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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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during some recent work to our property we discovered the entrance

Resolved Question:

during some recent work to our property we discovered the entrance to a ww2 air raid shelter, it is still intact but the main body of the shelter is beneath some adjacent land with lock up garages on, local memories of it are that it was sealed up in the eighties by the council to prevent kids using it as a den after a fire.
Our question is what are our rights or responsibilities regarding this as we would love to use it as quirky storage space and since no one is aware it even exists and they can't access it without coming onto our property it doesn't seem we are doing any harm or causing any loss to anyone, however we do realise that the law doesn't always follow what may be common sense so we decided to take advice before using it.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 2 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hi thanks for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I can help with this.

Customer:

thanks, XXXXX XXXXX odd situation

tdlawyer :

It is - but it's interesting too. The law is pretty simple though, you'll be pleased to know. Essentially, if the shelter itself is principally located underneath adjoining land, that you do not own, then technically you would have no right to use it.

tdlawyer :

There are not separate laws relating to use of former air raid shelters.

tdlawyer :

The issue here is whose land is it on and whether you own it/have permission to use it.

tdlawyer :

I appreciate that nobody else might know about your use, and that in practical terms, might very well mean that its use never gets challenged.

Customer:

well the entrance is on our land but not very much of the main body is, the onwers have long forgotten it is there so if we approached them it would probably stir up a hornets nest

tdlawyer :

Okay. And your land contains no rights mentioned in the deeds to use it? (I doubt there would be mention, but always worth checking).

Customer:

no mention at all, we purchased the land from the same owner that retains the land with the shelter on

tdlawyer :

Okay. Then technically, here is no right to go beyond the borders of your own land.

Customer:

as i said they have long since filled it and written it off, it is forgotten as many decades of different staff have come and gone, i presume there are no records of it left

tdlawyer :

but what's the worst that could happen? Well, he could require you to move off it and seek damages for trespass, which I would imagine would be limited to nominal damages (perhaps £500 or so) to recognise that a legal right (without financial loss) of his has been infringed.

Customer:

i see, so not the end of the world then. well i think that tells us what we needed to know, thank you

tdlawyer :

No, exactly, and if it was quite intriguing, I think I know what I would do if I were you ... :)

tdlawyer :

Is there anything more I can assist you wish about this?

Customer:

no thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wanted to have a little clearer idea of how naughty we were being if we used it, but it doesn't sound particularly troublesome.

Customer:

i shall leave you know, do i just do the rating thing and thats it?

tdlawyer :

It's one of those things you can put right easily in fairness.

Customer:

yes i agree

tdlawyer :

Oh yes, once you rate the answer the chat will end.

tdlawyer :

Thank you!

Customer:

thanks, bye

tdlawyer :

bye!

tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience: 11 years experience of general practice.
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