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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I purchased my home in August 2003, I was told I owned a boundary

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I purchased my home in August 2003, I was told I owned a boundary hedge and a strip of land on the opposite side of the hedge for maintenance of the bank. my boundarys are not registered but my predecessor had lived here for 20 years and I now for 12 years.
the farmer who owns the field has been sniping at my family for some considerable time and we cannot afford a solicitor to fight him off, he has now claimed he owns the hedge, bank and strip of land and is trying to take them from us by using the land registry appeals procedures. we are very worried because we don't have the money to pay a solicitor and his solicitor is making a lot of claims saying he will bank rupt us and get CCJs and cut off our water supply which crosses the farmers field? Where do we stand?
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

May I ask if there is a ditch on the far side of the hedge please?
What stage has the boudary dispute reached with the Land Registry? Is it with the Adjudicator?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ArchivesHello Joshua, No, their is not a ditch on either side. My garden is higher than the field and the earth bank is abour 0.5 of a meter higher than my garden. it has a hedge which was planted by my predecessor who lived here for 20 years and she told us we owned the Bank, Hedge and 1 mtr of ground on the opposite side of the fence which we have kept clear for the last 12 years. I have attached a picture of the property and also a paper from the national archive?

Attachment: 2015-05-26_122041_picture_of_the_grove.pdf

Many thanks. The "property right" you kindly attach. Is this registered as part of your deeds as a right attaching to your land?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No I got it from the national archives, the 1964 conveyance shows a red line around our property, up to the edge of the road way

Attachment: 2015-05-26_123642_picture_of_the_grove.pdf

highways agree we own the lay by, the farmer to the north told us we own that bank and we have exercised rights over the southern bank because we have been told it was ours and previously the farmer never said anything when he saw us working on that strip of land????

Thank you. When you say you got the "property right" from the national archive. IN what document is it contained. I appreciate there is likely to be more to it but what you have kindly posted is just a piece of paper with reference to rights. There is no reference to what property is relates to in the document nor what authority the person that signed the document had to grant the rights. That on its own is not capable of registration against your title. Is there any more to it or is that all there is?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The document was part of a Meering Mans Copy Book from the 1842 royal commission, ordnance survey of the county of devon, one of the questions they had to answer was ' how are property rights established, who owns which boundary and how are they made up' evidence was taken from the land owners at the time and recorded. This property and the field were owned by the same farming family from 1800s to 1964 when bothe were sold.

Thank you. Whether or not the above would be registerable would depend upon whether it can be evidenced that those rights were sold with the property you presently own. The Land Registry Adjudicator will be able to decide if the above rights attach to your property or not from a reivew of the history of the title. My suspicion is that the document will predate the division of your property from neighbouring land and therefore the above rights will not necessarily be included in your title as a right but this is only a (I like to think) educated guess and it would be necessary to examine the title in detail to ascertain the a common law presumption where there is a hedge and ditch or a hedge bank and ditch that the edge of the boundary our side of the ditch but no presumption occurs in respect of the hedge and bank where no ditches present.If you are able to contact the previous owner, and you have in practice used and maintained the land which is presently the subject of dispute, then you may consider claiming prescriptive rights over the land if it is not adjudged to be part of your title if you can demonstrate 20 years of continuous use of the land. Whether you are able to trace the previous owner I am not certain though you could use a tracing agent if you do not have their contact details to see if they would assist.Providing your deeds have a legal easement for water across the field, he cannot cut the supply off. The supply does not benefit from a formal easement, again, if you can demonstrate that the property has been supplied by that supply without the farm's permission 20 years or more, you will have a right through long use. If all else fails, you can ask the local water supplier to connect a water supply to your property though this is not always cost effective depending upon where the nearest mains supply pipe terms of ownership of the boundaries, the normal process is to retain the surveyor to prepare a precise plan showing the location of the boundaries in his opinion and then submit this to the land registry either for agreement between you and the farmer or in default of this as would be the case here, to refer the matter to the land registry adjudicator in the first instance for determination. If you are not satisfied with the determination, you can appeal the matter to the property tribunal or the County court.If title plan already has measurements on it, which is relatively rare but can be the case, then these measurements will normally be binding upon you and any neighbouring landowner. If there are no measurements, following determination by the land registry adjudicator, measurements will normally be added to your title plan which will then be binding from thereon.If the matter has been sent for adjudication, you will need to ensure that you supply the adjudicator with all the information requests and any evidence and information you consider to be pertinent including, we have chosen to retain one, report from your surveyor evidencing the location of the boundaries in his opinion. from there, either the determination will go in your favour for if not, you will need to consider an appeal of the initial determination to the property Tribunal County Court to resolve. There is no requirement to use a solicitor to pursue the above applications.I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

just this ;last one please? I have been told that the statute of limitations would halt his plans because the 12 year phase to recover land has passed?

also that the law regarding estoppel 'acquiessence' has come and gone in effect he is out of time?

the farmer has only owned the field for the last 4 years of my predecessors ownership of this property and he has never cut the hedge or repaired the bank?

You are right that the old 12 year rule for claiming adverse possession would not apply as this was replaced in 2003 by a new much stricter regime. TO apply under the old rules you need to show 12 years prior to 2003 which from what you say he could not do. He cannot use estoppel because estoppel cannot be used as a sword (i.e. to attack someone); it can only be used as a defence.I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
Joshua and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no that's fine thank you, ***** *****



I am glad the above was of some assistance. I hope you receive a positive determination from the Adjudicator.