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 propertylawyer Your Own Question
propertylawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 280
Experience:  Property Solicitor with expertise in commercial and residential property transactions.
Type Your Law Question Here...
propertylawyer is online now

I have a strip of land adjoining my property which was

Resolved Question:

I have a strip of land adjoining my property which was designated to be adopted by the local council. It remains in the ownership of the builder because the council wouldn't adopt the land - they couldn't agree on the contribution from the builder to support the adoption.
I have maintained the land for 15 years and would like to fence it in and extend my garden.
The council have told me that I will not get planning permission to do this in any circumstance but they have no plans to do anything about it.
What happens if I just extend my garden unilaterally.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi Chris

Thanks for your question.

I understand that you would like to 'acquire' the land you have been maintaining for the last 15 years.

Potentially a person can acquire land unilaterally. This is adverse possession. However there are criteria which must be satisfied.

To claim title by adverse possession, you would need to prove the following:

Uninterrupted factual possession of the land for 10 years (if registered land, 12 years unregistered).

Intention to possess the land during that period of possession.

The land must be in your possession.There must be a sufficient degree of exclusive physical control over the land. What is sufficient will depend on the circumstances and, in particular, the nature of the land and the manner in which land of that nature is commonly used. Broadly, the person in possession must have been dealing with the land as an occupying owner might have been expected to deal with it, and no one else must have done so.

Whilst you have maintained the land is that sufficient to satisfy the criteria. The developer has not acted in a way to indicate that it has abandoned the land. The recent negotiations with the council would indicate it has not been abandoned. In addition, it would appear from your question that you have been in contact with the council regarding the land which would indicate that you acknowledge the developern is the owner.

Therefore I would say, based on the facts in your question, that you would not be able to claim the land via adverse possession. If you now start to act in accordance with the criteria above then you may be able to make a successful adverse possession claim in the future.

I hope my reply has been helpful to clarify the position. Please can I ask you to accept / rate my reply.

Kind regards


propertylawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Law Questions