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    • Thread Starter


    What I am trying to find out is whether the Royal Mail has a right of access to deliver the mail. The DTI, on its web site, say's that Royal Mail is legally obliged to deliver mail. I want to know whether my right to privacy means that I can refuse entry to my property to any person except those with an invite. I know that the police/gas/fire brigade/customs can enter without my permission. I believe that the Royal Mail are obliged to "attempt" to deliver mail, and that if they can not it would be returned to the sender (Legitimate originator would have a return address on their envelope) or else there may be some kind of "undeliverable mail" room somewhere.

    If anyone has any information about this I would welcome it. In particular the relevant Act that allows the Royal Mail to enter my property without permission.

    I don’t necessarily want to prevent the postman from delivering mail, I’m just interested in whether I have more rights over my own property than the agent (postman) of some faceless advertising dept. who is exploiting a special privilege extended to the Royal Mail in order to force their wares on to all and sundry? I can pretty much guarantee that when this special privilege was awarded (if in fact it was) that it was not intended to allow private companies the right to bombard private citizens with advertising literature.



    Trespass to land occurs where a person directly enters upon another's land without permission, or remains upon the land, or places or projects any object upon the land.
    A continuing trespass is a failure to remove an object (or the defendant in person) unlawfully placed on land. It will lead to a new cause of action each day for as long as it lasts (Holmes v Wilson and others (1839) 10 A&E 503; Konskier v Goodman Ltd [1928] 1 KB 421).
    Trespass to land is an intentional tort. However, intention for the act is required, not an intention to trespass. Consequently, deliberate entry is required and lack of knowledge as to trespass will not be a defense (Conway v George Wimpey & Co [1951] 2 KB 266, 273).

    I have no idea whether the Royal Mail has any 'right' to walk across your land, but I'd suspect that they don't. While they are obliged to deliver mail, this probably does not extend to them entering your property without your permission.

    The situation you describe whereby certain types of people are able to enter your property 'without your permission' is not strictly true - you implicitly grant these peope a right to enter your property (a license). You can revoke this at any time, although in practice it might be difficult to inform all the relevant people. A notice may be the answer.

    Customs officers may have a legal right to enter your property even when you expressly refuse them entry, but this will probably have to be supported by a warrent and all that that entails. I don't think the fire brigade have any right to enter your property to put out a fire - you can legally burn down your house if you so desire!

    Have you considered signing up for the mail preference service?

    And even if people are trespassing on your property, do you know that trespass is not actionable per se?
    • Thread Starter

    Thanks for your reply. I take your points. I assume that the implicit license would extend to just about everyone unless there was a privacy notice or physical barrier to overcome.

    So, someone enters a field through an open gate, sets up a tent and goes to sleep. At dawn, the farmer wakes up the man and tells him to leave, which he does. As long as there has been no damage, he can not be sued.

    Not actionable? Thats a shame. So the man with the tent opened the gate which had a "No Trespass" sign on it. As long as he leaves when asked and has caused no damage (left the gate open so that a herd of cows is now wandering down the M4) then he still has nothing to answer for?

    I suppose if i really wanted privacy, i would erect a "No Trespass" sign, and buy a dog. Just to be sure I would add "Beware of the insainly large dog" to my notice board.


    For anyone that wants the details , as well as the mailing preference service consumers can also reduce the amount of unsolicited unaddressed mail and leaflets they receive (addressed to occupier and householder etc) from the Royal Mail.

    Mailing Preference Service
    Freepost 22
    London, W1E 7EZ

    Tel:0207 291 3300 (press 1 to register)
    To register on line: www.mpsonline.org.uk
    DMA Website: www.dma.org.uk
    Royal Mail Door to Door Opt Out Dept.
    Room 130
    Wheatstone House
    Faraday Rd
    Swindon, SN3 5JW

    Tel: 01793 483853.
    Email: [email protected] almail.co.uk


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