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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
may I ask if you have carried out something called an index map search against the area of land with the land Registry to date please?
From what I understand, is the land physically enclosed within your boundaries - albeit there is a question as to legal ownership?
The small patch of land across the stream is physically enclosed within our boundary and has been for at least 14 years. We have done a map search with the land registry and this shows the boundary of our property only goes up to the stream which runs at the end of our garden and does not go onto the other side of the stream which is the small patch of land in question.
thank you for the above. Does the index map search confirm that the area of land is unregistered with the land registry?
If you were to proceed without the farmers consent you would be looking at effectively making an adverse possession claim in respecgt of the land. The law relating to adverse possession has changed and tightened since the introduction of the Land Registration Act 2002; Since the introduction of that legislation, it has been very difficult to adversely possess registered land. If the land is unregistered the position is simpler. You need to show 12 years of exclusive occupation of the land with unregistered land in order to claim adverse possession of it.
For registered land unfortunately the position is more difficult. If you were to make such an application for possession of registered land you need to show 10 years of exclusive occupation but all the registered owner need do is object to your application and your application will automatically fail unless you can show one of the following applies:
The first condition is that it would be unconscionable because of an estoppel for the owner to seek to dispossess you of the land and the circumstances are such that you ought to be registered as the proprietor. For example that the owner advised you you could have the land
The second condition is that you are for some reason entitled to be registered as the proprietor - for example you inherited the property - this is unlikely to apply
The third condition is that you have been in adverse possession of land adjacent to yours for at least 10 years under the mistaken but reasonable belief that you were the owner of it, the exact line of the boundary with this adjacent land has not been determined and the estate to which the application relates was registered more than a year prior to the date of the application.
it is the third condition based upon what you say that you would need to proceed upon
if you can believe you may be able to demonstrate that you have fulfilled the third condition which based upon what you say
if you consider that you have a basis to claim adverse possession under the third condition above, you would need to complete an adverse possession form and send it to the land registry:
you may decide to proceed with the application yourself though all things being equal, it is normally a good idea to ask a solicitor to assist you with the application to ensure its best chance of success of the application is not entirely straightforward. However, on the basis you can demonstrate that the area of land has been enclosed within your boundaries from the point you purchase the property and that you have maintained it as your own under the possible mistaken belief that it belonged to you, the application would appear to have merit
is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me
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