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Property law - can anyone help with satellite dishes and trespass?


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In a nutshell I object to the placing of a neighbours satellite dish overhanging my drive. The dish is attached to my neighbours side wall, which forms the boundary between our properties but totally overhangs our drive adjacent to the neighbours wall.

 

The biggest bones of contention are the tendancy for birds to sit on the dish and crap on our car/drive and often finding workmen on my drive maintaining the dish/cables with absolutely no notice or warning.

 

My neighbour insists we do not have a right to ask him to move the dish. His view is that he has a legal right to place ancillary structures on his wall and similarly has a right to access my drive to access his 'ancillary structures'.

 

Does this sound correct? Is there really nothing I can do to get the dish moved?

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It sounds completely wrong. It is both a trespass and a nuisance and you could sue him in either action or sue him in both as alternatives.

 

I don't know why he thinks that he can enter your property. He must be barking mad.

 

The only possible legitimate basis might be if you have covenants written into your title deeds which grant the other certain rights.

 

You probably need to check this up – but it is probably very unlikely. How old are the properties?

 

On the basis that he doesn't have any rights granted to him in your title deeds then you have the right to carefully – without any damage – to remove the satellite dish and to return it to him.

 

Presumably it was erected by him or by somebody working for him by them entering onto your property. Is this correct? When did this happen? Did you permit it?

 

Is there a possibility that the satellite was already there when you moved in? That might complicate matters and it would probably end your chances of suing in nuisance – but not in trespass.

 

Tell us a bit about the history of the satellite dish.

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You need to check where the property boundry lines are as well

 

I was once in a property that had equal rites to the drive for off street parking

 

Have you asked him to put on the dish those anti pigeon spikes as a compromise??

 

The last thing you need to to be falling out with a neighbour but not telling you of workman or advance notice is unacceptable

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Thanks for the response. Here's a brief history:

 

- dish installed in 2008 without my consent (I asked my neighbours to remove it as soon as I saw it)

- neighbours refused to remove it.

- asked again several times but still no action taken

- 2012 - new neighbours move in and sky man comes to maintain dish. I ask him to leave my property and speak to new neighbours again asking them to remove the dish making it clear they do not have our consent to it being there and I will not consent to access to maintain it.

- new neighbours get very upset by this but do not remove dish

- last week (while we were out) sky man uses our drive to install neighbours new dish and cables.

- I return home to find cable cover on my drive where work has been carried out.

- I complain again to neighbour and ask him to remove the dish.

 

The properties are around 30 years old. I am looking at the title deeds and they do talk about easements etc and rights over and under the adjoining plot of draining overhanging and or building beneath in respect of eaves gutters rain water pipes and foundations of the property which overhang or extend beyond and the footings and ancillary structures (if any) of the buildings which extend beyond the boundary of the property.

 

Not sure what all that means in plain english though :-)

 

I am trying to be a considerate neighbour and don't seek conflict, I have given them ample time to find an alternative location for their dish. But I feel like they are taking the mickey now and would like this resolved once and for all.

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In my opinion, and only mine

 

If there has been a dish on your neighbours wall since 2008 you are going to find this difficult. Custom and practice has allowed the dish to be present without any official objections for getting close to 8 years

 

The dish position must face south

 

Do you have cable in your area, that might be a reasonable settlement over a dish?

 

I would go with asking your neighbour to fit anti pigeon spikes as a reasonable settlement before this gets heated

 

But thats is me and you must decide the expenditure of energy, future relationship with the neighbour, and possible cost of persuing this further

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And to follow up on obiter dictum's query, the boundary is my neighbours side wall. He has no claim to my driveway directly adjacent to his wall (the boundary).

 

I'm not prepared to go for the pigeon spikes - if he had been more amenable I would consider it.

 

I really don't want to fall out - but my neighbour insists he is entitled to put whatever he wants on his wall and does not need our consent to access our drive, I want to firmly put this right now.

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This question seems to have been asked quite a lot.. here are some replies.

 

https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101201035555AAwYOJ4

 

One response seems to be ... .if the dish dropped off the wall, what damage could it do ?

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Crazy idea, but you could build a lead box big enough to contain the dish, put it on a pole anchored to your drive and completely blank his reception without even touching the dish.

