Question: Recently I bought a leasehold first-floor maisonette. The front garden of the building is included in my lease. The other two maisonettes have gardens at the rear and a right of way that crosses my garden. The three dustbins are all placed in my garden. The rubbish has recently got out of hand and animals have broken the black sacks and refuse, including disposable nappies, has been strewn everywhere. When I mention it to the other occupiers, I receive abuse and the landlord’s agents have done nothing.
Answer: You need to check the contents of the leases of the other two maisonettes, which you or your solicitor should be able to obtain from the Land Registry. If they do not contain the necessary rights, the occupiers of the other flats are not entitled to store their rubbish bins on your garden and by doing so they would be committing a trespass, which you could stop by court action.
Additionally, your lease may enable you to force your landlord to take action against the other lessees to stop them causing you nuisance or annoyance, although you may have to reimburse the landlord for the costs incurred. Court action is expensive and, initially, you should try to resolve matters without litigation.
The environmental health department at the Council may take action to force the other occupiers to clear up the refuse, which could otherwise attract vermin.
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Fiona is a partner in the property team at Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons Solicitors www.ttuk.com.