Neighbour so difficult we now can’t Holiday let?

Neighbour so difficult we now can’t Holiday let?

11:07 AM, 8th February 2022, About 4 months ago 7

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We bought and renovated a little house many years ago that was on its knees. It is grade listed. Our plan was to eventually live in it but to have it as a holiday let for a number of years.

We have had an issue with our neighbours for some time. They have bullied everyone in the hamlet at some point and befriended us only to get us to sign for a piece of land by adverse possession, and at that time they were supposed to sign an easement for our sewage pipe that has been laid across their land with their permission.

For no reason at all, as soon as he got what he wanted, he refused to give us easement even though he had instructed the solicitors to do so (he just then refused to sign it).

He likes to control everything. He dug out from our borders so that his land is a lot lower meaning we needed a retaining wall to make it safe and insisted that he wanted to put a fence and steels up rather than let us do it. We paid for them.

My partner was afraid of upsetting him. We wanted to rent out our property, but couldn’t because it was unsafe.

He kept refusing to do it, and we lost over a year’s earnings. He then finally did build it cutting half of the back of our tree and taking land that had been part of the cottage (but may have been unregistered land) whilst we were in lockdown.

The problem is it was land that neither of us owned, but he also took some of our own land right across the back of our property, but apparently if it is a metre long we can’t do anything.

We plan to get a surveyor, but that could cause problems as then we would have a dispute on our hands and an unsellable property.

He has been screaming at my partner that he is going to cut off our sewage pipe, for no reason, we haven’t complained about anything at all because we want to now sell and get out of there (we now live in the property) but we can’t because of the lack of easement.

This is apparently how he operates, intimidating everyone, but we want to be cleverer than that and try and keep our cool. Our building is grade listed, and he has built an absolutely massive barn but is manufacturing in there when it is supposed to be a hay barn.

The building seems massive and probably way bigger than plans state, but how do we know and is there anything we can do about it?

All we are thinking of is leverage for him to give us easement, so we can move forward and move away!

Many thanks

Noela



Comments

by John Mac

12:10 PM, 8th February 2022, About 4 months ago

You can check out planning applications on your local council website. You can then, maybe, see if what they built conforms to what the planning was granted for.

by LordOf TheManor

12:11 PM, 8th February 2022, About 4 months ago

Hi Noela
First and foremost, check with the planning portal of your local council to see what permissions were granted with the neighbours' barn and whether the barn has been signed off by building control. Should be easy to find this online, including plans and maps of the build site, as well as the application for it.
Good luck with it all.

Lord

by NEIL T

13:09 PM, 8th February 2022, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by LordOf TheManor at 08/02/2022 - 12:11
I've never been able to find where development has been 'signed off by building control. Can you be more specific on how to do this, please?

by JB

14:37 PM, 8th February 2022, About 4 months ago

If you have a dispute with your neighbour you will have to put this on sales documents - so beware

by FTL

10:21 AM, 9th February 2022, About 4 months ago

Are there covenant documents for the cottage? Are easements mentioned?
If you have a flat you can refer to to the First Tier Property Tribunal and a judge will sign what your opponent will not sign ; if you are successful. Do you have recourse to something similar? A property litigation solicitor may help.

by Sue Twyford

12:23 PM, 9th February 2022, About 4 months ago

This is a very unpleasant and intimidating situation for you Noela. As John Mac and Lord of M suggest, check out the planning consents for the barn including its permitted usage and whether your neighbour is contravening that consent and has permission to use as commercial premises, then take that up with the council. As JB states, be cautious about disputes; although it sounds like you are already in that space. You mentioned he had "lowered" his land: you had a legal "right of support" as you mentioned his act created danger of collapse as a result of his excavation - thus his responsibility to provide (and pay for) that support, but you ended up paying !

It's not clear whether he instructed his own solicitors or yours regarding providing the easement, but a verbal instruction is considered binding so perhaps you can get assistance from that solicitor who is also a witness to that instruction. These links might help but I guess you really need to talk to your solicitor about resolving the easement. Good luck!
https://www.farleys.com/verbal-agreements-legally-binding/#:~:text=Clients%20will%20often%20presume%20that,verbal%20agreements%20are%20legally%20binding.&text=Sometimes%20a%20verbal%20agreement%20is,reason%2C%20this%20has%20not%20happened.
Easements http://www.boundary-problems.co.uk/boundary-problems/easements.html#:~:text=An%20easement%20is%20a%20right,known%20as%20the%20servient%20tenement).

by Ian Narbeth

11:46 AM, 14th February 2022, About 3 months ago

"They ... befriended us only to get us to sign for a piece of land by adverse possession, and at that time they were supposed to sign an easement for our sewage pipe that has been laid across their land with their permission."
Did you employ a solicitor to "sign for" the adverse possession? If you did then ask why the solicitors did not ensure the easement was granted. If you did not take legal advice, how were you intending to approve the drafting of the easement?
Depending on how long the sewage pipe has been there you may already have an easement by prescription. If you have then you may wish to instruct a solicitor to write to the nasty neighbour pointing this out and informing them that you will take action if he threatens to cut off your sewage pipe.
I am afraid it appears that you already have a dispute that will need to be disclosed on any sale. You will have to spend some money to get proper advice but you are losing money as it is.
Your neighbour is a bully. Sometimes what is needed is to stand up to bullies and they back down. That may bring an end to the dispute.


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