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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 815
Experience:  Experienced solicitor
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i bought a property at auctions with bought as sold, 1.5 years

Customer Question

i bought a property at auctions with bought as sold, 1.5 years ago. The property has a few derelict sheds. Everything was OK till a month ago, a neighbour who owns the side land, without my authority and prior approval had started using one of the sheds that was on my land and legally belongs to be as part of my land registry title deed. As there is no boundary between the 2 lands, and as i was not visiting ever few days. He seems to think the shed his theirs and are claiming it but my legal land registry documents and title plan clearly mentions that the shed belongs to me. What can i do ? Should i just go and change the lock to the shed and take some of the abandoned stuff out of the shed and put it on the neighbour's land. Isn't it that everything on my property belongs to me. But i think some of the items that are kept on the shed temporarily does belong to the neighbour as they are claiming it (I can't be sure as i do not know when/who kept those stuff there. Should I call the police and ask them to move or what ? Please advise.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.

LondonlawyerJ :

Hello I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience and will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

Can you just tell me how long has the neighbour been doing this for? Also is the shed near the boundary with the neighbours land?

Customer:

It is only in the last few weeks that the neighbour seems to have dumped some old farming broken tools in the shed. Again, the tin shed is actually inside middle of my property not at the border at all. As i am not going onsite so frequently as i would have liked, i cannot understand his intentions as it is clearly in the middle of the property. Please can you advise what i should do.

LondonlawyerJ :

Ok thankyou. Why does he say the shed is his? Does he claim it is on his land or that he has a right to use it even though it is on our land. does he say he has permission to use it or that he owns the shed and/or the land it sits on itself. You ask me to advise you what to do but please tell me what your desired outcome is.

Customer:

i was hoping to go to site and replace the lock and throw the items the neighbour has kept in my shed back on to his land. The land title deed on my name clearly states that it is part of my property as it is title absolute. No one should be tresspassing, I am not aware who put the lock, and the few items in there. My question is should i call the police or just go and replace the lock and put up some notice to let people know that should they see any activities on the site they should notify me immediately so that i can get to site and confront the neighbour. As the neighbour also doesn't stay on the site i have never met him. I was just told by one of the neighbour that my next door neighbour had been on my site and was doing something when i last visited as i said without my authority or permission. I want to know what are my rights so i can take appropriate action to protect my property as the legal owner.

LondonlawyerJ :

Ok so you have bought the property which comprises land +and some buildings including what you describe as sheds. You have no doubt about your ownership of the land. Your title absolute is registered at HMLR and the description of the title register and the title plan make it clear that the land in which the shed in question stands is yours. No doubt this is reinforced by the documents surrounding your purchase at auction and the information provided by the auctioneers. About a month ago your neighbour started using the shed. I take it no actual damage is being done to your property, you are just concerned that someone is using your land without permission.


The police will not get involved as no obvious crime has been committed. Even if you could argue that the crime of aggravated trespass has been committed (which it probably hasn’t) it is doubtful that you would be able to persuade the police that this was a criminal matter rather than a civil dispute.


It would not be sensible to unilaterally remove his things and dump them on his land.


This could lead to an allegation of criminal damage or theft, which even though unfounded could be very inconvenient and unpleasant for you. You cannot just assume that the contents of the shed are yours because they are on your land and dispose of them as this could again lead to an allegation of theft. This allegation might even have some legs.


I take it you have no interest in being paid for the use of the shed.


You might think that the best way to proceed is to write to the person using your shed telling him why it is yours and that he is using your shed without permission and requiring him to remove his things. You should give him a time limit (perhaps 14 days) to remove his things. You can tell him that at the end of that period you will be changing the locks on the shed and if he wants his things out then he must contact you to allow him access.


This is probably the safest way to proceed as it allows you to take control while being reasonable and not exposing you to risks of counter allegations.


This approach does depend on you knowing where he lives. If you don’t have an address an alternative approach might be to secure the shed by changing the locks and leaving a “Dear shed User” message in writing on the shed explaining that you have changed the locks to re-secure your shed. You should leave contact details. Alternatively you could simply leave a note on the door stating your name that you are the owner and leaving a phone number.


I hope this answers your question but if I can be of any further help then please let me know. I would also be grateful if you would take the time to rate my service. This will not close the question and I will continue to answer you.

Customer:

Many thanks for your updates, much appreciated.

LondonlawyerJ and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.
My pleasure.