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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7673
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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I live in a small village in Somerset, the oldest house in

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I live in a small village in Somerset, the oldest house in this part of the village. There is a layby outside the house on the road which nobody seems to know who owns. I have an Ordnance map published in 1887 which clearly shows this adjoining the property - at this point in history the nearest adjacent building is several hundred metres away - there is now some planning application for a development on land adjoining my property and although LR doesn't include this layby as registered to me I'm wondering if I could have any legal claim to it.
McGee Harris

Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.

If the land is not registered in your favour then in order to claim it as your own the only option that would conceivably be open to you would be by claiming and proving what is termed “adverse possession” to the Land Registry in order to have it registered in your name.

If the land in question is unregistered then you must have been using it continuously for 12 years in order to claim possession of it and be registered as the registered proprietor at the Land Registry

If the land is registered then you need only have been using it continuously for 10 years in order to apply for adverse possession at the Land Registry. Notice of the application will be sent to the current registered proprietor of the land, who is obviously at liberty to object. It is therefore more difficult to claim adverse possession of land that is registered.

The difficulty is that you must have treated the land as your own over the whole length of time. Usually this means fencing it off and maintaining it. Yow would have to produce documentary evidence of this in order for your claim to proceed.

If it’s just the case that you have not really done anything with the land but are not aware of anyone else doing anything with it then you would not be able to claim it.

My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.

Kind regards,

Thomas and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you