Right Of Access To Property
Your Rights Under The Access To Neighbouring Land Act 1992
Access disputes can be a stressful time for neighbouring property owners and often require a rapid response. Our right of access lawyers are on hand to assist you, giving expert legal guidance when you need it most.
Shilpa Mathuradas Partner
Our approach to right of access property law
Whether you need access to a neighbour’s property in order to carry out repairs to your own property, or you want to prevent someone from coming onto your land, we can help. Our team specialise in right of access to property law. We can step in and negotiate on your behalf, working towards a neighbourly solution that resolves the issue fast. We work alongside you to find the most practical solution for your needs, to minimise the risk of a dispute escalating to litigation.
Rights under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992
It’s fairly common for a homeowner who wants to repair their property to need access to a neighbouring property. Usually, the neighbour will give their permission and the work will proceed without a hitch. However, if a neighbour flatly refuses to grant permission, there are steps that can be taken to enforce a right of access.
One option is to see if any rights of access are included in your title deeds. These will be the first thing we check. Another option is to apply to the court for an order under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992. If you need to carry out essential repairs to your property and you cannot easily undertake the work without going onto your neighbour’s land, then this Act can give you permission to access.
At Osbornes Law, our lawyers have many years of experience in dealing with residential access disputes. We’ll help you get the access permissions you need, as efficiently and tactfully as possible, while avoiding a pattern of escalating disputes with your neighbour.
For information about any aspect of our property access or neighbour disputes services, call the team.
Shilpa really helped us take charge of the situation and helped resolve this property dispute. I would not hesitate to recommend her or the team to anyone in a similar situation.
On first meeting Shilpa I was sure that she understood immediately my requirements, and was sympathetic both to my financial restraints and my emotional state. She achieved everything I asked of her and proved to be invaluable, professional and efficient
At every step Shilpa alleviated any concerns and stresses we had. Always fast to respond, always professional and super knowledgeable.
Shilpa has helped us through some key property litigation matters (residential and commercial) since 2014 and has delivered on every occasion. One particular issue had kept us in a state of stress and tension for almost a decade and after getting in touch with Shilpa she was able to help us bring the matter to a peaceful and successful conclusion.
I received a call from Shilpa Mathuradas a couple of hours after filling the enquiry form for a callback. She actively listened to my party wall concerns responding with gentle professionalism, answering my concerns, letting me know what is and is not possible and when best to bring in a solicitor. All this within 10 minutes. Excellent.
"They are an outstanding firm to work with. They are consistently impressive in their work."
Excellent in every aspect.
If I had another reason to have to seek legal advice again, I wouldn’t hesitate to use Shilpa, and would recommend her to anybody who needed legal advice.
Shilpa was professional, realistic, and unflappable. Shilpa managed to persuade a reluctant witness to come forward to support my case. She obviously knows her subject very well.
I always had full confidence in Shilpa keeping my best interests at heart. I often didn’t understand the legal language, and she would follow this up with a phone call and patiently explain.
Access to Neighbouring Land Act FAQs
How do I get access onto my neighbour’s land?
The general rule is that you need your neighbour’s permission to go onto their property, but there are exceptions. Very often, you will have rights of access in your title deeds. Where these rights exist, we can explain the legal effect of this to your neighbour and warn that if they continue to refuse you permission, we can apply to the Court to force them to give you access.
If there are no rights of access in your ownership documents, then the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 may help. This Act gives you the right to apply to the court for an Access Order. If a judge grants the order, then the neighbour must grant you access onto their property for a specified purpose.
What kind of work is permitted by an Access Order?
To get an Access Order, you must show the judge that access is needed to:
- Maintain or repair your property
- Clean or repair drains, sewers, pipes or cables
- Fell, cut back or replace a diseased or dangerous tree or plant
- Fill in a ditch
The court can impose strict conditions on the type of work you can do, when you can do them and timescales for completing the work.
You may also be ordered to pay your neighbour compensation.
Can I refuse my neighbour’s request for access to my property?
You do not have to allow your neighbour access onto your property unless he has a legal right of entry. Someone who comes onto your land without your permission is trespassing.
Of course, if a court grants your neighbour an Access Order, then you must comply with it. However, a judge will only grant the order if access onto your land is reasonably necessary, and the work your neighbour is intended to carry out does not cause you hardship or inconvenience in any material way. If you think that your neighbour’s proposals are excessive, then you can defend the application in court.
At Osbornes, we help homeowners who are on the receiving end of a request for permission to access. We can determine whether the request is reasonable, and help you come up with acceptable limits on the work.
Do I have to go to court?
Only the court can grant an Access Order under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992. However, if you need to access your neighbour’s property for a legitimate reason, it is always advisable to try to get your neighbour to play ball in a friendly way first. We will always attempt to resolve the dispute by negotiation or mediation which, more often than not, means you will not have to go to court.
If there is no other solution but to take the case to court, you can rest assured we have the expertise to represent your best interests at all times.
How can Osbornes help with rights of access?
It can be difficult to know what to do when you need access to your neighbour’s land and they refuse to give it to you. Rights of access can vary depending on the legal context, the relationship between the parties involved, and the specific circumstances. For example:
- Property owners typically have the right to access and use their property as they see fit, subject to any legal restrictions or limitations. This right allows them to enter, occupy, and enjoy their property without undue interference unless otherwise specified by law or contractual agreements.
- In some cases, individuals may have a legal right of access to property that they do not own. Easements and servitudes are legal arrangements that grant specific rights of access or use to individuals or entities, even if they are not property owners. Common examples include rights of way, utility easements, or access rights for maintenance or repairs.
- When a person leases or rents a property, they typically have the right of access as outlined in the lease or tenancy agreement. The agreement should specify the terms and conditions regarding access, including the duration of the tenancy, restrictions, and any provisions related to entry by the landlord or property owner.
- There are situations where access to property can be restricted or limited by law. For example, certain areas may be designated as private property, government property, or protected areas where access is restricted for reasons of security, safety, or environmental conservation.
- Disputes over the right of access to the property can arise between property owners, neighbours, tenants, or other parties with an interest in the property. These disputes may involve issues such as encroachments, blocked access, trespassing, or breaches of contractual agreements. In such cases, resolution may require legal intervention through negotiation, mediation, or, if necessary, litigation.
Having specialist legal advice from the outset can greatly improve your chances of a successful outcome. At Osbornes Law, our multi-accredited team has specialist knowledge of Access to Neighbouring Land Act claims. You can be sure that we will provide you with first-class legal support – all backed up by transparent pricing with no hidden costs.
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The Property Litigation Team View the whole team
William Ford Partner
Housing and Social Care
Shilpa Mathuradas Partner
Muna Adam Solicitor
Rory Matheson Solicitor
Housing and Social Care
James Mayall Solicitor
Ellie McEvoy Paralegal
Alex McMahon Senior Associate
Housing and Social Care
Alex Panayi Solicitor
Andra Popoiag Trainee Solicitor
Edward Taylor Senior Associate
Housing and Social Care
Anna Van-Haute Paralegal
Joanne Wong Associate Solicitor
Housing and Social Care