The first thing to mention is that if anybody wants to bring an action in circumstances like this they must have “clean hands”.
I will explain. There is a covenant such as not having a caravan, boat, trailer (as you have) and you cannot have a satellite dish, or keep an aviary, or have a shed in the garden or have hedges or fences (very common to keep a development open plan) and you have breached any of those (if they are on your deeds) then you cannot bring an action in respect of the caravan.
For example there is a covenant on my deeds not to have hedges or fences. As it happens at least 50% of the people do and have had for many years. I do. There is also a covenant you cannot have an aviary.
My next door neighbour has an aviary. I could not take action against him 2 reasons.
Firstly, I have hedges and fences so I do not have “clean hands”.
So provided you have not breached any of the covenants on your house, you can take the neighbour to court although it depends whether the council are interested or not. Unlikely if the house has been sold.
Further, if this wall has been there for 20 years or more, in breach of the covenant, then the covenant is no longer enforceable under the rule in Hepworth v Pickles.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, if the wall has been in its current place for 10 years or more without consent and without objection and not in secret, then that’s where it stays.
If someone has used a piece of land without consent and without objection and not in secret for more than 10 years if the land is registered at the Land Registry (12 years if unregistered) they are entitled to have the land registered as their own under the doctrine of Adverse Possession.
Any known owner would be contacted by the Land Registry and an application is made by the possessor and they would be allowed to dispute the application.
Any disputed application is passed onto the Land Tribunal who will decide the issue based upon the evidence.
The has to be an intention to possess the land and it has to be occupied to the exclusion of others which means that fencing is off or possessing it and excluding others in some way is almost essential.
Whilst someone claiming adverse possession will very often have occupied the land for far in excess of the requisite period, it’s very often the case that they have no proof of when they first started to occupy and use the land.
If it was not occupied to the exclusion of others but merely used for a period, then the person using it cannot claim adverse possession but may be able to claim an easement if they can prove 20 years use without consent or objection is not in secret. That application for an easement (such as a right-of-way) would be made under the Prescription Act.
It’s also worth noting that if someone has an easement already over a piece of land, and they fence it off and exclude others, and do so in excess of the requisite period, they cannot claim adverse possession because their possession cannot be adverse if the access was originally by consent as a result of an existing easement.
The time periods are not just in respect of the current owner but the periods of the current owner and all the previous owners are added together.
If anybody is going to make an application for Adverse Possession they need to start by reading the practice guides:
There is the first one for registered land:
And one for unregistered land:
the land registry form is ADV1
And there also needs to be a Statement of Truth:
And finally, the application needs to be accompanied by proof of occupation.
I’m sorry, I appreciate the loss of this is not the answer you wanted.
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