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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10984
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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There is a parcel of land at the bottom of a private alley,

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There is a parcel of land at the bottom of a private alley, adjoining the rear of residential properties. It is unregistered but claimed to be that of a local shop owner. It has been used for dumping of rubbish and now resembles a landfill site. The speculative owner refuses to pay to get it cleaned up. The local authority claims their hands are tied as there is no registered owner. Personally I think that this is because it only affect the three sets of residents adjacent and it is not visible from the street. Can an individual do anything to take over the land to clean it up.
1. Dear *****, the first thing I would suggest you do is to get a solicitor or search agent to actually ascertain who owns the land in law. Effectively a search has to be carried out of the Registry of Deeds in which the land is mentioned. Once you have actually confirmed who is the true owner - whether it is this local shop owner or someone else - you can then decide how to act. Additionally, if you do find the true owner, then you can show who it is to the local Council and they can utilise their powers under the Environmental Protection Act, 1990 to compel the owner to clean it up as it is not only contrary to the Environmental Acts but it also constitutes a public health nuisance and can be dealt with on the basis it is a statutory nuisance.
2. Be aware that the law only gives a person the right to abate a nuisance. It does not give a person a private right to enter upon someone else's land to remove rubbish. It gives the Council a right to enter upon land to remove rubbish and to order a clean up. But a private citizen, such as yourself, has no automatic right to enter upon adjoining land to remedy a nuisance. You need an order of the court compelling this adjoining owner to clean up the land. So, if you can ascertain the true owner or if you want you can sue the shop owner to clear up the rubbish on the basis it is a statutory nuisance under the 1990 Act. This is your ultimate remedy here, if the Council won't act. For this, you should employ a solicitor and issue legal proceedings in the County Court. However, such an order will be given for the asking if you can show any adverse effect on your land and the health and enjoyment of your property.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The local Authority conducted a Land registry search and there is no registered owner. There is adverse effect on my daughters property, aesthetically, rodent infestation, insect infestation and odour nuisance stopping the use of the garden in the summer as a result of the dumped rubbish that include food residue.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The assumed ownership was information acquired locally. The land is locked in by properties on all sides and the access is via an alley that is private. The assumed owner applied to build a large storage unit on it but the application was refused. Again this was information from his brother who runs his local shop. Others believe it is a land grab.
4. Dear *****, I would still advise you to conduct your own search via a solicitor or land agent to see who owns the land. Do not rely upon the local Authority's failure to find out who owns the land here. That would be very foolish. However, given the facts, you should also use this solicitor to formally write to the shop owner and write a letter before legal action calling upon him to remedy the nuisance, or otherwise, you will sue. Once you threaten to sue, you will soon see if he actually owns the land. However, you should still have a search of ownership carried out on your behalf.
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