How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Aston Lawyer Your Own Question
Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10459
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
16368554
Type Your Law Question Here...
Aston Lawyer is online now

Hi Im looking for some advise about a small piece of land

Resolved Question:

Hi
Im looking for some advise about a small piece of land adjacent to our house> I have managed to track down a lot of information related to the land and the company we thought owned it has now confirmed to their surprised they dont. I land search last year by a firm of solicitors led the m to believe its unregistered land and has "reverted to the crown" what would you advise as next step we could take please
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

I take it that you are looking to acquire the land?

Have you been in possession of this land since you bought your property or is it outside any boundary fence/wall of your property?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards
AL
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes I am looking to acquire the land and yes its outside of boundary. We had always thought that the land was part of our freehold but land registry surveyed and confirmed this was not the case. We then found out the owners of the land, a bank, went bankrupt some years ago and the assets were liquidated. I spoke to the liquidators Price Waterhouse Cooper who confirmed the land was part of a sale at auction and tracjked down the "owners" through the auctioneers who were very helpful. I contacted the "owners" who initially thought it was their land as they own many ransome strips on our estate. A search with their legal people confirmed they purchased the lot at auction however they do not have the title deeds as expected to this very small piece of land. The "owners" believe their legal people made a mistake with the title deeds from the auction and I have therefore come up against a brick wall. A land solicitor believes its reverted to The Crown who would not necessarily know they own it and therefore chances of purchasing are almost non existent but would welcome your advise

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.

Hi Maureen,

Thanks for your reply.

Sorry for all the questions- although the land is outside your main boundary, have you been maintaining this land, and been using it as if it was your land? If so, for how long?
Has it been fenced in by you or another means of enclosure been put up by you?

Thanks
AL
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes weve been maintaining the land since we purchased the property as a new build some 28 years ago at that time in this area it wasn't a requirement to register individual properties no it isn't fenced in hence the land registry survey at solicitors advise. Lang Registry told us it wasn't part of our freehold then I found out the info about the bankruptcy etc. Where I am now is Im led to believe because of the mess up with the title deeds for the sale of several dozen of these ransom strips the land is unregistered and has reverted to Crown but no way of actually confirming this

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes weve been maintaining the land since we purchased the property as a new build some 28 years ago at that time in this area it wasn't a requirement to register individual properties no it isn't fenced in hence the land registry survey at solicitors advise. Lang Registry told us it wasn't part of our freehold then I found out the info about the bankruptcy etc. Where I am now is Im led to believe because of the mess up with the title deeds for the sale of several dozen of these ransom strips the land is unregistered and has reverted to Crown but no way of actually confirming this


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi


Yes weve maintained the land for 28 years since buying property as a new build. At that time in this area there was no requirement to register land. We thought it was ours but on applying for building consent and having to submit plan of property we found out this piece of land didn't form part of our freehold. We were advise by a solicitor to get Land Registry to survey it, they confirmed it wasn't our freehold because it wasn't fenced although on our estate there is a clause in the deeds saying gardens have to be open plan and many others in the street are. We then went down the route of the bankruptcy etc

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.
Hi Maureen,

Well, the position is as you believe. The land will be vested in the Treasury's Solicitor if the Company that owned it went into liquidation. However, as the land is not registered, the Treasury's Solicitor would be unable to sell it to you as there would be no firm evidence of his ownership that he could provide to the Land Registry.

Therefore, you are stuck on this point.

However, as the land is unregistered, and you have maintained it for over 12 years, I would advise that you apply for "possessory title" of the land at the Land Registry under the adverse possession law. In order to be successful you will have to show that you have possessed the land as your own, without interruption or objection from the true owner for at least 12 years.

A local Conveyancing Solicitor will be able to assist you in preparing the necessary application.

After making the application,The Land Registry Surveyor will come and view the land and ideally in cases of adverse possession, it is best that the land is fenced in and hence it is clear to the Surveyor that it has formed part of your property for the 12 year period.

I can't of course say whether you would be successful in your application, but it is certainly worth a shot.
If, on the advice of your Solicitor, he feels you don't have a chance of being successful at this stage, you may want to take steps now to fence in the land albeit you would then have to wait 12 years until you could apply for possessory title.

At the end of the day, no-one is going to come along and stop you from using the land, and fencing it in, if possible, is going to be the best you can do in the situation, if that is what you would like to do.

I hope this helps.

I am off to bed in a short while but will be back online in the morning.

Please let me know if you need to ask any follow up question.

Kind Regards
AL
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Al


 


Im off to bed too BUT I have already as described made a claim for possessory title which has been refused. Have used the land and want to continue using the Land. We also have rather unpleasant neighbours who have already alerted the Town Council to the fact that we use the land and have asked for proof that we own it which ofcourse we cannot provide however neither can they prove we don't own it.


 


So where do we stand?


 


 

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.

Good Morning Maureen,

Sorry, I hadn't appreciated you had already made an application for possessory title.

The legal position is that the Council can't stop you from using the land (it is not their land so they won't and can't interfere, unless you are using it for some purpose that breaches the planning laws).

I'm afraid long term, the land will need to remain as "no mans land" and unless you are successful in obtaining possessory title at a later date, then I'm afraid there is nothing else you can do to acquire the land.

I'm sorry there isn't any other magical solution.

Kind Regards
AL
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.

Hi Maureen,

Can I be of any more assistance to you?

Kind Regards
AL
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Morning


 


Not right now thanks reallyappreciate your advice so far


 


 


 


Many thanks

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.

Hi Maureen,

Thanks.

I would therefore be grateful if you could leave positive feedback.

All the best.

AL
Aston Lawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Law Questions