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tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of advising on property issues.
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My neighbour applied via adverse possession for some land she

Resolved Question:

My neighbour applied via adverse possession for some land she has built some small gardens and a shed on unregistered land at the end of the terraced block of houses. This land is resctricting for people using an alleyway but was left until this Land Registry application was made as nobody knew how to tackle. The application was innacurate as the 12 year timeframe had not passed which I proved with a statement from an acting police officer who lived in my house at the time these were built. My objection was upheld and she subsequently withdrew the application. My question is can she claim again in 2 years and how can I legally stop the clock so she has to wait 12 more years.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hi thanks for your question.

tdlawyer :

My name isXXXXX can answer this for you.

tdlawyer :

The only way to sure-fire stop this is to get the actual owner of the land to intervene.

tdlawyer :

If she has 2 years to go before the 12 year period expires, then technically, unless something happens in the meantime, she can claim again.

tdlawyer :

Do you know who the true owner of the land is?

Customer: It's common/unregistered/Unadopted so no owner. Can I not put a shed on the land also as with the land registry not going through she is not the owner and surely I have the same rights. She lied on the statement of truth to the land registry which annoys me. So there is nothing I can do and I may as well not objected to the previous application. Was hoping putting something on the land or parking on it would stop the clock.
tdlawyer :

Unregistered land still has an owner even if not registered.

tdlawyer :

It's just that it's hard to find the owner because it's not in the register.

tdlawyer :

It's often possible, however, to find the true owner by looking at the ownership of the surrounding land, because there will usually be reference to covenants that affect the land which refer to the owner.

Customer: Thanks but I guess the issue is the owner having reason to object especially given the size of the property in question. So I guess putting something or parking on the land as it's not fenced off would not stop the clock.
tdlawyer :

No, it wouldn't. But, you might be able to scupper it only slightly other grounds, which might be that you also are in possession of the land, and they therefore do not satisfy all of the tests for adverses possession.

tdlawyer :

They need to show they've sought to exclude others to make it their sole possession you see.

Customer: There is a covenant on the land that I remember from when I bought the house. Something to do with minerals and that the land the houses were built on are owned by somebody. May be worth investigating. I guess if I fail I can try to park or build on it and try to scupper it that way. Would probably prefer parking on it.
Customer: But can she legally have me move a parked car or a shed as she doesn't own the land
tdlawyer :

It's not your land that you need to look at (although it doesn't hurt!) but the land of your neighbours. The land often reveal big clues (even the answer) as to who owns the adjoining land.

tdlawyer :

No, she cannot, unless she owns the land or has a right to be there. If she is trespassing, as it sounds like, then she has no greater right to be there than you do!

Customer: I think some duke owns all the land around my house and is in a covenant
tdlawyer :

Yes, but you often see coveants in their titles which are in favour of the adjoining land and thus can help identify the landowner.

tdlawyer :

This is a great starting point to finding the real owner.

Customer: She doesn't own it she nearly wanted to via adverse possession so if I park on it she can't remove me and I can claim her argument of sole possession is not valid. I'll still look into the covenant though
tdlawyer :

You can make enquiries in local libraries too, to see who was in the property and paying taxes etc. at any relevant time.

tdlawyer :

There are people out there that can help do this for you, and if this is important to you, it might be worth instructing somebody to do a professional job for you. Have a look at this company - they might be able to help you:

Customer: Thanks you. The main thing is I can try to stop her by parking on the land and I can look into the covenant issue to either through the library or the company you posted.
tdlawyer :

Find the true owner and you can end her claim very easily. Otherwise, you have to fight her yourself, which will cost you money and result in your being embroiled potentially in proceedings before the adjudicator at HMLR or the courts. And, yes, you can try and show her not having exclusive possession and not intenting to exclude everybody else from the land (which is required) by parking on it, and doing other things, like maintaining it and exercising rights of way over it etc.

tdlawyer :

All that will come under scrutiny by the adjudicator/court, whereas the true owner can (and probably will want to!) stop her really easily.

tdlawyer :

Does this answer your question this evening?

Customer: It does. Thanks you.
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