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 Matt Jones Your Own Question

Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practicing Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
13732703
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Matt Jones is online now

I am co-freeholder, with my upstairs neighbour, of a house

Customer Question

I am co-freeholder, with my upstairs neighbour, of a house which is divided into two flats, and their gardens. My co-freeholder and I each have a lease which was created in 1975. When we bought the freehold in 2004 the previous owner could not locate the original deeds so we have a Title document and Plan issued by the Land Registry but we have leasehold deeds (mine is the original, my upstairs neighbour's is a photocopy). These show the dimensions of both the house and gardens. Someone who owns a small plot adjacent to our freehold land is claiming part of the land described in our leasehold documents. His freehold title was created in 1990 and his Title document from the Land Registry includes no dimensions. Can we assume that the piece of land, which is part of the garden of one of the flats and shown as such on the leasehold deeds does, indisputably remain our property?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I can wait another couple of days. Please let me know if you have been unable to find anyone by the end of business on Friday. Thanks!

Jenny Myers

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
HI,
I will try and help
A couple of questions
1) how long have you, and your neighbour owns the property
2) Is the land that is being claimed by the adjoining neighbour contained within the leasehold boundary with a structure (i.e. fence, wall)
3) if yes to 3 how long as it been in place?
4) What are the neighbours reasons/justification in trying to claim this land?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

1) My neighbour bought his leasehold property in the mid-1980s and I bought mine in 2004. A month or so after I moved in, we jointly purchased the freehold.

2) Yes. I will try to describe the geography. Our property is an end of terrace house at the end of the road. For all the houses in the road, the back gardens extend to a private right of way. The gardens of the houses in the next parallel road share the private right of way. Both ends of the right of way are gated where they give onto the roads at right angles. Our house is an end-terrace at the end of the road. A portion of land carved out at the bottom of our garden has been used for many years as a builder's yard. It gives onto the road at right angles to ours and has a postcode different from ours. This is the small plot which has a separate freehold title and belongs to the person who is claiming our land. It is approximately. The land at issue is the piece of the garden which does still extend to the same boundary on the right of way as everyone else's in the road. It is approximately 3 metres x 6 metres.

There is a fence between the leasehold property and the garden next door; a fence (renewed by the person claiming the land in the summer of 2013 - we now realise as a pre-emptive move) on the boundary with the right of way and on the third side it is defined by the back of the double garage which stands at the rear boundary of the builder's yard.

3) The garage was there when my co-freeholder bought his flat. The two fences have recently been renewed but, with the exception of the moving (by the claimant) of the gate into the right of way from its original central position to one adjoining the fence with the next door garden, remain in their original positions.

4) The reason for the claim is to facilitate the building of a house on the plot which is not large enough without (or even with!) the 2+ metres of our garden.

The justification is the Land Registry title plan which appears to show the land belonging to the garden as narrower than it is which the claimant 'proves' that our land only amounts to the width of a path alongside the fence with next door. (Hence the moving of the gate!) We have copied to the claimant an explanation from the Land Registry that the plans are only a guide. It has made no difference.

I hope this makes sense to you.

Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hi sorry for the delay replying
It is always difficult in assessing land claims without a plan. Could you attach one?
In any event it appears there is sufficient length of ownership between you yo justify the claim. Even if the land turns out not to be in the legal ownership, as you/joint co freeholder have used and owned for more than 12 years you could claim "possessory" title as a secondary argument to defeat a claim to the land.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Attachment: 2014-08-06_101941_leasedeedsplan.pdf

Attachment: 2014-08-06_102014_jarereg5.pdf

Hi. Likewise, sorry for the delay. Busy times!

I hope I have succeeded in attaching three files. One is the leasehold deed created in 1975 showing the disputed section of our gardens highlighted with the yellow tag. The second is a plan submitted by the owner of the garage plot adjoining our land to the Land Registry when he re-registered his plot last year. The Land Registry has confirmed to us that they have adjusted only his eastern boundary to which I and my co-freeholder do not object. However, he is claiming that the Land Registry Plan

Attachment: 2014-08-06_105316_jagarageslrplan.pdf

shows that he owns some of our land at the back of his garages.

Thank you for your email. I hope this extra information will make it possible to add to your previous answer.

I will certainly leave positive feedback.

Jenny Myers

Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello Jenny
I have just returned from holiday so just picked this up!
thank you for the attachments which you have successful attached
I believe I understand this further, but just to check:-
your neighbour owns title number AGL48142, and wishes to move his rear southerly boundary further into your "passageway".
If this is correct according to the lease plan with the yellow tag this rear passage should be 8 foot 11, is it?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Matt

Yes, it is the owner of AGL48142 who is claiming this land. According to him, his title extends south some 2+ metres across the 8ft 11 leaving only the width of a path giving access from our garden to the private right of way. He is not so much wishing to move his southern boundary as claiming the land is already his and is including it, for the second time, in a planning application to build on his plot. The leasehold plan is pretty accurate. There may be a few centimetres to be negotiated with a reasonable neighbour, but no more.

Jenny

Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
In my view if the land registry have made the judgement that the title plan wont be changed to include the area to the south then that is a fair indication of the lack of merit to the neighbours claim. The next recourse led to him would be to appeal the decision, and then ultimately to make a court application for a determination. Although difficult to say for certain without seeing the whole evidence from both sides, with the picture evidence you have shown me, and the length of ownership, his ultimate claim seems futile.
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience: I am a qualified and practicing Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
Matt Jones and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.
Can I help further?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi


Sorry for the delay, I have been away from my computer. I am happy to hear that you believe that the Land Registry's failure to specify his southern boundary indicates that my neighbour's claim is lacking in merit. On the other hand, the Land Registry seems to deny that it is the business of establishing boundaries and my ongoing concern is that he is behaving as if his claim is already proved and he continues to claim ownership of and to access the land. Is my only recourse to take him to law?


 

Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.

It is true that County Court is the correct place of recourse to determine a boundary properly,but the decision of the Land registry will be a good determining factor.

Ultimately if he begins to actually work on his property and physically move boundaries, apart from putting something physical in place to stop him, the appropriate point of re-course is to apply for an injunction to prevent his actions.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Remus2004

    Remus2004

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    2438
    Over 5 years in practice.
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Remus2004's Avatar

    Remus2004

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    2438
    Over 5 years in practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TG/TGraham12/2012-7-17_81212_bigstockBusinessHandshake508163.64x64.jpg Thomas's Avatar

    Thomas

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    445
    UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    42
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    4708
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AS/Aston Lawyer/2013-10-8_19517_JAPROFILEPICTURE.64x64.jpg Aston Lawyer's Avatar

    Aston Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    1869
    LLB(HONS) 20 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CH/chathamchamber/2011-4-24_191833_1.64x64.jpg chatham-chamber's Avatar

    chatham-chamber

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    828
    LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CL/clairep80/2013-8-25_191218_dreamstimexs267279822nd.64x64.jpg Clare's Avatar

    Clare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    286
    I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 with a wide general experience.
 
 
 

Related Property Law Questions