confused - 19-Feb-19 @ 7:52 AM
I live in a litttle hamlet on an unadopted road with just one way in or out.My neighbour owns the land in front my cottage which incidentally is about 400 years old, I have lived here for 35 and a 1/2 years.What rights do I have on parking outside my own door and can I stop other people from doing so.
netty - 30-Jan-19 @ 2:52 PM
Our neighbour has put in for planning permission to split their garden to build a house. To maximise the available plot to conform with the minimum size they want to build to 2 metres on a boundary one side and right up to our boundary wall. We will not be able to carry out maintenance to preserve our 60 year old war. It will also make it difficult to reach all of our garage wall. Our local planning office has told us they are not interested and will not turn down the application, or make a direction to move the build away from our wall. How can this be legal ?
BlueMoon - 21-Dec-18 @ 8:27 PM
We have a shared drive with our neighbour and recently the drivr started to collect water on our side vety close to this. So to resolve this problem my husband attempted to create a soakaway using a creat however relised that this would be less then 5 meteres from both prperties so we stopped and filled it back in it was only filled in temp with soil and stones we relised it wasnt adequte so we got a qute from a civil engineer to repair it properly however our neighbour is now being obstructive and will not let us acces there side of the drive to enable us to correct the situation relise that it was a mistske we made initally but we cant leave it as it is and all we want to do is make it right can anyone help
Mm - 17-Nov-18 @ 3:22 PM
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