How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Alex J. Your Own Question
Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3843
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
Type Your Law Question Here...
Alex J. is online now

In 1994 I bought my house and noticed that part of the brick

This answer was rated:

In 1994 I bought my house and noticed that part of the brick built building that runs along the side of the property had two doors l leading into my garden and the other, on the other side of the building leading into my neighbours. There was a brick wall dividing the interior.
When I came to view the property the previous person living here (a tenant) was using part if this building for his business. Before moving in in I notice that the door leading into my garden had been blocked off from the inside.
Subsequently the neighbour admitted that they had 'pinched' our part of this building. I have tried asking them if they would re-instate but to no avail. They are now selling their property is there any way before they sell I can reclaim part of this building back?
Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. When you purchased the property, was this part of the building included in the title plan? Have you made your claim to the neighbour in writing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ADVERSE POSSESSION (not sure if it is)
I bought my current house 3 Wellshurst Cottage in 1994 and share a boundary with number 2 Wellshurst Cottage. Part of this boundary consist of a one story brick building with one door at either end of the brick building – one of these doors leads into the garden of no. 2 and the other door leads into my own garden.
No. 2 Wellshurst
No. 3 Wellshurst
There was a brick wall in the middle dividing the building in two but this has been knocked down by the occupants of No 2When I viewed the property before buying, a member of the family living here at the time (they were renting the property) was a silversmith and working in the section of the building where the door is leading to into my garden.
Between this family leaving and us moving in we noticed that the door had had a piece of wood nailed across it. (I assume between the time of tenants leaving and us moving in). The surveyor’s report page 16 suggests that part of the brick and tile building ‘originally ran with the subject’.
At the time I took little notice of the nailed wood since the builders were here and we still had no hot water, windows had not been fitted etc. etc.
When we were more settled I obtained from Land Registry the title deeds to my own property and also those of number 2 to see if these made the situation any clearer – unfortunately not.
Over the intervening years I have asked the neighbours if this part of the building could be re-instated and have met with a frosty response. (Some time before this Mrs Baynton, the neighbour, had admitted that they had ‘pinch’ our bit of the shed.
Since the neighbours appeared to be immovable and in the hope of getting written proof that this part of the building belongs to No 3. I tried to contact the previous tenants with no luck. In addition since the cottages once belong to farmers (the Notley’s) for housing their farm workers. I tried contacting them, (the land is now Wellshurst Golfclub). Mr Notely had died and Mrs Notley as well as being elderly was quite ill at the time.
I understand from a third party that Mr & Mrs Baynton have drawn a plan showing the whole of the building belongs to them. I have asked if I could have a copy of this plan since they do not show-up on the title deeds obtained in 1995. This request has been refused. (Mr Baynton has subsequently died)
I contacted Land Registry to see if these plans had been submitted to them and they confirm that nothing has been submitted. To make sure I now have a current copy Jan 2016 of the title deeds and the plans are the same as those we obtained in 1995.
Why am I asking for help now? I appear to have come to a ‘dead-end’ and I understand that Mrs Baynton is about to sell her property. Before the sale goes through I would like to get a final conclusion on this matter, whatever that that turns to be.I would like some professional help and advice and wondered if you would be prepared to give this. I have not made a claim in writing since she has refused my verbal requests She would just ignore any letter
Hi, Thank you. If this turns into a dispute before the property is sold she will have to disclose that to her buyers and therefore may jeopardise her sale. I would write to her explain this situation and say that it must be resolved now - ultimately the dispute is only going to cost her buyer money if she does not disclose it.Can you confirm has the other side raised the Adverse Possession point? This is basically the legal term for squatters rights - meaning they claim they have acquired ownership through uninterrupted occupation of the land. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Alex, The surveyor thought it had and noticed that someone had nailed a piece of wood to the door on my side since the tenant had vacated the property. (he mentioned it in the report ("at some point the building appeared to be part of the subject"(I assumed 'subject' meant the house). As for me I thought it was since when I came to view the property the tenant was working in part of the building that leads into my garden. I spoke to him at the time but unfortunately did not get his name. (The tenant vacated the property long before I came) At the time I didn't question it since the builders etc were crawling all over the place.
Hi, Thank you. Do you have a professional opinion from a surveyor confirming this forms part of your land? Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No I don't, the only comment he made was the one-line in the surveyors report. I think the new buyers are friends and have been told. She had them round to tea and has probably shown them the plan that Mr Baynton drew. She shows it to everyone. Incidentally I asked for a copy of this plan since it is not registered with Land Registry and the remark she made was 'I could look at it,
Hi, Thank you. If you want to force her to engage the issue, the best way would be to have an expert opinion backing up your claim. If you sent this to their solicitor they would be obligated to disclose it to their prospective buyer and that would massively disrupt their sale - they would have no choice but to engage with you to resolve the issue. Firstly before you can take this anywhere you need a definitive professional opinion on where the boundary lies? Have you downloaded the documents from the Land Registry yourself?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Alex, Yes I downloaded title deeds initially and then paid a fee to Land Registry for a further copy , last December. Unfortunately these did not provide any more detailed information. They just show the boundary as a line with a square box on the line which I assume is the building. Very inconclusive. The house is 1930's so perhaps that was all that was needed then! It looks as if we have come to a dead-end since I have also tried tracing the people who lived here previously to no avail. However Alex thank you for your help.
Hi, Thank you. I think the best way to resolve this will be to obtain the professional opinion of a surveyor, that way you will at least some guidance as to where the boundary should fall. This will also be credible evidence that can be used to support any argument or claim that you might have to the boundary. If you engage a surveyor that states the property belongs to you, the likely effect will be your neighbour will have to do the same thing if they want to dispute the transaction.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Alex I will go to the Estate Agents I bought the house from and engaged their surveyor. (They are only about 2 miles away) It may not be the original surveyor but at least I can get a professional opinion. Thank you once again. I will let you know.
Hi Thank you. As long as the surveyor is a professional with knowledge of the area and is independent then you can use this as the basis of raising an argument with the neighbour, they will have to respond or risk jeopardizing their sale. The only thing I would say is you have to be certain that this is how you want to resolve the dispute, once you obtain the surveyors report there is no guarantee you will recover the cost of the surveyor report or it will contain the result that you are after. Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Alex: I have contacted a surveyor today who lives and works in my area. As I was explaining the problem he said it is common in this area for buildings like this to exist and often the details are not shown in the title deeds. I was describing the building and he immediately said 'there is usually a wall in the middle dividing the two sides" so he appears to be familiar with this type of building. The surveyor is not attached any estate agent - he was recommended. The appointment is next Wednesday. I know I will have to pay for his services and it may not result in the outcome I would like but at least Alex 'I will have gone down fighting' better than feeling helpless. I will let you know and thank you for mapping a course of action. Regards Sandy
Hi, No problem. When the surveyor prepares a written report make sure he confirms which parts of the report can be disclosed to your neighbour and the neighbour's solicitor. If I can assist any further please let me know. In the mean time I would be most grateful if you would rate my answer? Thank you Kind regards AJ
Alex J. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you