Right of Access with a bolt on the gate
Here is the situation. My wife andI moved into our new property about a year ago into a mid terrace. In the back garden there is gates on either side, both of which are locked with padlocks.
We checked the deeds and with our solicitor and discovered we had right of access through both gates. Since the house on our left is the end, we asked the owners (a pair of pensioners) about this access. They claimed we had no access and had never had access. They also claimed that they had a peice of paper proving this. Politely I asked to see it, but they declined to show me.
I asked for a key for the padlock, but was refused. In the end, for the sake of cordiality, we left it at that. But yesterday, my wife took my keys to work with her, meaning I had to leave the front door open when I went to work. When I'd tried to go out the back way, the padlockd gates stoppd me, and neither neighbour answered the door so I couldn't ask them to unlock it.
That evening, I once again bit the bullet and visited the pensioners on the left, exlaining what had happened that morning, adding that if I'd been in possession of a padlock key, I could have left our front door locked. I once again asked for a spare key and was again refused.
I stated the legal standpoint of right of access, but they disagreed, once more citing a piece of paper which proved we had no access into their back garden. I asked to see it and they refused. I asked them whether they would remove the padlock, they said no.
So here is what I'm thinking. I am going to boltcutter their padlock off, replace it with our own padlock and post a spare key for it through their letterbox. I feel I have been more than fair with them, but enough is enough.
What do you think?