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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
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Experience:  Experienced solicitor
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Purchased property in Jan 2015. Carrying out refurbishment

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Purchased property in Jan 2015. Carrying out refurbishment to the whole house. I have notice that the neighbours paving is encroaching into my land by approx 1 feet directly inform of my garage. Neighbour is claiming adverse possession although I have asked for him to prove he has had it for 10 years. I know that hepurchased his house in 2011.
The issue is stopping my builders from building the wall and finishing block paving. Can I continue to build up to my perceived boundary as per my land registry document and remove his bricks?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 1 year ago.
Hello I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.
Is it just the neighbours paving encroaching onto your land? There is no fence/wall I take it. If it is in front of your garage door then presumably the previous occupant and you have continued to traverse this land and use is as part of the driveway. In this case the land has not been occupied by your neighbour at all. He has simply put some paving on your land (very generous of him you could say) and the question of adverse possession does not arise. Adverse possession is the same as squatter's rights and therefore there must have been occupation of the land.
I assume that as you are talking about 10 years rather than the usual 12 that he is referring to Land Registration Act 2002 sched 6 para 5. This provision deals with boundary encroachments (eg building a fence, planting a hedge etc.) not paving.
It seems to me that unless I have missed something your neighbour is misguided in his assertion.
I take it that he has not filed a statutory declaration at the Land Registry yet about this piece of land?
Unless I have misunderstood the facts here I can see no legal reason why you cannot remove his paving and replace it with your own up to the boundary.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your response. Just to clarify the matter, I have attached a couple of images. I have highlighted in orange the area where he pointlessly is encroaching.

I have asked him to prove that the land now belongs to him which he has not. At the moment, its delaying me finishing my paving and also building a 1m high brick wall to separate our houses. He is of course asking for a party wall notice for the wall.

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,
I can't see the photos
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 1 year ago.
If you are on the uphill side here then the land he is claiming may be capable of supporting an adverse possession claim. It is clearly on the other side of a wall/step down in height and will not have been used by you/the previous owner.
If your neighbour or his predecessors in title have had this land like this for more than 10 years then maybe he could found his adverse possession claim.
As far as the wall is concerned your neighbour is entitled to have the party wall system activated in these circumstances. If you want to build on the actual boundary you need his consent. If you want to build the wall on your land right next to the boundary then you will have to give him a month's notice before doing so.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

He has shown no proof that he has had this for 10 years. I do not believe he has. What are my options as I would like to build my boundary wall as soon as possible.

What are the implications of removing the stones to prepare for my works. I will send him a notice of works today.

Thanks

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 1 year ago.
I am in meetings all day today but will get back to you late afternoon or early evening.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I look forward to your response. Thanks

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 1 year ago.
If you are sure that the boundaries are clear (and often they are not, although if he is asserting adverse possession you could argue he is by implication accepting the boundary). If he has not filed a stat dec then there is nothing in law stopping you building on your land.
However, there will be a risk if his claim later proves valid that you will have to re-instate the situation as it is now at your cost.
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Category: Property Law
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