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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We have a property we owned since 1988 (our parents owned)

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We have a property we owned since 1988 (our parents owned) with vehicular and pedestrian access across the next door neighbour's garden. This land was originally part of our garden (the house was originally built in the 1850's). The neighbours used to pay a pepperccorn rent to have access to their backdoor on this land. When that property was sold in 2002 on the death of the neighbour they had to register that house with the Land Registry and unbeknown to my parents or ourselves included this strip of land in their property. We weren't notified at this time but have had continual access over this land and this has only come to light when we are now selling our property and find that we have no legal vehicular right of way to our property from the rear. (we have pedestrian access from the front). The strip of land is effectively a driveway to our property.
What is our legal position with the Land Registry to a legal right of way to be granted over this land.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : In short the land belongs to you but has been registered to the neighbour, is that correct?

We do not have any proof that the land was ours as it had not been assigned to either property by the land registry but originally the property owned by us was the only one there. when my parents bought in 1998 is was assumed that everything was completed correctly and the original neighbour had only access to their backdoor and they accepted that this had always been the case. the neighbours property was bought in 2002 and the land registry has assigned the property to them.Can we do something about this and how long would it take as we need assuranses fro the land registry that we coud either claim half the land or at least right of way

Alex Watts : Is there nothing on your deeds?

We are not sure that this piece of land was included in anybodies deeds until the sale of the neighbours property in 2002


We were not informed by the neighbour if he knew about this land or by the land Registry that they had allocated it

Alex Watts : Ok. Do you have any evidence it was your land, ie parents still alive?

No both parents are dead and the original owner of the other property is also dead. we may have a neighbour the other side to us who had lived in her house most of her life(she is now approx 70 yrs who could possibly shed some light ie her memory of access by my parents and the original people who owned our property

Alex Watts : Ok. You will need evidence, have you approached your neighbours about this yet?

no we have only just found out about from our buyers solicitor and they were hoping to complete on th 16th of this month. they will take an assurance from a solicitor that acess is possible. so how long would it take for the land registry to give an acceptable answer

Alex Watts : The land registry make take a few months, it won't be by 16th.
Alex Watts : They will need to investigate which could take a few weeks.
Alex Watts : They will probably also need to contact the other side to get their version of events.
Alex Watts : Then they will come to a decision. If you disagree with the decision it will go before an adjudicator.
Alex Watts : So the whole process sadly won't be quick
Alex Watts : i am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest
Alex Watts : Can I clairfy anything for you about this today please?

how likely is it that the right of way application will be successful?

Alex Watts : It's hard to say. The difficulty is there is a lack of evidence. No one can remember.
Alex Watts : You may be more likely to establish a prescriptive right of way if you show 20 years use.
Alex Watts : The right comes absolute after 40 years and in effect amounts to the same thing.
Alex Watts : Does that help?

we can prove for ourselves from 1988 =26yrs and probably with neighbour support earlier than that. should we go for prescriptive right of way would this be a quicker resolution/ Also could a solicitor give an assurance after vspeaking to the land registry

Alex Watts : I see, if you can show usage that helps. Yes a solicitor can also give an assurance

That,s very helpful and reassuring Thank you very much for your help. the rest is obviously down to us

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