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Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 33038
Experience:  Over 20 years experience
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I am the leasehold owner of the ground floor flat of a semi

Customer Question

I am the leasehold owner of the ground floor flat of a semi detached house made up of two flats (ground floor and 1st Floor). Alongside the detached side of the property runs the side return which then runs into the garden of the neighbouring property (also leasehold and comprising of two flats). As the ground floor owner, I own the garden in my property, and the same applies to the ground floor flat in the neighbouring property.
There is no clarity on any of the legal paperwork about the ownership or location of the boundary between my property and the neighbouring one on the detached side. This has caused an issue with the replacement of a fallen fence as we can't work out who is responsible for it.
On a secondary note - the boiler in my property has been located on the inside of the detached wall, with the flue sited on the outside of this wall and protruding approximately 30cm into the open space of the neighbour's side return. The wall of their property is over 1.5metres from the wall of my property. They have asked for the flue to be relocated as it is 'trespassing' on their property. However the boiler and flue have been located there since the construction of the building (in 1989) and would have obtained the necessary permissions at the time. On the assumption that the boundary between my building and next door is on the outside of the wall of my property, what are my options relating to the location of the flue? It is not disrupting the neighbours in any way, there's no construction up against on near it (and no plans for it) - yet it would be a huge undertaking (cost and time and disruption) to resite the boiler and flue elsewhere in the property.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 years ago.
How long has the flue been there?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Since the construction of the building that my flat is in - so 1989. I've had the boiler replaced in 2005 and again this year - the flue has only been replaced according to current regulations but not been resited.

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Lets start with the boundary. The starting point would be to have a look at the deeds or indeed the conveyancing files for when you purchased the properties to determine if possible the ownership of the boundary. If not clear on the deeds you should check the conveyancing file for what the previous seller said on the issue. Again if this isn't clear you would need to instruct (normally jointly with the neighbour) a surveyor to determine the issue of the boundary. As to the flue you can claim that as it has been there in situ since 1989 it has been there for such a long time that it has something called adverse possession. Happy to discuss but please rate positive.
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 years ago.
I hope that this help - please rate positive - thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you -

can you give me some clarity - or point me in the right direction - for further information about adverse possession? Is it a law?

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 years ago.
Happy to do but please rate positive for the original question
Thomas Judge and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Have rated - can you please let me know if that's ok?

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 years ago.
The fact is this case is that the flue was positioned there at the time of purchase and there has only recent been a complaint - here is a briefing paper on the law - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adverse-possession-of-registered-land/practice-guide-4-adverse-possession-of-registered-land
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I've just looked through that - but it seems to apply to squatting. This is a very minor encroachment, not a physical possession of their land.

Is there any other guidance?

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 years ago.
The principle is the same though.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok - thank you.

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 years ago.
my pleasure