Brady Solicitors property law experts discuss your rights under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992.

Generally speaking, when a home-owner wants to carry out work on their property but needs access to a neighbouring property, it’s a simple case of informing the neighbour of the work to be carried out and asking their permission. The home-owner requiring access may have the benefit of a right to do so as stated in the deed to their property; this is known as an easement.

Relationships between neighbours can become strained which may leave the property owner unable to retain permission or a right to access the neighbouring land. In such situations the property owner seeking to gain access can consider the Access to Neighbouring Land Act.

Your rights under the Act

Firstly an application to the Court must be made.  The Court will then review the application and decide whether or not to grant an Access Order.  If you are a property owner considering this route it is important to understand what the Act does and doesn’t cover.

When reviewing an application for Access the Court will consider:

  • Whether the works required are reasonably necessary for the preservation of the whole or any part of the applicant’s property.
  • Whether they can be carried out or would be substantially more difficult to carry out without entry on to the neighbouring land.

Common examples for granting an Access Order are:

  • Clearing or repairing of sewers, drains, cables or pipes.
  • The removal or filling in of a ditch.
  • Felling of a tree, plant or hedge that is likely to pose a danger.

The Court will not generally grant an Access Order if granting access to the neighbouring land would result in:

  • An interference with, or disturbance of the neighbour’s enjoyment of their land
  • The neighbour suffering hardship, and to such a degree that notwithstanding any term or condition that my be imposed with the Access Order, it would be unreasonable to make an Access Order.

Whilst we always reiterate the importance of taking all steps to maintain a good relationship with owners of neighbouring land, sometimes this may not be possible. It is important to ensure you are aware of your rights and, if required, can draw on the necessary legal support to enforce those practical entitlements if and when required.

Talk to Brady Solicitors

For legal advice on any aspect of access to neighbouring land or other title related dispute, please contact us here. Brady Solicitors specialist property team can assist you with your application every step of the way.

A useful guide of the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 has been published by the Government click here to view.