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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9355
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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We were planning to build an extension at the side of our house

Resolved Question:

We were planning to build an extension at the side of our house but have just discovered that a piece of land 3.3 metres x 1.2 metres is actually owned by a property company. We have lived in the house since 1992 and have always believed this was ours and have maintained it over all that time do we have a case for Adverse possession or how would you suggest we proceed?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.
Is it registered at the land registry to the property co?Is it of any value to them?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes it is registered to them, there is a rank of garages at the side of my house and this is within that area. I don't think it would be of any value to them it runs alongside and between my property if you imagine it
My property is on 3 sides (arrows) and theirs is the bit in the middle > I____I <
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.
After 10 years of occupying registered property and treating it as your own, you can apply for Adverse possession at the Land registry provided you can prove that you have done this for the requisite period and that you have done it without consent and that no one has ever objected.Make the application to the Land Registry on form ADV1 along with any supporting evidence you have such as receipts for fencing, photographs, and things like that.Notice of the application will be sent to the registered owner who may object. But if they object provided the land registry are satisfied that you have proved occupation for over 10 years. If they are not satisfied, it would go to the land tribunal. That is potentially risky because if your claim fails you could easily face &pound;10,000 worth of legal costs. If they do object and the land Registry referred it to the land tribunal you might want to consider asking them how much they want to purchase the land from you to avoid going to the tribunal. They may not want to go to the tribunal themselves if the land is of no value because even if they win, the victory may be academic.Can I clarify anything for you?Please rate my service positively. It’s an important part of the process so that experts get paid for their time. Thank you.Best wishesFES
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the information, can you just confirm that if its referred to a tribunal and I ask them if they would sell it will stop the tribunal process and I am not legally bound to purchase it? Would it be useful to ask neighbours to write something confirming my claim?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.
Under the Law of Property 1925 and the Law of Property Act (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 you are not obliged by the property until such time as you have signed and exchanged a contract.A witness statement from your neighbour which contains a statement of truth, (“I believe that the contents of this Witness Statement are true”) and is signed and dated would be extremely useful. Any witness statement from the previous owner of your house better still, any previous owner of next door’s house would also be useful.The actual location of the land is also quite persuasive as to whether you would be the one to use it, as opposed to anyone else.
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