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Neighbour in possession of shared space

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  • Neighbour in possession of shared space

    Hello,

    I live in a share of freehold maisonette, with a flat below that also has the garden area attached to it. I moved in 2 years ago after it was converted from a single home. My neighbour moved in a couple months before me, but only became the owner a year ago, as his flat was owned by his brother beforehand.
    The neighbour's garden area runs around the building in a U shape, however both the leasehold and the planning permission indicate that the right side of it is a shared space designated as a bins area and a bicycle storage shed.
    Currently there's a fence panel where the red line is, keeping most of the area as a part of his garden, with a little area that is open in the front.
    As the neighbour calims this is his space and intends to build a shed there. Due to a series of incidents with the neighbour that indicate to me that a good neighbourly relationship isn't a priority for him, I would like to ensure that he doesn't get de-facto ownership of this space. I have already notified him in writing multiple times that he is in possession of communal space and I do not agree to any fixed structures on it.
    I have also notified his solicitor (in writing) of this when the ownership was transferred from his brother to him a year ago and ask for the both of them to be notified.

    Are there any other steps I need to take in order to ensure my rights?

    Thanks in advance!
    Attached Files
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  • #2
    Do you have a screenshot of the leasehold & planning docs where it shows at which point the downstairs flat garden ends and the shared space begins?

    Is the neighbour wanting the build a shed behind the red line or in front of it? ( front being where the parking is I assume?)

    which leaves you with no access to the part designated 'bin zone' ?
    ďWe may not win by protesting, but if we donít protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.Ē Hetty Bower

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    • #3
      The original attached screenshot is from the leasehold. I'm attaching here the planning permission as well. The blue line around the bins zone shows where the lower flat space ends and the communal area begins. The current situation is that there's a fence panel where the thick red line is, so I can't access the bin zone anyway and the neighbour uses it exclusively.
      He would like to build the shed behind the red line, but within the blue area.

      Thanks again!
      Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        So where the gate is, he's made that a fence rather than a gate so you have no access?
        ďWe may not win by protesting, but if we donít protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.Ē Hetty Bower

        Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

        If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

        Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

        Comment


        • #5
          It's a fixed fence, there's a gate on the other side of the building that leads to the garden. I have no access to the designated bins zone without going through the neighbour's private garden.
          Originally I was keeping my bins to the left of the building at the neighbour's request, but took them out and put them in the small area accessible to the right of the building since the gate was broken and it was very hard to get in, and the neighbour dragged his feet fixing it. Ended up having my handyman fix it and moved the bins back. Then I found my neighbour's garden waste in my recycling bin, and he ignored me when I asked him to remove it. So I moved my bins back out and he started bothering me so I'll move them back.

          Comment


          • #6
            Where the communal lobby entrance door is, to the right of that I take it is your walk way to obtain access to the bin area,is it that correct? As you enter the communal lobby entrance as shown on the plan is that another exit door or window to the right? Are you saying that there used to be a gate down that walk way, but your neighbour has now replaced that with a fence and you no longer have access to the COMMUNAL bin area without walking around the other side of the building and going through his garden.

            Comment


            • #7
              If there was a fire in the now blocked off access to the COMMUNAL bin area, would that mean that fire service would no longer have direct access and would have to take their equipment all around the property to gain again access to the fire?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Setmefree3 View Post
                Where the communal lobby entrance door is, to the right of that I take it is your walk way to obtain access to the bin area,is it that correct?
                This is indeed the walk way to the bins area, however it is blocked with a fence panel.
                Originally posted by Setmefree3 View Post
                As you enter the communal lobby entrance as shown on the plan is that another exit door or window to the right?
                There is no exit door to the right from the communal lobby, the opening is a window for light/ventilation.
                Originally posted by Setmefree3 View Post
                Are you saying that there used to be a gate down that walk way, but your neighbour has now replaced that with a fence and you no longer have access to the COMMUNAL bin area without walking around the other side of the building and going through his garden.
                The situation was the same when we moved in 2 months ago. The neighbour claims (and I believe him) that this is the way it was when he moved in, which means that the developer did this not according to the planning permission and leasehold. My guess is that he figured it'll be easier to sell the lower flat if there are no bins next to the master bedroom's window.

                Originally posted by Setmefree3 View Post
                If there was a fire in the now blocked off access to the COMMUNAL bin area, would that mean that fire service would no longer have direct access and would have to take their equipment all around the property to gain again access to the fire?
                This is correct, however there's an ally next to the bin area, so potentially the fire brigade could use it to access.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ok, thanks. Could you approach your neighbour and ask to him remove the fence and reinstate the gate on the basis that you donít want to (trespass) through his private garden to gain access to the bin area? Unless of course heís willing to give you a letter saying that itís fine.

                  you didnít mention an alleyway before, can anyone use it.

                  Could you post up a redacted copy of your leasehold.
                  How does the refuse collection team collect the refuse now that access to the communal bin area is fenced off, do they have to walk it through the alley or walk through your neighbours garden.
                  Last edited by Setmefree3; 11th July 2018, 17:44:PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have already approached the neighbour he claims this is his area because the estate agent told him so, also he's not willing to let me use the bins area as it is near his bedroom. Im using an alternative location that he's unhappy with but does the job for me. What I'm trying to prevent is him having any legal rights over this area because he occupied other for this many years or something of that sort.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you have evidence that the bin area is communal and that the communal bin area also includes your property, then I canít see how he stop you from using it. I can understand from a privacy point of view why he would be upset having people walk past his bedroom window at different times throughout the week being communal bins,but at the end of the day itís access to a communal area.


                      Last edited by Setmefree3; 11th July 2018, 18:08:PM.

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                      • #12
                        I have evidence, and I'm currently putting my bins in another area I'm happy with although the neighbour isn't and is trying to have me put them in a third location.
                        My original question is this: Does the fact that he is solely using this area gives him rights that could prevent me from using that area in the future?

                        Many thanks

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nitch View Post
                          I have evidence, and I'm currently putting my bins in another area I'm happy with although the neighbour isn't and is trying to have me put them in a third location.
                          My original question is this: Does the fact that he is solely using this area gives him rights that could prevent me from using that area in the future?

                          Many thanks
                          if you have your leasehold which states that you have the entitlement to use the communal area, then thatís the answer to your question.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Lovely, many thanks!

                            Comment

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