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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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I bought a property in 2013. At the rear of the property there

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I bought a property in 2013. At the rear of the property there is a fence, 4 metres before that there are the remains of a previous boundary line. This 4 metre strip of land was given as a gift from one brother to another some 25 years ago but was never registered on the deeds. Both brothers are now dead. Recently, the new owner has noticed this strip of land on his deeds and wants it back. Who has the rightful ownership of the land?
wingrovebuyer : Hello. Have you raised this issue with the solicitor who acted in the purchase? When you bought, did the seller give a statutory declaration, and was the seller the brother who took the gift of land? Thanks.

Yes we have contacted the solicitor and also asked for a copy of the deeds to which they replied all the plans are with the land registry because they are tying to register the land and had to send three copies out to neighbours. We are still waiting to hear from the land registry. The brother died and by probate went to his wife then to their daughter who also died while selling to us. It then went to probate to her daughter who eventually sold it to us. So it was the grand daughter of the brother who sold us the house. She noted the gift on the sales contract with a plan

wingrovebuyer : Ok, thanks. It seems to me that, in this case, possession is nine tenths of the law, in that you and your predecessors in title to the house have used an occupied the extra land for such a long period of time, it can be said to belong to you now. Provided the land was occupied as part of your garden for 12 years before October 2003 (when the law in this area changed) you can claim Adverse Possession, which means that the land will now be yours. You need your solicitor to confirm that Adverse Possession applies in the circumstances, and if it does, they ought to make this clear to Land Registry who will then add the land into the title. Best, WB
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