Phil Bagley of Lyons Davidson’s Property Litigation team in Leeds recently dealt with a hotly contested neighbours dispute that reached trial.
This neighbours dispute claim related to an interpretation of a right to “enter into and upon” the adjoining neighbour’s land “for the purpose of inspecting, repairing and maintaining” our clients’ home.
Our clients needed access to the adjoining land for no longer than a day to erect scaffolding to replace a high-level window. The scaffolding meant that the neighbours would be prevented from getting into their garage with a vehicle that day, so they objected to it.
The barrister for the neighbours sought to argue that the right to enter the land to carry out repairs did not extend to blocking vehicle access and, for our clients to be able to do so, it would have to be expressly stated. Our barrister argued that our clients were entitled to take whatever reasonable steps were necessary to repair and maintain their property and if it meant erecting scaffolding for a period of time, then that was allowed.
The judge found squarely in our favour: our clients were therefore permitted to erect the scaffolding because it was reasonably required to carry out the maintenance work. If that blocked their vehicle’s access for a period, then that was unavoidable.
The neighbours had to pay our costs and their own solicitors’ costs, which totalled about £55,000. They could have quite easily allowed the scaffolding to be erected and suffered the inconvenience for one day, but chose not to do so. Permission to appeal the decision was also refused by the judge.
If you would like more information about any of the issues raised in this article or would like advice on a neighbours dispute you are involved in, please contact Phil Bagley by emailing [email protected] or calling 0113 368 7818.