Access to neighbours property to carry out works on ones own house

Access to neighbours property to carry out works on ones own house

Postby Frank Taylor » Sun Nov 26, 2006 1:02 am

I have a mate who bought a house with an extension that requires rendering on the side facing the neighbours property. This was flagged as a small but necessary job by the surveyor before they bought. The wall they need to render is only a few inches inside their own boundary, so they need to get into the neighbours' garden to carry out the work. When they asked the neighbours about this they were met with a flat refusal and an angry warning never to speak to them again. Other people in the area confirmed that the occupants are hermit nutters who can't be spoken to.

Can they really do this?
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Re: Access to neighbours property to carry out works on ones own house

Postby Bren88 » Sun Nov 26, 2006 5:04 pm

Are the neighbours the only ones who will see the wall?
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Re: Access to neighbours property to carry out works on ones own house

Postby Frank Taylor » Sun Nov 26, 2006 7:38 pm

The wall can be seen by the neighbours and several other houses due to the arc of the road and very narrow gardens with low fences. It cannot be seen by the owners of the house with the extension.
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Re: Access to neighbours property to carry out works on ones own house

Postby alonso » Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:18 pm

yeh i'd say they've every right to do this. After all, it's their land. Pretty bloody pathetic but what can you do... it's a legal matter, outside the realms of planning, so i'd call in a solicitor if i was them just for advice
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Re: Access to neighbours property to carry out works on ones own house

Postby PVC King » Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:51 pm

Check the deeds to your property and the deeds of theirs and look out for the phrase along the lines 'right to pass / access with tradesmen / workmen during daylight hours'

It would have been an error on the part of your predecessors legal advisors should such a clause not have been included.

I conversely was at the opposite end of this when I permitted a new neighbour knock a party wall and re-render his gable from the garden; the agreed 2 weeks stretched to 17 weeks and getting the residual gear and loose render off the property not to mention loosing a rendered finish which was painted to a view of unfinished cavity blocks this caused very bad feeling as the footdragger considered himself to be the victim of the piece as he whinged like someone making a speech in the dock.

My advice would be check out the legals; if that fails have a detailed specification drawn up by an architect or building surveyor and make sure you list exactly the extent and duration of the access required and ask what finishes the neighbour would like reinstated when you are finished.
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Re: Access to neighbours property to carry out works on ones own house

Postby Frank Taylor » Mon Nov 27, 2006 1:41 am

Thanks for the advice. Negotiation would work in 99% of cases but you can't negotiate with the insane.
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Re: Access to neighbours property to carry out works on ones own house

Postby KerryBog2 » Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:23 pm

Frank Taylor wrote:Thanks for the advice. Negotiation would work in 99% of cases but you can't negotiate with the insane.

You have my sympathy! I went through this in my Dublin home also, about 2001/2 when I needed to render a gable wall and replace some gutters. The legal position at that time was that in the absence of an agreement in your deeds you had no right onto a neighbour's property, even to carry out necessary repairs. A trip to court would have been necessary, and our SC's opinion was highly confident that we would have won. But who wants a day in the High Court? Instead, we took out the windows out and cantilevered a scaffold to replace the gutter. Eventually we were able to obtain access without going to court and re-rendered the wall.
Since then I believe that the law has changed and reasonable access is now allowed for necessary repairs. It was at the Bill stage a couple of years ago as part of a series of changes being introduced in property law, so it should be passed by now. Incidentally, my gable abutted the garden of the adjoining property which was let, the tenants were willing to allow access but the owner was the problem. I do not want to upset the Mod by naming him, but he is a well-known failed and ressurected property developer in South County Dublin.
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Re: Access to neighbours property to carry out works on ones own house

Postby KerryBog2 » Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:00 pm

KerryBog2 wrote:Since then I believe that the law has changed


Unfortunately the legal issues have not yet been finalised. They are in the process of repeal, and are covered in the “Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill 2006” which has just completed (23/11) round one in the Seanad. See Chapter 3 Section 41 - 45. at http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2006/3106/b31b06s.pdf
An early stage preamble states:
Party walls and boundaries
Disputes occasionally arise between neighbouring land owners in relation to party walls or other structures dividing their properties. Problems may also arise where buildings are so close to a boundary wall between the properties that the only means of access is through the neighbouring property. Part 7 of the Bill contains a set of new provisions designed to regulate the rights of the neighbouring owners. Where agreement is not possible, a building owner may seek a 'works order' from the District Court to authorise the carrying out of specified works.

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