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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10974
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My enquiry relates to a property in the UK. I am a Trustee

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My enquiry relates to a property in the UK. I am a Trustee of a small charity which owns land which adjoins a larger piece of land. Both pieces of land are fenced off from each other and have been in separate ownerships for over 50 years.
The adjoining owner has claimed for some years that he has a right of way over our land to get to his land, although his land has its own separate entrance. Over the last few years he has, by using our entrance, parked a few scrap vehicles on our land without our knowledge or consent, and has refused to remove them, despite requests from our Charity and our solicitors. Our land is vacant, so we cannot keep a constant watch on it.
Can you advise me for what length of time and in what manner he is required to have used the land to establish a right of way.
1. In order to acquire a right of way by long user, this man would need 40 years of using the right of way before he could get it registered on the Folio in the Land Registry. However, here, it is not really a right of way which is in issue. Parking cars on your land constitutes a trespass in law. Trespass does not give the person trespassing any rights over the land on which he trespasses. However, you can, and the charity should sue this man for trespass and force him to remove the scrap vehicles he parks on your land.
2. Using your entrance does not give right to a fresh right of way. Intermittent user gives no rights. What is really in issue here is that he is attempting to take your land by stealth. He cannot do this, if the land is registered land, because adverse possession or squatter's rights has been abolished since 2003 in relation to registered land. However, if your land was unregistered, he could still claim adverse possession after 11 years user, but only then if he fenced off your land as his, which he has not done here. So really, the only issue here is one of trespass and the nuisance he is causing by leaving his scrap cars on the charity's land. So, you should sue him to remove them and sort out the problem, once and for all.
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