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.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joshua Your Own Question
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 29195
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
35043042
Type Your Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

Ownership of a parcel of land, No paper work land given to

This answer was rated:

ownership of a parcel of land
JA: What steps have been taken so far? Has any paperwork been prepared or filed?
Customer: No paper work land given to us and used for about 12 years
JA: Where is the land located?
Customer: at the bottom of our garden and adjacent
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The neighbours now want to claim the land and are being quite agressive

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

  1. how may I assist in relation to the above please?
  2. from what you describe, have you carried out a search of the land registry to determine if the land is registered to anybody?
  3. Is the land enclosed physically and if so, is it enclosed as part of your garden so as to exclude others?
  4. What access if any do your neighbours have to the land?
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Land is enclosed as part of our garden Thought the fence is in poor repair. It once had a gate which the previous owner used for a while and this was closed off and they accessed the land from the other side via a shed on their yard. The land was bought by mr ***** ***** and after his death his widow gave the property to us.I think the property is still in their name thought our neighbour is claiming he has it.
It is planted up with our fruit bushes and the neighbour is threatening to pull them up.
Along sihe this they are making a fence between us and them which it states in our deeds is ours.
  1. Thank you. so to be clear, the current neighbours have no access to the land as such and no one has had any access to the land since the gate you refer to was closed off?
  2. you mentioned that the land has been enclosed as part of your garden for approximately 12 years? Do you believe it is more than 12 years?
  3. Approximately when was the gate closed off?
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Mr Morris died August 2007 and we helped his widow in the garden for a while then she moved in summer 2009 as I recall. The gate was closed off from around the late 1970s

thank you. Based upon what you say, the first step would be to investigate with the land registry to ascertain if the land in question is registered. You can carry out an initial search using their online map searrch facility but it may be necessary to obtain a definitive search by carrying out a search of the index map:

https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/eservices/FindAProperty/view/MapEnquiryInit.do

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/index-map-application-for-an-official-search-sim

in the above, you will establish one of two things. Either the land will be registered or unregistered. If it is unregistered, the rules are relatively simple in that you will need to show 12 years of continuous occupation whereby you have treated the land as your own and excluded others, usually by reference to a boundary fence or similar structure. If you can satisfy this criteria, you can make an application for adverse possession.

If by contrast, the land is registered at the land registry to somebody else other than you, then the rules are similar but a little different. Instead of 12 years, you only need to show 10 years of occupation as above but in addition to the above criteria, you also need to show one further criteria; this final criteria is either that the land was gifted to you or otherwise promised to you in some way on condition that you maintained it or something similar and you can show that the reason you maintained it was in reliance upon that gift or statement OR that you have occupied the land in the incorrect but reasonable belief that it was part of your garden.

Satisfying this final criteria can be difficult and this was intentionally made so in order to reduce the number of claims for adverse possession but were made in respect of registered land based on possession alone was felt to be unfair to the real owners of the land in question. If however you believe you can satisfy this final criteria where the land is registered, and similarly, you can make a claim for adverse possession of the land

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adverse-possession-registration-adv1

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adverse-possession-statement-of-truth-st1

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Thank you I cannot find anything relating to this piece of land on Land registry. Thank you for the information. Not sure how we will proceed. It would seem we should be entitled to adverse possession but we feel would need some advice on from filling and evidence, Will have to think about it.
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
I have contacted land registry there is no registration but this could be because it was bought before 1973

thank you. This may indicate that the land is unregistered but to be sure, you would need to consider completing form SIM (link above) together with a fee of 5 pounds and sending it to the land registry for an official search. Such search is definitive unlike the online search tool which is only indicative

Joshua and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Thank you for your help.

I'm glad the above answers all your questions. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me otherwise thank you very much for visiting JustAnswer and I hope we will see you again in the future.