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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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We have a jointly owned family home. Bought Nov. 2004. Registered

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We have a jointly owned family home. Bought Nov. 2004. Registered Land,a tiny strip of land buts up to & runs across the bottom of our garden with a drainage ditch in it. Not registered & much research done but unable to find anyone willing to admit they own it. We have paid to have trees removed which threatened the property the other side of the ditch. No payment to anyone, no force & challenge to our possession of it. Have we run sufficient years to file a Statutory Declaration & claim a Possessory Title. If so how long do we wait to upgrade it to a Freehold Title in Possession, Please?
Hello. Does this strip actually lie within your enclosed garden? I assume you've checked with Land Registry that the land is not registered?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, outside Registered Title of our garden. The strip is not registered & only a few feet in depth ( ? 3ft ) with trees on a precarious bank, across the width of our garden. It drops down steeply, ( again ? 3ft ) into a drainage ditch. The ditch has a few inches of running water which increases in depth after heavy rain. We have kept this piece of bank in a proper husbandry way to prevent the stream from blocking up. Recently a large fir tree growing into the bank became unstable. We had to use a professional tree surgeon to have it removed. It was leaning over the ditch & even hanging over the roof of the house on the other side of the ditch. We did not want a big argument if their roof was seriously damaged.. What we were thinking of was applying for a Possessory Title for the bank against our garden & the ditch up to its middle. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Thanks - I appreciate the land is not within your title, but it doesn't sound like it is fenced off with your garden, or enclosed in any way. To claim adverse possession, you would need to show not only that you have had sufficient control of the land, but also sufficient possession of it - this usually requires that the land has been enclosed / fenced off to prevent access by any other person. However, the topography of the land in this case might answer that point. In any event, you'll need to have possessed the land for at least 12 years. I therefore suggest you wait for another year or so before applying to claim the land. At that time, contact Land Registry who will send you the appropriate forms. You will then get a visit from a Land Registry surveyor, whose report will determine whether or not possessory title will be granted. If it is, you would have to wait another 12 years before you can apply to upgrade the title to Absolute. Best, WB
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