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  • FIRST POST
    • jb201
    • By jb201 24th Nov 17, 3:29 PM
    • 23Posts
    • 12Thanks
    jb201
    Ownership of Land
    • #1
    • 24th Nov 17, 3:29 PM
    Ownership of Land 24th Nov 17 at 3:29 PM
    Hi All

    I have a situation where a neighbour (UK) is attempting to claim a bit of land that although is technically not registered, it is actually nearer my house that is is theirs. This piece of land is attached to the front of their driveway which is actually to the side of my house.

    I intend to object, but can anyone offer advice as to what grounds to object on? Any legal terms I can use?

    Thanks

    Dave
Page 3
    • jb201
    • By jb201 3rd Dec 17, 9:20 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    jb201
    What does everyone think of my reply (not yet sent and open to changes)

    Thank you for your letter reference XXXXXX dated 17th November 2017 in regard to title number XXXXXXX for the land at 6 Wendale Drive, Peacehaven, BN10 8NX.

    Please accept this letter in writing that I wish to officially object to this claim.

    I would like to object on the following grounds:

    1) The land is nearer my property, number 5 (please see attachment 1 and attachment 2).
    2) There is actual public pavement between number 6 and the land they are trying to claim (please see attachment 1 and attachment 2)
    3) Ownership of this land will cause neighbouring issues, as ownership of this land will provide rights on the new owner to prevent the use of parking spaces outside my house, number 5. This is the only parking space available to my guests (see attachment 3).
    4) The claimant has been informing me for the last 24 months that they already owned this land, and when my guests have parked there, they have complained and asked them to move. I would like to raise an adverse possession order for this case.
    5) There is no benefit or no reason for number 6 to own this land. It is not even connected to their house. I believe that I have more rights over this land, however in reality I have as many rights as them (none) so it should remain part of the public road.
    6) I believe the claim for this land is due to selling it onto developers who wish to gain access to the unregistered land behind for property development. This is likely to cause issues in Peacehaven in general, such as the current Lower Hoddern Farm planning which is causing protests in the area.

    As noted above, I have also used been using this land, although I stopped using it when I was incorrectly informed by the claimant that they were already the owners. I would like to raise an adverse possession order.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 4th Dec 17, 6:24 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Personally - I have been left unclear as to whether what you are actually saying is "Neighbour can't grab it with adverse posssession. I am trying to grab it with adverse possession".

    I'd tear up the letter and start again and state words to effect of the neighbour seems to be trying to claim it with AP and has, for that reason, told me to remove my visitors cars from the space on x number of occasions. Point out that, in actual fact, this bit of land is not owned by either house and would appear to be owned by whoever-it-is (local Council?) and that you require this neighbour to be officially informed to stop trying to treat the land as their own.

    *********************

    OR

    on the other hand - you could just do what many of the rest of us would do and just ignore the neighbour and park your visitors cars in the left-hand side of this gap if you wish (ensuring you leave the right-hand side of the gap empty for neighbour to access their garden) and leave it at that.

    If I were someone "official" receiving such a letter, then my probable reaction would be "The neighbour is trying it on and so all OP has to do is ignore them and so why aren't they doing so?". Followed by - "Oh I see - they both of them seem to be battling it out for AP and, clearly, neither of them can get it. So why am I having my time wasted like this? Next....."
    New Year's Resolution already made -

    Don't get mad....get firm ...
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 4th Dec 17, 9:00 AM
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    Davesnave
    I agree with money; there is no need for you to claim adverse possession.

    In order to frustate the neighbours' claim you only have to show that they've not enjoyed sole unchallenged use of the land for the relevant period, that they have used subterfuge in an attempt to exclude others in recent times and that the land claimed is not contiguous with the neighbours' plot.

    It doesn't help your case to claim AP yourself, especially as you acknowledge that you have no claim.

    I would include photos of the notice that was put up to deter others from parking on the plot. By implication, it shows that the land was being used by others!


