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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 23781
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Its quite a problem, but a neighbourly dispute is ongoing

Customer Question

Hi, its quite a long problem, but a neighbourly dispute is ongoing regarding title deeds and the land registry documents. I can cut and paste what they say, but the point is, Im not sure the neighbour can have a "dispute" about common law documentation? They are holding the dispute against home owner?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: We have been sending letters and emails. They are new purchasers (within a year) and various other disputes are now resolved. But im struggling to "resolve" this one.
JA: Where is the land located?
Customer: CA6 4AB
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Not really, but I can send emails / land registry docs
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 15 days ago.

Hello. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this today.

Please bear with me as I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you. You will receive an email when I reply.

Please give me all the background otherwise i cannot give you a answer - thanks

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Hi Stuart, im going to cut and paste some information;Neighbour:
Your fathers claim that the owner of Hamethwaite has access on to our
property to lay pipes across it, to the field on our northern
boundary.
Your father has produced no documentation to support this claim and
our searches have not found any documentation to support it either.
It would not be normal for deeds to list all the people who do not
have access rights to a property. We can find no reference to
Hamethwaite in our deeds.They have had the land registry documentation for review which states:“The right (in case the existing drains shall prove inadequate for the efficient drainage of the land hereby conveyed and Croft Cottage) to lay (on giving three months notice of intention to the Vendor or her successors in title) beneath that part of the retained land being part field number 307 and field number 318 on the ordnance survey map and thereafter to use a surface water drain in the approximate position shown by a blue line on the said plan in substitution for the said existing surface water drains and
(c) the right to enter onto the retained land for the purposes of laying the said drain and inspecting cleaning maintaining and repairing such drain or the exiting drains the person or persons exercising such a right making good any damage thereby caused and paying reasonable compensation for any such damage which cannot be made good and
(d) the benefit (so far as the Vendor can assign the same) of the covenants on the part of William Gordon Percival and Wilma Rosemary Rita Percival contained in a Conveyance (hereinafter called “the 1980 conveyance”) dated the 18th January 1980 and made between James Claude Was of the one part and the said William Gordon Percival and Wilma Rosemary Rita Percival of the other part EXCEPT AND RESERVING unto the vendor and her successors in title to the retained land:-
(i) the right to use the existing water pipe under the land hereby conveyed in connection with the retained land with the right to enter onto the land hereby conveyed for the purpose of inspecting maintaining repairing and renewing such water pipe the person or persons exercising such right making good any damage thereby caused and paying reasonable compensation for any such damage with cannot be made good and
(ii) the right to connect into and use any surface water drain laid pursuant to the rights granted hereby.The land that Lee View (property of people disputing) is within one of those pieces of land, as does my fathers house.Let me know if you need more info.
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
can the neighbour class this as a "dispute" or am I right in thinking there is no dispute, and if they have an issue with the land registry and deeds they need to take that up with a solicitor?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 15 days ago.

There is clearly some background to the correspondence.

It’s not apparent from the correspondence exactly what the problem is.  So could you explain exactly who is claiming what and what the problem is please?  Thank you.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
The original dispute was regarding surface water drainage. That has been resolved. But during those conversations my dad highlighted what the land reg docs state (as above) which seems to suggest that there are rights of access over the neighbours land to the open ditch to the north of his property. The neighbours are "disputing" that, its the final part of a list of 5 disputes, but I am stuck on how to resolve this as the land registry documents are the land registry documents. So, im not sure what the issue is with the neighbour, apart from them being very stubborn.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 15 days ago.

Just because there is no right of way or easement in land registry deeds doesn’t mean there isn’t one because it’s possible to enquire right-of-way or easement to use adjoining land through long use under the Prescription Act.

So if a person has enjoyed a right-of-way or some other kind of use over adjoining property without consent and without objection not in secret and has done so for more than 20 years (previous owners periods of use are added into the equation-so it doesn’t have to be just one owner/user) then the person wishing to claim the right can do so under the Prescription Act.

The onus is on the person wishing to make the claim, to prove that they have done whatever it is without consent and without objection and not in secret and have done so for more than 20 years.

Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question.  I am glad that I was able to help.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have

Kind regards