ATENANT is fighting to keep part of a garden he has used for the past 14 years.

CaryGill, 39, lives in a groundfloor flat in St Mary’s Road, Southend, and won’t give up the land despite the fear he could be taken to court.

Swan Housing, which owns Mr Gill’s flat and is freeholder of the land, wants to split the garden in two to allow access for a tenant in the flat above.

However, Mr Gill is refusing to budge and has gone to the land registry using a law which says someone can keep land if they have had it for 12 years without objection.

Until the decision is made, Mr Gill is refusing to allow anyone on to the land and yesterday would not let workmen in to measure the garden for a fence.

He said: “I’ve been here for 14 years so I have a right to it under adverse possession laws.

“The decision hasn’t been made yet, but even if it goes against me they still have to get a court order to evict me.

“They are not waiting for that and are just trying to come here without a court order.

“They are just trying to bully me, but if the police are called I will show them they have no court order so can’t evict me from the land.”

Gary McCarthy is the freeholder of the property and owns the upstairs flat.

He said: “It’s nonsense to say no one has objected to him using the whole garden. I’ve been complaining to Swan for years, but nothing gets done.

“Land registry clearly shows a barrier in the middle of the garden.

“We just want to establish that. The chap in the upstairs flat has a dog and would like to use his part of the garden.”

A spokesman for Swan Housing Association said: “We have been working with the resident on this issue for a number of years.

“The garden in question is, and always has been, for shared use with the first floor flat.

“We are committed to working with all residents to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”