    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 4th Dec 17, 11:44 AM
    • 3,377 Posts
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    EachPenny
    I agree with both the previous comments. Making your own AP claim in a way (but ineffectively) supports the neighbour's AP claim - you are saying one of you should have the land, depending on whose claim is better.

    The stronger argument is that nobody should have an AP claim because the land is not fenced, is adjacent to the public highway, has been used by various people, and is potentially owned by a third party we are all currently unaware of.

    In particular you say "so it should remain part of the public road". I think it has been established that it isn't part of the adopted road, and if it was public highway then there could be no AP claim anyway. The highway authority are unlikely to want it to become part of the public highway, so you would be better off to state that you want it to become 'publicly owned' if not claimed by the pumping station owners.

    I'm still of the view that the strongest hand is that the land provides access to the pumping station and if the land is not already under the ownership of the water company then it either needs to go to them, or to come under the public control of the local council.

    It is contrary to the public interest for the pumping station to - in effect - become landlocked by disputed and/or private land with no access rights for the pumping station owner. The failure of the pumping station without access being available could lead to foul sewage flooding and a pollution incident. I would also make it very clear that if the council and/or the water company don't protect means of access to the pumping station then you will be retaining documentation relating to this claim and will seek to hold the council and/or the water company liable for any future damage and/or loss you incur as a result.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 4th Dec 17, 12:40 PM
    • 6,291 Posts
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    davidmcn
    Has anybody alerted the water company and/or otherwise checked whether they do have a title?
    • jb201
    • By jb201 16th Dec 17, 9:55 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    jb201
    Hello everyone, an update.

    This is what I sent:

    To Whom is May Concern

    Thank you for your letter reference XXXXXX dated 17th November 2017 in regard to title number XXXXXX for the land at(text removed by MSE Forum Team). When I say land at (text removed by MSE Forum Team), it is actually nearer my house, (text removed by MSE Forum Team), so not “at” (text removed by MSE Forum Team) (the claimants address) at all.

    Please accept this letter in writing that I wish to officially object to this claim.

    This area of land has been used by both myself and number 6 in recent times for parking so I strongly believe that nobody should have ownership.

    More importantly there is also a pumping station behind which is owned by the water board. This area of land provides access to that pumping station, therefore if it should be owned by anyone, it should be them. It is in the interest of the public that this area of land remains unowned by anyone or owned by the water board and that there is undisturbed access to the water pump at all times by the water board. I believe that any ownership of this land will cause serious access issues to the water pump.

    I would like to state that if ownership is transferred to Mr Peter Albert Bunce, I will be retaining this information/documents sent to me and holding Peter, the council and water company liable for any damage and/or loss incurred to me as a result of any restricted access issues.

    I would also like to point out that the land in question is actually closer to my house (number 5) than it is to Alberts house (number 6) as shown in Attachment 2.

    The ownership of the land will also remove the only parking space I have available outside my house, as pointed out in Attachment 3. My guests will then have to park outside someone else’s house and cause upset, as there are very few spaces available in the road.

    Finally, I cannot understand the purpose of claiming this land. There is nothing that can be actually gained from it, it is not even attached to number 6. As noted above I believe it to me in my fellow neighbours interests that this land remains as it is.

    My contact details are as follows:

    XXXX

    --------------------------

    This is what I received in reply:

    Thank you for your letter of 6 December 2017 telling us you object to the application made by (text removed by MSE Forum Team).

    As this is a legal matter, which raises technical questions, I would suggest you consider seeing a Solicitor or other legal adviser about your rights. We cannot give you legal advice. When somebody objects to an application, we must notify the applicant, and we cannot complete it until the issue is resolved. But we can complete the application if we consider that the objection is “groundless”. This means the objector has not raised any legal or factual challenge which deals with the merits of the application. If the Registrar decides that the objection is groundless, then under the Land Registration Act 2002 the application must go ahead regardless of the objection. The objection will be cancelled.

