In order for the neighbour to claim the piece of land which they have fenced off, they have to have occupied it without consent and without objection and not in secret for more than 10 years if it is registered at the land Registry.
What you need to do now is write to them (or better still get a solicitor to write to them) telling them to put the fence back in its original position failing which will make an application to court to make them do it.
They are going to have to prove to the land tribunal (if it gets that far) that they have the necessary period of occupation.
If this fence now restrict your access you can threaten an emergency application for an injunction to make them give you access pending the resolution of the boundary dispute.
If you simply remove the fence they could potentially go to the police and claim criminal damage. Some police forces will investigate and others will say it’s a civil matter so removing the fence is not a route that it’s probably a good idea following.
If you want to get the land registry boundary corrected (you don’t say how long it’s been in this position) then you need to either agree with the neighbour or make an application to court to have the boundary determined by a judge. In support of the application you are going to need expert testimony from a boundary surveyor.
Can I clarify anything else for you?
It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.
We can still exchange emails.
If the boundary on the land registry plan has been there for 50 years but the reality on the ground is somewhat different, then the 10 year rule applies and it would be necessary for you to apply to have the piece of land which is shown on the plan as belonging to the neighbour, registered as yours.
We can’t write letters on letterhead we can give you the wording of letters for you to write. You might want to do is write your own letter, letters have the details, and we can suggest changes.
If you can attach a plan with some explanatory notes, the situation would become clearer.
That sounds painful. When you are ready is fine.
We would appear to have been getting there but I can’t see where the original fence is or where the new fence is. On the letter you sent the neighbour says that “For clarification the area of this is marked in Purple” although there is nothing marked in purple on the thumbnail sketches. You also refer to a purple rectangle which is similarly not shown on the sketches.
It would be useful if on those sketches you marked the original fence, the gate and the new fence.
I was off-line all day yesterday. I see that you would like a telephone call. If you can let me know what time is convenient today for you, I will endeavour to call around that time.
WORDS AS PROMISED
I have now reviewed Land Registry Plans and I have reproduced these below.
I have also taken advice on the same and although I was originally of the opinion that the boundaries were incorrect, I have now concluded that the boundaries shown on the title plan are indeed correct.
However you will be aware that both we and our predecessors have used the area edged in COLOUR jointly for parking and for all uses associated with the adjacent properties for a considerable period of years, probably more than 30 or 40 and possibly since the properties were built.
The occupiers of Haylings have also used the entrance to access the area edged in COLOUR for the same period of time.
If you look at the photograph of the walls adjacent to the entrance, you can see that they are of a considerable age which would support the contention that the entrance has been used for many years, alluded to in the previous paragraph.
Hence, I am of the opinion (and my advice confirms) that notwithstanding any provision (or not) in the title deeds, I am entitled to a prescriptive easement under the provisions of the Prescription Act 1832 in that the use of the area edged in COLOUR and the entrance have been used by me and my predecessors for a period exceeding 20 years and have done so without consent or objection and not in secret.
What I would suggest is that we formalise the Easement by deed and have the benefit and the burden of this registered against the title of both properties. I would be willing to pay the reasonable legal costs and disbursements in respect of doing this which should then draw a line under the matter and facilitate any future dealings of the properties because of course, until such time as this matter is resolved, it would not be possible to sell either property with the dispute extant as it would be discloseable to any buyer.