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Misled about neighbours right of access

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1099 views 1 replies latest reply: 07 October 2015

I moved into an end of terrace house a week ago with my 5 year old and our puppy. Before moving in, I was told that my neighbours had emergency access through my garden, and were allowed to take their bins out once a week through it. I was a bit miffed but came to the conclusion that it was ok as it was once a week, at a set time of the day. 

Before moving in, my neighbours complained to the owner of the property about me having a dog, as she is frightened of them (turns out she actually has a dog, but their dog doesn’t like other dogs)

Two days after moving in I get a rude note pushed through the door scolding me for letting my dog out into the garden. 

These led to me wanting to let them know that what happens in my garden is of my interest only. It comes out amongst this that they (say they do, I am looking into seeing what the deeds state) have free access across my garden any time they see fit, and they literally use it for everything, shopping etc. 

it’s not one that runs along the back or side of my garden, it runs through the middle, past my back door and kitchen window right at the main/front part of my rear garden. 

Not only does this obliterate any sense of privacy (their access hate is also see through) but it’s unsafe for my daughter and puppy to be outside at anytime as if gates are left open, there’s a busy road right on the other side. These gates are being opened several times a day, at unpredictable times and it’s really ruining our experience with this house. 

They are not friendly neighbours, in fact they are the kind that think they own the street, and everyone in it. 

I simply can’t risk the safety of my child to have strangers coming and going through our garden at all times of day, with gates being opened randomly and what I see as an abuse of a right of passage (out of courtesy and politeness rather than law) 

As this was not divulged to me upon taking the tenency, and is in no contact I’ve signed, what rights do I have to end the tenancy based on misrepresentation? 

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Hi Vicky

What do you have in writing in terms of the access to the garden? If your tenancy states that the garden is shared or that the neighbours have a right of access then you might struggle to establish any misrepresentation. However, if it states that it’s private to you/that the neighbours only have access in an emergency you might be ok.

I’m not a lawyer so I’m not sure how misrepresentation would apply to a tenancy – it might be worth speaking to someone at a law centre or Citizens Advice to get an opinion. I would imagine you would need to prove you were misled and that was material to you entering into the contract. If the neighbours are overstepping their access rights then I think they would be trespassing – even if they believe they own the street (I’ve come across people like that before – very irritating) that might stop them in their tracks.

If you can’t use this, do you have a break clause you could activate that would release you sooner rather than later from the tenancy? (at least before the weather warms up again). You could also ask the landlord to surrender the tenancy voluntarily – they will often agree to this as long as you give them time to find another tenant.

Hope that helps.


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