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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 16130
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Our house faces a private road. It consists of a stable

Customer Question

Our house faces a private road. It consists of a stable cottage and an adjoining stable courtyard, now combines, both of which face the road. Both the cottage and the courtyard had doorsteps to the road. The front door now enters into the courtyard, but the original doorstep to the courtyard has been replaced by concrete to the road, with a drain in situ.. The original front door into the cottage has now been converted into a window, but the doorstep is still present, and supports the wall of the building. There is a border in front of the house which is three feet in depth, which is also the depth of the still present doorstep. The stables were sold off by the mansion house in 1996. Unfortunately the title plan does not show the doorsteps as being part of the house. The current owner of the mansion house and private road is attempting to remove the border in front of our house in order to tarmac it over. This would mean that the road would directly abut the wall of our house and current front door, with no safety or privacy barrier in place for us against passing vehicles, of which there are quite a few, there being six houses along the road. Our question is as to whether the doorsteps should have been included on the title plan when the building was sold as an integral part and parcel of the building. Was it an aberration to have omitted them?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: We do have a lawyer who has not responded to this particular question (there being many other access issues). We have asked for a surveyor’s report, which has just told us that the title plan is correct as it stands with regard to the front wall of the house, but cannot answer whether the doorsteps should have been included or not.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?
Customer: Yes. See above.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no.
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  chatham-chamber replied 7 days ago.

Hi,

Thank you for your query. Unfortunately, it would be difficult to answer your questions without having sight of any title deeds and plans.

In any event, if youbhave had control of the area for a period of time, you may be able to make an application to HM Land Registry for Adverse Possession.

Alternatively, you may wish to contact the local council planning department or the Highways Agemcy and file a formal objection/complaint with them.

I am sorry if this was not the answer you were expecting.

I hope this answers your questions. If so, kindly rate the answer and provide feedback.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Many thanks

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
This doesn’t answer my question at all. In effect my question was ‘could the mansion house (actually by then a youth hostel) have sold a building without its doorsteps, especially since one of the doorsteps supports the building wall? If it meant to sell the building without its doorsteps would mention need to have been made of this in the disposition (no mention is made of it in the disposition)? Is the fact that the title plan does not include the doorsteps therefore an oversight?We are in Scotland, so adverse possession does not apply. For that reason the Highways Agency also does not have jurisdiction, but in any case the road is a private road, and will not come under the jurisdiction of Transport Scotland.
Expert:  chatham-chamber replied 6 days ago.

Hi,

As youbare in Scotland, I will opt out as the rules are different.

Expert:  AlinaK-admin replied 5 days ago.
Hello,
It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new 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!
Alina-Moderator
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Happy to wait a while.
Expert:  JGM replied 5 days ago.

Thanks for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland and can help you with your question today. The answer your your question is essentially, yes, because it is competent to sell all or any part of a building. Where part of a building is sold, either a plan or bounding description attached to the Disposition is needed to determine the extent of the subjects sold and the subjects retained. To answer your question in full an examination of the titles belonging to both proprietors would be needed.

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
That is fair enough, and indeed it is what happened to our stable building, which was converted into four different houses.However: would it have been reasonable to exclude the sale of a road doorstep for a door which was still extant and functional at the time of the sale?
Expert:  JGM replied 5 days ago.

No, it wouldn’t really make sense where the road is private. Although I assume there is either a right of access or common ownership of the private road, by removing the doorstep from the title could have had the effect of landlocking that part of the house from the road. I hope this helped you today. Please do let me know if I can clarify anything, I am always happy to help.

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Thank you. That is exactly our position. Our only entry into the house is from the road (servitude of access along it), and we would be effectively landlocked without it. And whoever heard of a door without a doorstep? Is there legal precedent to this case that we could quote?
Expert:  JGM replied 5 days ago.

It’s more the general law of property here than any particular precedent. Your solicitor need to look at the titles to find out exactly what has been going on, why it has happened and act accordingly. For example if your title has been “stolen” you will need your solicitor to raise action to remedy the situation.