Can our neighbour build a wall through the middle of our shared drive?

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Question: We share a driveway with our neighbour who is being very inconsiderate. He claims the middle of the shared driveway is the boundary line between our two houses, and therefore he can build a small wall there. Does he have a right to do this?

Answer: Check your title deeds and those of your neighbour to establish the boundaries of your property and how the driveway is owned. You could each own half of it, or one of you could own the whole of it. Either way, as the driveway is shared you will each have been granted certain rights of access over it.

There are also likely to be covenants restricting and regulating how the driveway may be used — i.e. prohibiting either of you blocking or obstructing it by parking vehicles on it, or expressly prohibiting the construction of any walls or fences on it.

In any event, the erection of a wall down the middle may make it too narrow for vehicles to pass freely along it, in which case the wall could amount to an obstruction and would consequently be a breach of covenant.

However, if the middle of the driveway is a boundary line and you have no right of access over the neighbour’s side, and the wall would not hinder your access over your side, then on the face of it there is nothing to stop your neighbour building a small wall.

These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE.

We regret that questions cannot be answered individually, but we will try to feature them here. Fiona McNulty is a solicitor specialising in residential property.

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