Evil, I know 😁

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Thanks for the response. Here's a brief history:

 

- dish installed in 2008 without my consent (I asked my neighbours to remove it as soon as I saw it)

- neighbours refused to remove it.

- asked again several times but still no action taken

- 2012 - new neighbours move in and sky man comes to maintain dish. I ask him to leave my property and speak to new neighbours again asking them to remove the dish making it clear they do not have our consent to it being there and I will not consent to access to maintain it.

- new neighbours get very upset by this but do not remove dish

- last week (while we were out) sky man uses our drive to install neighbours new dish and cables.

- I return home to find cable cover on my drive where work has been carried out.

- I complain again to neighbour and ask him to remove the dish.

 

The properties are around 30 years old. I am looking at the title deeds and they do talk about easements etc and rights over and under the adjoining plot of draining overhanging and or building beneath in respect of eaves gutters rain water pipes and foundations of the property which overhang or extend beyond and the footings and ancillary structures (if any) of the buildings which extend beyond the boundary of the property.

 

Not sure what all that means in plain english though :-)

 

I am trying to be a considerate neighbour and don't seek conflict, I have given them ample time to find an alternative location for their dish. But I feel like they are taking the mickey now and would like this resolved once and for all.

 

Any chance you can post a shortened version of the title deeds, as the wording in them is key to resolving your issue.

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Any chance you can post a shortened version of the title deeds, as the wording in them is key to resolving your issue.

 

Thanks renegade imp here is the detail

 

Schedule 1: easements in favour of the transferees [presumably that's us as the purchaser]

Full right and Liberty for the Transferees and all persons authorised by them the owner or owners and occupiers for the time being of the Property to connect with and to use for the free and uninterrupted passage and running of water and soil gas and electricity from and to the said adjoining land all services now laid or within the perpetuity period to be laid in under or upon the said adjoining land.

 

All rights over and under the adjoining plot forming part of the Estate of drainage overhanging and/or building beneath in respect of eaves gutters rain water pipes and foundations (if any) of the Property which overhang or extend beyond the footings and ancillary structures (if any) of the buildings which extend beyond the boundaries of the Property

 

Such rights as may be reasonably necessary of entry after reasonable notice upon adjoining land forming part of the Estate for the purpose of decorating repairing and maintaining the services serving the property and the buildings or walls erected on the Property and the gutters and eaves of any other parts thereof the person or persons excercising such rights doing as little damage as possible to such adjoining land and making good forthwith all such damage.

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This question seems to have been asked quite a lot.. here are some replies.

 

https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101201035555AAwYOJ4

 

One response seems to be ... .if the dish dropped off the wall, what damage could it do ?

 

Thanks. I took a look. It's a good point, if the dish fell off it would fall on my car or possibly on someone's head. Not sure that will have any impact on my neighbour though.

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purchasing a property usually ask questions i.e. are there any disputes between neighbours on the form issued listing all aspects of the property???

 

Funnily enough the neighbours who installed the dish did not disclose the dispute in the paperwork. The buyers (my current neighbours) were unaware of it.

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That will come under forseeability or Force majeure i would think if the dish fell down and caused an injury or loss due to your neighbour

 

If the dish has just been replaced by a Sky engineer any future liability has now shifted away from your neighbour

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That will come under forseeability or Force majeure i would think if the dish fell down and caused an injury or loss due to your neighbour

 

If the dish has just been replaced by a Sky engineer any future liability has now shifted away from your neighbour

 

Could you expand on that as I'm not quite clear on the consequences? So whose liability would it be if not my neighbour's? Thanks for the advice.

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Liability shifts onto the Sky engineer as he has been designated as a fit and capable person to install dishes so they do not fall down. Any future claim if an incident did occur will be with Sky and your own house insurance, not the neighbour under forseeability of harm

 

So for the court to impose a duty of care on your neighbour will be unreasonable

 

Your buildings insurance policy will then sort it out with Sky to claim any redress

Edited by obiter dictum
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Liability shifts onto the Sky engineer as he has been designated as a fit and capable person to install dishes so they do not fall down. Any future claim if an incident did occur will be with Sky and your own house insurance, not the neighbour under forseeability

 

Ok thanks. The dish looks pretty solid unfortunately - I half wish it would fall down (not causing injury obviously...) as that would go some way to resolving part of the problem.