    We consider the objection from all the information which is currently available, and we make our decision having weighed up all the arguments so far raised.
    I am the lawyer dealing with your objection, and based on what you have said I consider that your objection is groundless. This is because the reasons you give to object to the application do not support a legal basis for objection but rather express your concerns as to the future use of the land. Such concerns do not negate the claim to entitlement to registration of title made by (text removed by MSE Forum Team).

    Once all the formalities relating to the application are complete we shall complete the application. In very limited circumstances you may be able to challenge this action in a court process that is called judicial review. The process is expensive, time consuming, and legally complex. There is also a three month time limit from the date of the cancellation of the objection.

    Applications to court for judicial review of an HM Land Registry decision are not usually successful. In particular, you should be aware that judicial review will not be successful where HM Land Registry’s decision has been made on the correct legal basis.

    Yours sincerely

    (Text removed by MSE Forum Team)

    Then this happened

    I called the Land Registry to ask to speak to Susan, but she was unavailable. The adviser there had a look at the correspondence and said that it probably wasn't worth appealing as they would have sent someone out to look at the land they are claiming and covered the basics, including fencing around the area. I told her that there isn't a fence around the area at all and she sounded quite surprised.

    Should there be a fence around the area? Do I have a point to make?

    Thanks all
    Last edited by MSE ForumTeam3; Yesterday at 8:41 AM. Reason: Personal details
    • da_rule
    • By da_rule 16th Dec 17, 10:05 PM
    • 2,522 Posts
    • 2,235 Thanks
    da_rule
    Whilst fencing would be an indication of control it isn’t completely necessary. If they can prove that they’ve had control over the land, had intent to have that control and did it without the owners consent then adverse possession is proved.

    So for example if the piece of land is big enough to park a car on and they park their car on it every night and maintain the land then that could be enough.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 16th Dec 17, 10:50 PM
    • 3,377 Posts
    • 6,289 Thanks
    EachPenny
    Your letter stated you've also used the land to park on so I'm not sure how they can say "This means the objector has not raised any legal or factual challenge which deals with the merits of the application." applies in your case.

    The lack of fencing means they cannot state that you (and anybody else) have been excluded from parking on the land and therefore rebut your claim. If it was fenced and could only be accessed through a locked gate then it would have been easy for them to say it was impossible for you to park there.

    Have you contacted the water company? If so, what did they say?

    Also, your post includes some personal details.... I suggest you remove these asap (names, phone numbers etc)
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 17th Dec 17, 6:45 AM
    • 14,260 Posts
    • 38,652 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    I would have thought the Water Board were your best bet - they have more clout than a private individual (such as yourself) does.
    New Year's Resolution already made -

    Don't get mad....get firm ...
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 17th Dec 17, 9:04 AM
    • 3,298 Posts
    • 4,116 Thanks
    bouicca21
    I think I'd be inclined to send a second simpler letter reiterating the relevant legal point, which is that you - and others - have had use of the land and that the claimant has therefore not had exclusive possession for the required number of years.
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 17th Dec 17, 11:06 AM
    • 2,005 Posts
    • 2,531 Thanks
    unforeseen
    Central Midlands Estates Ltd v Leicester Dyers Ltd, 21 January, 2003 (High Court) may be relevant
    The court held that a claim for adverse possession failed because on the evidence the defendant had failed to establish adverse possession for the requisite 12 years. In looking at the defendant's claim to have been in possession, the court held that regular car parking on the disputed land cannot of itself constitute factual possession of, or an intention to possess, the land]
    Especially as you can prove that both yourselves and visitors have used it as well.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 17th Dec 17, 12:39 PM
    • 23,713 Posts
    • 89,700 Thanks
    Davesnave
    As the decision has been taken, it cannot now be easily reversed, so what's needed is an explanation why there was no mention or acknowledgement of the evidence against exclusive use.

    The other party must have supplied some evidence to support their claim.

    More isn't necessarily better. Here, it looks as if the waters were muddied by attempting to act for the water company and predict future problems.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
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