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 Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10536
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
Type Your Law Question Here...
Buachaill is online now

We own our property Freehold and there is an area of land opposite

Resolved Question:

We own our property Freehold and there is an area of land opposite of protected trees still owned by the company that built the houses in our private road. This land is open and not maintained by the owners.
As our Freehold abutts this land and our house faces it, we have been mowing the grass and clearing, removing brambles & undergrowth that faces our house for the 14 years we have lived at the property. We have also planted small tress and shrubs on the land. The area we maintain is aprroximately 60 feet by 30 feet. The whole parcel of land in its entirity is appoximately 1 acre. It lines the front of 8 houses.
During a conversation with the owners of the land approximately 3 years ago on my doorstep, they stated they were considering maintining the land as they had a complaint that it looked unsightly. IF they were to do so they were proposing sharing the cost between the 8 houses in the private close we live in - (they were told where to go by the homeowners and no one agreed, unsuprisingly!) During this conversation I had with the representative of the owner at my doorstep, I informed him that we had maintained the part in front of our house for the last 11 years. Shortly after this I sent an email to the owner company confirming that I maintain the part by our house and have done so, now for 14 years. They did not provide consent and I have continued to maintain it.
I guess you know I am about to ask about my rights as to 'Adverse Possession' and where I might stand if I file for it? The Freehold of the land in question spans the 1 acre and is not subdivided, so would my maintenance not be deemed as the whole parcel and included in the filing?
Any advice as to creiteria for adverse possession or regarding the land would be appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
1. I regret to say that you will not be able to claim adverse possession to this piece of land. This is because you would have need to have fenced off this portion of the area in front over 12 years ago in order to claim adverse possession. This is because you must have "exclusive possession" of any area over which you claim adverse possession. It is not sufficient simply to maintain an area of land in order to claim adverse possession. The exclusion of all other potential owners is necessary in order that a claim for adverse possession be maintained. Here, anyone could have walked over this area in front. So there was not the necessary exclusive possession to justify a claim for adverse possession.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your repsonse. There has been some issues with JustAnswer and the email notifications, so I did not get the full response.

I will rate the answer so you are credited.

I do have a follow up point however. Tthe area of land in question, we hedged three sides shortly after moving in some 14 years ago, but the forth side, which abutts our private freehold is not hedged. Would this constitute closing the land of to all aother parties considering that the only access is from our land which we offer no access to?

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
2. No, this would not constitute exclusive possession for the purposes of adverse possession. Essentially anyone who liked could have walked over it. There needs to be some positive act illustrating an intention to possess the land against all the world. Hedging three sides just won't do, I regret to say.
Buachaill and other Law Specialists are ready to help you