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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10972
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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We own a piece of land on an industrial estate in south London.

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We own a piece of land on an industrial estate in south London. Our ex commercial tenant neighbour placed his old Mercedes car on the land summer 2012 (the car was and is not in a driveable condition, not taxed, no mot and possibly only good for parts).
I agreed to let him leave the car on the land for a few months, Over the last two years I have asked him several times to shift the car. He advised it would be done within 2 months but it was never removed.
Our ‘ tenancy was terminated & he was evicted in July 2015 by his landlord after failing to pay rent etc. The Mercedes car was left on our land and our neighbour left no contact details nor gave us any notice of intent to remove the car.
I wrote to the BVLA with a form V888 request for information for the Mercedes 450 SLC registration DGJ484. The DVLA replied 25/0/15 that they had no record of that registration DGJ484.
Last Thursday 22/10/15 a scrap company were removing other cars from another part of the industrial estate for crushing. I asked them to remove the Mercedes, and gave them a letter authorising the removal of the car from our property.
About 3 hours later our ex neighbour telephoned us demanding that we retrieve the car and was his usual shouting threatening demeanour. I told him he could retrieve the car from the scrap company & gave him their phone number.
He phoned the scrap company and demanded his car be retuned to our property and offered to pay £150. The scrap company have advised the following:
They refuse to deal with our neighbour because of his aggressive attitude.
They have advised me that because the vehicle has been on my land for longer than a year & 1 day that I am the legal owner of the car.
They still have the car at the yard awaiting my instructions.
Given the above my Questions are:
Can I legally have the car removed & crushed?
Now that I have made him aware who has the car & where it is do I need to have any further involvement?
Given that he is not the registered keeper, do I need to return the car to him?
If I do have to return the car but he cannot provide a storage area for the car can I leave the car at the scrap yard for his collection? They will charge £20 per day storage which will not get paid & ultimately the car will be scrapped.
Thanks for your help
David Coghlan
1. Dear *****, you need to realise here, that you don't get ownership of the car just because it has been left there for more than a year and a day. The car still belongs to your ex commercial tenant neighbour. You were, in law, bailees of the car whilst it was on your land. So now are the people from the scrap yard. However, as bailee, you can charge a rent for having stored the car for over a year. So too can the scrap yard. However, upon payment of any charges for storage, I regret to say that your neighbour is entitled to his car back. It is still his car and you have no right in law to have it crushed or scrapped. If you do, then you will be liable in damages to him. So don't adopt that course of action. Charge him for its release and give the scrap people some of it as well for dealing with your neighbour's rudeness.
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