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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10777
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
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Hi, I live in Woking in Surrey. My deceased neighbour built

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I live in Woking in Surrey. My deceased neighbour built a rear extension which encroaches on my property by a brick's width and then fenced the length of the rear garden in line with the extension, (approx. 120ft), so in effect, has carved a slice off my rear garden - this happened in the 80s and before we purchased out property. I don't believe I have any right to the encroached land due to the time that has passed and the fact that the extension was there when we bought. The neighbour's daughter is selling the house now that her father has passed away. I have asked for a survey to confirm that no damage has been done to my house by the building of the extension, and a party wall agreement to be put in place to help to protect the value of my property - both at her cost. Her conveyancing solicitor has asked me (without prejudice) if there is a sum for which I will accept adverse possession and agree not to launch any legal action - I wasn't looking for a cash sum, I was asking for the survey and the party wall agreement! The conveyancing solicitor won't give me an idea of what sort of figure the neighbour's daughter is considering and I can't afford a solicitor if I don't know what the figure might be, as the solicitor could cost more than the figure! She is threatening legal action if I don't agree as the fact that I have raised the encroachment is getting in the way of the house sale. I guess I have 4 questions:
Is there a disadvantage to formally agreeing the adverse possession situation?
Why wouldn't they just pay for a party wall agreement and a survey?
What sort of figure would be a starting point?
I jointly own my property with my ex partner who has no idea of the current situation. The neighbour's solicitor doesn't appear to have clocked that I am not the sole owner - is there a danger of any repercussion with his not being involved if an agreement is made which only involved my name and signature - do I have to declare the joint ownership to the neighbour's solicitor?
Thank you for any advice you can give!

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

I am Al and am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

As regards ***** ***** for a Survey, this is slightly unusual to be honest. On the basis that the extension was done in the 80's, any damage caused to your property would surely be visible by now. As regards ***** ***** wall agreement, this only applies to extensions which are going to be built, and do not apply to extensions already in existence.

On the basis that the encroachment has existed since the 80's, your neighbour's daughter would be successful in any application she made for adverse possession at the Land Registry- all she would need to show is that the encroachment has been in existence for over 10 years. However, as your Land will be registered, there is a set procedure and time scale any such application has to follow, to include the Land Registry writing to you to see if you would like to object to her application (you would only be able to object on legal grounds, rather than just for the fun of it). In short, the whole process is likely to take a good 12-16 weeks and if the property has already been sold, would likely cause the Buyer to pull out due to the delay.

It would therefore be better for your neighbour's daughter and Solicitor if you would be willing to sign a Land Registry Transfer document, transferring this land to her. Please note the Transfer would have to be signed by you and your ex partner if you are both legal owners. The Solicitor should have picked up on this already, but if he hasn't, I am sure he will realise once matters progress. If you do therefore agree to proceed, you would need to contact your ex partner and no doubt share the consideration with him.

Please note, if you have a Mortgage, they will have to consent to the Transfer, which normally isn't a problem, but normally will entail an admin fee being paid.

As regards ***** ***** would be normal for £500-£1,000 to be paid, plus costs. ie you should ask the neighbour's daughter to agree to pay your Solicitor costs (likely to be £600 plus VAT), and any fees incurred by you in obtaining your Mortgage Lender's consent, if applicable. As regards ***** ***** you can always ask for an additional say £300 to cover the cost of you obtaining a survey, but whether she will agree to this, I just don't know.

I hope this assists you and sets out the legal position.

Kind Regards


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