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Your Rights Under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 18 Nov 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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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
We live in a mid terrace house.The neighbour will not allow us access to do a roof repair.We can’t get to our roof as we have a conservatory in the way and can only access the roof from the neighbours property.Despite advising them that the work needs to be done, they refuse us access.What are our rights?
Chookie - 8-Sep-19 @ 1:18 PM
If my neighbours are Tenants, is it they or their Housing Association that can/should give/agree reasonable access to enable me to carry out essential repairs.
Dobbin - 29-Aug-19 @ 3:40 PM
Part of the driveway is cummnal and owned by myself and two other properties. Another house, who have noownership of this communal drive regularly access it to put out their bins on this property via a gate from their garden.I do not want them to access my property. What are my rights and can I deliver them a letter stating it is trespass and refrain from accessing the drive.
Dave - 18-Aug-19 @ 9:45 AM
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
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