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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71131
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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The registered owner of some land near me has been dead for

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The registered owner of some land near me has been dead for 20 years. The beneficiary of his will does not know it exists & does not want to know it exists. Is there anyway I can become the legal owner of this land?
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Whats the value of the land?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Jo, It is roughly 2 acres with no planning permission so agricultural value would be about £12,000 I think.

There are two ways that you can become the owner of the land.

You can simply occupy it and provided you occupy it without objection, without consent and not in secret for more than 10 years, you can then apply to have it registered as yours under the doctrine of adverse possession.

The alternative is for the executor of the deceased person's will, to transfer it to you provided grant of probate was obtained in respect of the deceased person's estate.

They are the only two ways that you can acquire this piece of land.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I do not haver access to this land as there has been someone using it for more than 10 years, openly and without the consent of the deceased owner. So presumably they are the only party who can benefit from this doctrine of adverse possession?

At the moment, yes, that is correct.

What you could do of course is try to negotiate with the beneficiary of the state to pay them for the land although you would then have the problem of dealing with the adverse possession of the current occupier
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

This was where I started. Having traced her she said she was "not interested" in anything to do with (strangely) this so I then asked you what my next course of action was which I think you have answered perfectly. I will talk to the occupiers & go down this route.

What you could do is get the current occupiers to make an application to the land registry for adverse possession which it appears the current owner would not oppose.

You can then buy the land for a nominal sum from the current occupiers once it is registered in their name.

If you had all the expenses of paying for the adverse possession application, you need an agreement for them to sell the land to you afterwards to prevent them backing out once they have the land if they change their mind and decided not to sell it to you.

They can make an application for adverse possession to a land registry using form ADV1.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Jo, I will draw up an agreement between us beforehand so that i don't end up doing all the work and then finish up empty handed. I will get an ADV1 form as you suggest. Can you tell me how I pay you please as I don't need a subscription for more. I now have a clear plan & am happy.

The agreement between you and the occupier needs to be an Option to Purchase, within say a five-year period.
The consideration is you paying for the ADV1 on their behalf and paying them whatever you are paying them.
The purchase price in the Option needs to be specified.

If you send admin and email they will make sure that your subscription is cancelled.

You should see a rating system where you can rate my answer positively. That will then trigger payment to me from your deposit.
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