In 2000 we bought our house which had an extension that was built 10-15 years previously by the people we bought the house from. The neighbour at that time made no objection to the extension. Our current neighbour moved in approximately 7-8 years ago. He has taken down the fence to replace it and has stated that one corner of the extension is overhanging his boundary by 2-3 inches according to the measurements on his deeds. He has subsequently cut into the foundation of our extension to plant his post and has done the same further down a concrete slope which leads from the extension to our garden. When we bought the house in 2000, no issue was raised about the placement of the extension either by the surveyor or the solicitor and we were not aware there was a problem with its placement as it had already been in existence for 10-15 years. Can you give an indication about our position as regards ***** ***** given that the extension has been in situ for approximately 24+ years? Are the dimensions on the neighbour's deeds relevant given the length of time the extension has been in place? A friend mentioned a 12 year rule so did the selling neighbour own that section under the extension when the current neighbour bought the house or did it pass to the house with the house with the extension? If so, how would we prove this and correct the boundary? And how would we notify the current neighbour. Thank you.
Extension built approx 9 years prior to purchase of property so around 1991 and planning permission was obtained.
Hello, I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this. This is a fairly complex problem. Can you just tell me have the actions of your neighbour damaged your extension?
I do not believe so. I have looked at the brickwork of the pillar and it looks ok and the grout does not appear to have any cracks or movement. The outer part of the extension is a series of brick pillars which support the extension roof. This section of the extension has an open corridor that leads to the back of the garage. The concrete post for the fence has been placed up against the brick pillar which supports the corner of the roof of the single storey extension. When the hole was dug out using hammer, chisel and big metal spike I believe he broke through the concrete foundation in a line down, parallel with the brick pillar. A mixture of cement and ballast has been used to fix the post in place.
OK thankyou I have just seen that. If it is OK with you I will answer this tomorrow when I have time to think about it.
The first thing to try and clarify is whether your neighbour is right. I take it he has not produced any evidence. If he is relying on his title plan at the Land Registry then this is not definitive.
If you follow this link you will find some clear and excellent content on adverse possession (aka squatter’s rights). http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/professional/guides/practice-guide-4. I assume your land is registered.
The long and the short of it is that if you (and/or your predecessors in title) were in adverse possession for 12 years before 13th October 2003 then you will probably have acquired ownership of this small piece of land. This would seem to be the case here.
The only "evidence" he has produced is the original title deed which has handwritten dimension on it.
The only evidence he has produced is the original title deed with handwritten measurements on it. I have downloaded the title deed and plan for our property, however, this does not appear to show the extension on the plan for our house. Do we need to rectify this and how would we do that to show the extension in its current position? I have managed to find out that the current neighbour purchased his property in April 2005 so does this mean that he would not have purchased the small piece of land under our extension, never owned it in the first place, as the purchase date is after 13th October 2013 and the previous owner did not object? How do we present this to the neighbour and would we need to notify the Land Registry or are they working on the basis of general boundaries so the outer wall of the extension would be seen as a fixed boundary?
No, you probably have it through adverse possession (ie squatters rights) even if the neighbour is right about the old boundary.
What would be the best way of presenting this information to the neighbour as he is getting a bit tetchy about everything at the moment? Does this require a solicitor's letter to resolve the issue as in the neighbour's words, he wanted to keep everything "legal"?
You could use the information in these answers to draft a letter yourself, but a letter from a solicitor would probably carry more weight. You can find an appropriate solicitor by following this link to the Law Society's find a solicitor page. http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/.
I would be grateful if you would please rate my answer. This will not close the question and I will continue to answer further questions.
What would we need to do with regards Land Registry to ensure that boundaries are correctly noted and the section of land in question is attributed to our property?
I think what we want is clarification of the boundary/ownership and I think asking him to move the fence would irreparably damage the relationship we have. Would putting a boundary marker such as a post with the word boundary on it or a painted top portion, flush to the extension be sufficient to delineate the boundary?
Many thanks for your help with this question. My husband and I will put together a letter based on your answers and the links you have provided.
Just to let you know, I have rated your answers already and the fee was debited from my account on 1st July 2014 so the payment issue isn't my end. If I try to rate again, the system says I will be charged an additional fee.