Statutory rights and duties between neighbours

Statutory rights and duties between neighbours concern conflicts between neighbours. These conflicts between neighbours can concern, among other things, trees, shrubs and the use of each other's ground. A separate title has been included in the Civil Code which regulates the mutual obligations and entitlements of the owners of neighbouring plots known as the statutory rights and duties between neighbours. For example, the statutory rights and duties between neighbours contain rules with regard to nuisance, water drainage, planting, windowsills and balconies, building over someone else’s property, the right to put a ladder on a neighbour's property for the purpose of repairing a building and access roads on another person's land. In practice these rules governing the statutory rights and duties between neighbours can be derogated from. It is preferable to record this derogation in writing so that it’s not possible for discussion to arise about this in the future.

Boundary partition

Furthermore, disputes between neighbours regularly involve the plot boundary and accompanying boundary partitions. The boundary partition is the partition of two parcels of ground and this can be emphasised by, for example, placing a hedge, a gate, a fence or a row of trees. The boundary partition can change if an owner has owned a piece of ground for twenty years, for example by including it in the personal parcel through a boundary partition. The original owner can then no longer demand the removal of the boundary partition and the neighbour becomes owner through lapse of time. However, this only applies if the ground was used on a legal basis for transfer, such as loan for use or rent because it is then clear that the user holds the ground for someone else.


Easements can also cause discussions. From a practical point of view an easement means that the owner of one piece of land must permit something to the other owner of the other piece of land. It can also be the case that the owner of one piece of land must refrain from doing something. It therefore concerns permitting or refraining. Sometimes easements have been in existence between pieces of land for scores of years and even for over one hundred years. This can be a right of way, the most prevalent form of easement. Another example of an easement is the right of view. If the easement is unreasonably onerous for the owner of the servient land, the owner can apply for an amendment or discontinuation. In addition, the owner can also apply for the easement to be exercised in the least onerous manner. It can also be the case that new easements arise through lapse of time or that new easements must be established. If you have problems with your neighbours then we would like to provide you with legal advice on statutory rights and duties between neighbours. We will naturally pay attention to future neighbour relationships but if necessary we will also bring legal proceedings with regard to conflicts between neighbours. If you prefer to resolve the conflict with the neighbours properly in mutual consultation then AK Advocaten offers certified mediators who can assist you and your neighbours during the search for a solution that is acceptable to both parties. Please contact us. Property Law