A COUPLE are being sued by their neighbours for paving over a three foot strip of land which they claim is their garden.
Wendy Mszyca, 58, and Amanda Uziell-Hamilton, 65, decided to “reclaim” what they say used to be their flowerbed before it was fenced off by builders.
Jay and Hannah Stirrett are being sued for paving over a three foot strip of landCredit: Champion News
Wendy Mszyca, 58, and Amanda Uziell-Hamilton, 65, decided to “reclaim” what they say used to be their flowerbedCredit: Champion News
The couple’s properties face away from each other. Wendy and Amanda’s house is in the middle, with the paved garden
But their neighbours Jay and Hannah Stirrett insist the patch of garden in Camberwell, South London, is part of their £1.4m property.
The battle has been raging in court, where Jay and Hannah say the area was unlawfully paved in 2018.
The couple’s properties face away from each other – and their back gardens meet at a wall at the rear.
In 2013, builders placed a fence three feet from the wall – closer to Wendy and Amanda’s property.
This was to offer the couple some privacy while the wall was being constructed, they claim.
Amanda and Wendy say the three-foot plot of land separating the fence and wall belongs to them – and was their flower bed in years gone by.
So, in 2018, they took down the fence paved over the patch during some garden renovation work.
Hannah and Jay disputed the build, and claim the fence unlawfully extended their paving area three-feet into their property.
They are now suing at Central London County Court for the return of the strip which they say is “significant” in London where properties are expensive and gardens small and valuable.
The Stirretts’ barrister Tom Morris told the judge: “In around August 2018, the defendants caused the fence to be removed, and paved over the strip of land between it and the block wall, incorporating that land into their garden.”
Giving evidence, Jay said he had always considered the boundary between the properties to be in line with others in the street.
The fence removed by their neighbours was in line with his neighbours’ fences.
Hannah and Wendy’s barrister Ezra MacDonald insisted that the wall was the end of the Stirretts’ garden and that his clients had not encroached onto their property.
And he said it was unlikely that a builder would readily give up valuable garden area just to avoid a row with some neighbours.
He said it was obvious that the wall in Hannah and Jay’s property is the end of their garden and that everything beyond it belonged to their neighbours.
“When Mr and Mrs Stirrett purchased their property in 2015, the garden […] was clearly bounded by a permanent, rendered, block wall,” he said.
“There was no access to the strip of land between the block wall and the fence behind.
“It would have been abundantly clear to any reasonable layman that he was buying the property up to, and bounded by, the block wall.
“The true legal boundary is – and always has been – along the west face of the block wall.”
He added: “No reasonable layman would have believed that they were acquiring this wholly unusable, inaccessible strip of land in addition to the prepared and finished garden area.”
The judge will decide who owns the land at a later date.
Jay and Hannah insist the property is part of their landCredit: Champion News Service Ltd
But Wendy and Amanda, who live opposite, say the land is theirsCredit: Champion News