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wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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People in flat below have applied for planning permission to

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People in flat below have applied for planning permission to build back extension.
There is an indent into their land (from a shared path) which land registry shows as belonging to my flat, probably has contained shed or dustbins in the past. This bit of land has at some stage been "annexed " into the garden of the flat below by a wall running down the side of their back garden, parallel with the communal path. If they build an extension it will incorporate this bit of land which I believe to be mine.
Do they have "squatters rights" ? They have lived there for about 8 years. I have been there for about seven years. I pointed out to them that the segment of land, about 3ft by 3ft or maybe 4ft x 4ft was showing up on the land registry as mine and not theirs but they just appeared puzzled and implied they did not know what I was talking about.
I would be grateful to hear your opinion.

wingrovebuyer :

Hello. Is their flat owned by the same freeholder please?

Customer: The freeholder is a company. My lease is over 900 years and I only pay £7 p.a. ground rent. The flat downstairs has the same freeholder. The building is a
Customer: The building is purpose built block of 2 flats with own front doors. Building is set in a rectangle of land. Downstairs has first bit of land as their garden. I have the second bit.
wingrovebuyer :

Thanks. Adverse possession by a tenant can only benefit their freeolder, and as this land is already owned by the freeholder, it can't apply. I suggest you show the land registry plans to your neighbour and say the land is part of your leasehold interest. Also write to the freeholder, as they will need the freeholders permission for the extension, and you can point out that part of the land in question is in your lease.

Customer: Interesting about Adverse possession not being applicable in this case. Will the fact that their garden wall has kind of made a new "boundary" be significant. I think the wall was there before they moved in so someone in the past must have built the wall incorporating the piece of land that I believe to be mine, instead of building the wall in such a way that the bit of land was outside the wall.
Customer: I will write to freeholder as you suggest. They are not very
wingrovebuyer :

Hi. No, it shouldn't make a difference because AP can't apply and there has been no formal amendments to your lease to remove this land, which can only be done by deed.

Customer: In the past they have been difficult to get a response from. I guess they feel that the ground rent is so small that they are out of pocket if they have to write letters etc. thanks for your info. It has been very useful. JB
wingrovebuyer :

No problem. Please leave a rating for my help. Best, WB.

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