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Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
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Sorry this is so long winded :- We own a house that we lived

Customer Question

Sorry this is so long winded :- We own a house that we lived in for 10 years before renting it out 12 months ago, when we originally moved into the house we were told by the neighbours that at the back of the houses was a row of garages/allotments, and that one of them was used by the lady who used to live in our house,( she had used it for 30 + years), the plot that we were told was ours, was over grown and had a large but dilapidated shed, about 12 months after moving in we decided to erect a garage on the plot, about 10years later and out of the blue everyone in the row got a letter from a woman (Tracy)saying that she owned the land (we had never been approached for any ground rent) our garages were on and she wanted £1500 for each plot,she was not going to use a solicitor and did not want us to use one either, even though we thought the price was high we decided that we would buy the land and proceeded to instruct a solicitor, during the searches it came to light that that Tracy did not actually own all the land underneath our garage, as our garage was at the end of the row and the original owner, Tracy's grandfather, had in fact sold the end piece, of the strip of land that he owned, and when we had erected our garage we had gone onto the land that had been sold (by about 3ft) and what turned out to be unregistered. Our solicitor advised us to hold off buying the land until we had applied for adverse possession of the 3ft strip and if and when we acquired that we would then be in a position to buy the rest, We did apply for adverse possession with out using a solicitor and when we got our reply (about 4months later) we were told that it was a problem with the ordinance survey map and that Tracy did actually own the land and if she applied herself they would amend her title deed.
Meanwhile Tracy had herself instructed a solicitor and we started getting e mails from this solicitor accusing us of "dragging our feet" and telling us the price of the land was doubling , he contacted our tenant and told them to remove there belongings from the garage, even though we were very polite and tried to tell him what the land registry had said, he was insistant that they were wrong. Eventually Tracy did contact land registry and got the deeds amended, at that point the price of the land went up to £5000 with a threat that if we did not pay he would sue us, we were aware that the whole situation had got out of hand, so at that point we said ok enough is enough we are not paying £5000 for the land we will vacate the land and put it back to the condition it was in when we first started to use it , he has now told us that we can not take our own garage off the land and it now belongs to Tracy and we need to send the keys to his office by courier within 7days (there up today) and if our tenants have any belongings in there he will get a possession order and we will be liable for the costs of doing this. The use of the garage is not included in the lease of the house we rent, but we did say that they could use it, we have asked them to move there belongings but they say the garage is full (they have sold a flat and the furniture is in the garage) and they have nowhere else to put things. We had decided that the only way to get this person out of our lives was to give him the garage but even that doesn't seem to be enough, surly he can not just bully us into giving our property away and then sue us because our tenant won't move their belongings. We would buy the land for the original price but he also says that there is now a £1200 bill that is being added to the price.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 3 years ago.
Matt Jones :

Hi I will try and help

Matt Jones :

am I right in saying that at the moment there is 1 garage on the land that was there when you moved in, and one that you subsequently erected?

JACUSTOMER-25ssbz8g- : No. We took the old shed down and replaced it with a garage , The shed had belonged to the old lady who lived in the house before us.
Matt Jones :

OK thanks.

Matt Jones :

So Is the garage permanent or ca it be moved? could you also clarify the question(s) you are seeking a reply to?