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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 29202
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I live in council property and applied for rights to buy my

Customer Question

I live in council property and applied for rights to buy my land registry plan has come through my fence is in wrong place my neighbour who is also council has quite a large chunk of our garden
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: Estate officer came today to investigate and she mentioned if fence is more than 10 years nothing she can do! Surely if both properties are council tenant next door has NO RIGHT to 10 year Claus surely need help please
JA: Where is the land located?
Customer: Thurrock RM19 1SB
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Thank u
Submitted: 22 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Customer: replied 22 days ago.
Is any one there
Expert:  Virtual-mod replied 22 days ago.
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 22 days ago.
I'm OK with waiting thank u for your reply
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Have u found any one yet?
Expert:  Joshua replied 21 days ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

I am very sorry to read of the above and I imagine what a difficult position it must be. I will certainly try to clarify your options.

From what you describe the fence has been in the wrong place for 10 years or more and this has only come to light recently. Is that correct please?

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
As far as I'm aware the fence was brand new when I moved in 2014 so only 7 years and only come to light when I applied for rights to buy and I was sent land registry plans
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Can't speak on phone on way to work finish 1am
Expert:  Joshua replied 21 days ago.

thank you. The officer you have spoken with is not wholly wrong in what she has told you but also is not wholly right. The position would be that as things stand, you would be reliant upon the landlord to take action in relation to the fence. If you decide to proceed with the purchase, then as the new owner, you could seek to take action yourself to recover the land but there is no guarantee from what you say, that that action would be successful if the neighbour or the landlord sought to resist the application you made.

After 10 years, providing the adjoining neighbour or landlord can demonstrate that the land has been physically and practically enclosed within their garden and occupied by the landlord or in practice it would be the tenant for a period of 10 years or more in the incorrect but honest belief that the land comprised part of their garden, then this can be grounds for claiming what is known as adverse possession-this is also sometimes colloquially referred to as squatters rights. If they cannot show that the occupation of the land was in the honest belief that it belonged to the neighbouring property, the application for adverse possession would fail and you would be entitled to recover the land in question but without knowing what position they may take and what evidence they may have to support it, it is difficult to second-guess the outcome of any such adverse possession defence they may raise or indeed even if they would raise one.

If you become the owner of the property, you can seek to reposition the fence to the line you believe represents your boundary. If they refuse, you would need to consider self help whereby you simply relocate the fence in ensuring that the damages caused to it or seeking an injunction to require that the fence is moved.

The advantage of self-help is that it is quick and relatively cheap to accomplish but has the risk that the landlord may make an application for adverse possession in respect of the land which if successful, would mean the fence would have to be put back. It also has a risk that if the fence does not belong to you, that the landlord could claim criminal damage if it is damaged in the process.

The advantage of applying for an injunction using the following form is that it would give a degree of legal certainty as regards ***** ***** but will incur court fees:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n16a-application-for-injunction-general-form

Expert:  Joshua replied 21 days ago.

I hope the above answers all your questions. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me otherwise thank you very much for visiting JustAnswer and I hope we will see you again in the future.

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Thank u for your advisr
Expert:  Joshua replied 21 days ago.

My pleasure. All the best with your purchase