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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10459
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
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I recently found out that the utility room at the back of my

Customer Question

I recently found out that the utility room at the back of my house was built encroaching on next door side by some 18 inches. When I purchase the house in 1999 this was not highlighted in the search or survey. I believe that this was in existence some year before 1999. Now my neighbour is challenging this encroachment.
Is there anyway I can defend the situation? This neighbour is the third occupant to next door since I moved in and no one has raised this issue before now.
My house is a mid terrace built in the 1870's when there used to be a lot of outbuildings at the back of such house with no accurate definition of boundary.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 2 years ago.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

I am Al and am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

Provided the encroachment has been in place for 10 years or more, then you would be entitled to apply to the Land Registry for "possessory title" of this land.

Basically, whenever a party possesses land which does not belong to them legally, they can claim ownership of it, if the possession has been undisputed or without the consent of the true owner for at least 10 years.

Making such an application to the Land Registry will take time and it may be best for you to try and come to an agreement with your neighbour- it would be easiest for him to willingly agree to transfer this small section of land to you, and which paperwork could be prepared by your Solicitor. As a sweetener, you may wish to offer to pay your neighbour's legal fees in doing this, if indeed he agrees to it. Having said that, if he were to go to a Solicitor, he will be advised that there is little he can do to demamnd a payment/request demolition if your utility has been in place for over 10 years.

I would therefore suggest that you explain the above to your neighbour and see what agreement you can reach. You can of course inform him that you plan to apply for possessory title and hope that a resolution can be found.

I hope this assists and sets out the legal position.

Kind Regards

Al

Aston Lawyer and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

If I apply to the Land Registry, does he have the right to object to it?

His Solicitor seem to advise him that he can get paid for it?

His suggestion was to employ a surveyor to value the bit of land and once a payment is made he would agree to drawing a legal agreement and register the deed.

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

He can object but if you can provide evidence that the utility has been there for 10 years, this in itself evidence that you have physically possesssed the land, and his only defence would be that the building of your utility was with his or his previous owner's consent.

So, it may be quicker and less painful if you offered to pay him a token amount, but if he is being unreasonable, you always have the right to apply to the Land Registry full stop.

I hope this helps.

Kind Regards

Al

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Which Act or Legislation the "10 year" right of possession comes under?

I need to refer him to it.

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

The legislation is the Land Registration Act 2002.

Kind Regards

Al

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