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In my opinion, and only mine

 

If there has been a dish on your neighbours wall since 2008 you are going to find this difficult. Custom and practice has allowed the dish to be present without any official objections for getting close to 8 years

 

 

 

This is wrong

 

That will come under forseeability or Force majeure i would think if the dish fell down and caused an injury or loss due to your neighbour

 

If the dish has just been replaced by a Sky engineer any future liability has now shifted away from your neighbour

 

Sorry but this is also quite wrong. In fact I can't imagine where you get this kind of stuff from.

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You have complicated this enormously by not taking action right at the beginning in 2008.

You have three years to begin any legal action in respect of a tort such as nuisance or trespass. You have certainly lost the right to bring an action for nuisance and you may have lost the right to bring an action for trespass – except that there is now a new dish up there, installed quite recently, and I think that there is a good chance that this will renew your limitation period in trespass.

 

Another thing you should realise is that if you continue to suffer this for 12 years, then after that period, in law you will have lost all right to do anything about it to the extent even that your neighbour will acquire rights over your property and will even be able to register them alongside their own land rights and then sell them on to future owners. This is a quaint piece of English law which is called – adverse possession. Basically, it means that if you don't use your rights and protect them, then eventually you will lose them in favour of somebody else who will.

 

What I'm not quite sure of is whether the 12 years adverse possession has to begin again with your new neighbour. I think that this may be possible.

 

You have lost the right to bring any action in nuisance in about 2011. I expect that you do have the right now to bring an action for a fresh trespass. I suspect also that you have a right to bring an action for trespass any time some repair person or installer trespasses on your property.

 

You say that your neighbour considers that the satellite dish is an ancillary structure. I think that this is unlikely – but it is an important point now that you have left it all so long – and I think that you probably need to take legal advice on this from a solicitor. I hope that you can start to understand that your delay is just causing problems for yourself and everyone else and also expense. You are at risk of ending up with an encumbrance over your property which will hurt the possibility of any future sale and sale price. Also, your dispute with your original neighbour which could have been sorted out and forgotten years ago has now been transferred to your new neighbour. If it had been sorted out when it first reared its head, you would have had now a new neighbour with whom you could look forward to many years of good relations.

 

You say that you are in dispute about this with your old neighbour. Was this conducted in writing or simply by word-of-mouth over the garden fence? If there is a file of writing about this then it is absolutely correct that the neighbour should have disclosed it and that your new neighbour should know all about it. On the other hand, if this is merely being conducted really by word-of-mouth then I can imagine the position would be that they had never been any formal dispute.

 

I think that you have a very high chance of success – but first of all you need to doublecheck whether a satellite dish could be an ancillary structure. At the same time, if it turns out that it is an ancillary structure, you then need to ascertain whether that gives rights to your neighbour to have it maintained by servicemen entering onto your property.

 

If the answer is – no, repairers are not entitled to go to your property, and no, it is not an ancillary structure then I think you need to start taking immediate action.

 

I think you need to start laying it all down formally and I think you then need to threaten a legal action for trespass. This action would be started in the County Court as a small claim. You could do it yourself quite easily if you are properly prepared.

 

Are they not able to mount the satellite dish upon their own roof so that it doesn't overhang your property? I'm sure that something like this must be possible. Do they have chimneys? It may simply be a question of expense. Seeing that you want to be such a reasonable neighbour, maybe you could investigate this privately and come up with a solution to which you are prepared to make a contribution.

 

I know that you have been very reasonable neighbour – but on the other hand I think that your failure to deal with this and your rather over relaxed attitude has not been helpful and so maybe if you are prepared to try and work with your neighbour to solve it by moving the satellite to a higher point on the roof of their house and maybe make a financial contribution, this could bring an end to the matter and also be an investment in good relations in future.

 

I think also that if you can show a paper trail which demonstrates how hard you try to work this out, this would stand you in good stead in court – especially with a judge who is unlikely to be happy at your delay in dealing with the matter.

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Incidentally, even if you have lost the right to bring an action for trespass, because you are still within your 12 years then I think that you would still have a right to implement a self-help solution, which is to simply remove the dish and return it to the owner.

 

It would then be up to the owner to try and reinstall it and of course, that would then begin a new three-year period trespass.

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