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Guest Liswi85

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Guest Liswi85

Hi, we live in an apartment, bought from our landlord a few years ago. Our kitchen, living space has french patio doors to a small decked platform 6-7feet high above and stairs that exit into our neighbours land. 
during lockdown we power washed and painted the deck and steps as it was unfit to walk on. We don’t use the deck usually but during lockdown our toddler played out a few times. It is our only means of escape downstairs and our deeds show it was some rickety old steps out to the yard before 2011. It also shows we have a joint right of way down this yard back up to the front which has been blocked and stone stairs completely removed. So in the event of a fire we have to try climb through bracken and brambles down a massive drop after we get into the yard. 

Our neighbour has suddenly taken offence at the painting and cleaning of the deck and steps and asked us to either alter it (to what we don’t know) or remove it completely or give her ownership of it all as she believes that a verbal agreement (which she agreed to in writing previously) Isn’t good enough as she now wants it changing. She’s bought the yard and house off the old owner and is annoyed about this verbal agreement now...was ok with it when it wasn’t painted like I say. 
Just some sensible fire regs advice please as I’m asking for legal advice too. 
I can attach deeds, photos of needed? 
thank you. 


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If your desired access across adjoining land is not protected in deeds, easement or license then you are in trouble, I had a commercial client where an informal access arrangement was revoked on change of ownership of the adjoining property and it caused all sorts of issues as it remove their alternate escape route - however the resulting fire safety compliance issues were solely those of the client.

There are some precedents for informal arrangements being protected if they have existed long enough, but this is definitely an area where you need the advice of a good property lawyer.

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