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    • Berocca
    • By Berocca 17th Apr 18, 12:41 PM
    • 3Posts
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    Berocca
    Land we didn't realise we owned, is it too late to claim it back?
    • #1
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:41 PM
    Land we didn't realise we owned, is it too late to claim it back? 17th Apr 18 at 12:41 PM
    Hi,

    Would like some advice please.

    We bought a detached property just over 30 years ago and didn't realise till after our mortgage was paid and received our deeds that a piece of land behind our house belongs to us, which is currently in use by next door with a very unattractive shed built on it. On our title plan it shows we own the land, and after some investigation we've found that it is not on next doors title plan.

    What id like to know is do we have a right to claim this land back?
    And what is the process to do so?
    Do we approach our neighbour or go straight to the solicitors?

    Appreciate all the feedback !!!128522;
Page 1
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 17th Apr 18, 12:45 PM
    • 7,359 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #2
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:45 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:45 PM
    ...or you could offer to sell it to your neighbours
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 17th Apr 18, 12:50 PM
    • 24,807 Posts
    • 92,107 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #3
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:50 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Apr 18, 12:50 PM
    Have the neighbours owned their house as long as you?

    If not, for how long approximately have they used the land concerned ?

    Have they fenced the land?

    How large is it ? (approx)

    At this stage it would be best to say nothing to the neighbours if they have occupied the land for more than 12 years.

    EDIT: Also see the thread below, which is current:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5830074
    Last edited by Davesnave; 17-04-2018 at 12:54 PM.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 17th Apr 18, 1:49 PM
    • 17,193 Posts
    • 15,496 Thanks
    AdrianC
    • #4
    • 17th Apr 18, 1:49 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Apr 18, 1:49 PM
    You refer to your deeds. Is your property registered? Is this piece of land registered? Do a search on the LR's website to be sure.
    https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry


    If it is not registered, get it registered asap. It is a lot easier for them to claim adverse possession of unregistered land than registered.


    Once you have it registered, tea and cake is the best way forward... You clearly do not want or need the use of this land - while they do, currently, have solid grounds to claim it for free with relatively little hassle. I'd suggest you have a route to a reasonable compromise which will see the shed cease to be an issue for you.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 17th Apr 18, 2:25 PM
    • 1,746 Posts
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    shortcrust
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 18, 2:25 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 18, 2:25 PM
    My preferred option would be to forget about it, which is what I've done in a similar situation.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 17th Apr 18, 2:38 PM
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    agrinnall
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 18, 2:38 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 18, 2:38 PM
    My preferred option would be to forget about it, which is what I've done in a similar situation.
    Originally posted by shortcrust
    The problem with that is that if the OP wants to sell the house and the potential buyer is more diligent with their searches then the ownership of the land is going to be an issue. I'd suggest selling it now to the neighbour for a nominal sum, unless the OP wants to do something with it themselves that will add value in the future.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 17th Apr 18, 2:42 PM
    • 7,359 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #7
    • 17th Apr 18, 2:42 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Apr 18, 2:42 PM
    The problem with that is that if the OP wants to sell the house and the potential buyer is more diligent with their searches then the ownership of the land is going to be an issue. I'd suggest selling it now to the neighbour for a nominal sum, unless the OP wants to do something with it themselves that will add value in the future.
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    And the neighbours are even more likely to have an issue with it when they come to sell - better to sort it out now rather than wait until it needs urgently done during a sale.
    • Berocca
    • By Berocca 17th Apr 18, 4:50 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Berocca
    • #8
    • 17th Apr 18, 4:50 PM
    Reply to Davesnave
    • #8
    • 17th Apr 18, 4:50 PM
    They've owned the property for around 22 years but the property was sold assuming the land concerned came with it.

    It's around 40m sq. and its not fenced off just a big shed has been built on it.

    Thanks for the advice.
    • Berocca
    • By Berocca 17th Apr 18, 4:58 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Berocca
    • #9
    • 17th Apr 18, 4:58 PM
    Replying to AdrianC
    • #9
    • 17th Apr 18, 4:58 PM
    The property and land is registered to us so when we come to sell the property, which may be soon, we would need the whole issue dealt with.

    The piece of land is right at the back of our property so could potentially be a large extension to our current property or considering it is ours, we get the sale of the land rather than next door have it

    Thanks for the advice, tea and cake sounds great.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 17th Apr 18, 5:02 PM
    • 17,193 Posts
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    AdrianC
    The property and land is registered to us
    Originally posted by Berocca
    ...at the Land Registry?

    OK, so ignore the deeds - they're historical interest only. The LR is the official record of ownership.


    If your neighbour bought the place in the mid-late 90s, then they'll definitely be registered, too.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 17th Apr 18, 6:02 PM
    • 43,810 Posts
    • 51,790 Thanks
    G_M
    The property and land is registered to us so when we come to sell .....
    Originally posted by Berocca
    I assume that's a response to
    You refer to your deeds. Is your property registered? Is this piece of land registered? Do a search on the LR's website to be sure.
    https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry
    though it remains ambiguous.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 17th Apr 18, 6:06 PM
    • 62,178 Posts
    • 363,937 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    Conversation, with plans tucked under your arm....

    "Hello ... as you know ... our land ..."
    Flourish of arm, produce papers.
    "Thinking of selling ... so thought we'd give you first option to buy that piece, else your shed will need clearing off as we'll re-landscape it prior to selling".
    Wait .... and say nothing.

    Title deeds trump what people thought.

    Set your selling price for the bit of land dependent on whether you really want to sell it to them, or feel it's got more value re-attached to your house.
    • Badger50
    • By Badger50 18th Apr 18, 12:43 AM
    • 53 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    Badger50
    The neighbour's solicitor will probably advise him that he doesn't need to buy the land, he already owns it by adverse possession and just needs to register his title.
    • ciderboy2009
    • By ciderboy2009 18th Apr 18, 10:40 AM
    • 387 Posts
    • 340 Thanks
    ciderboy2009
    The neighbour's solicitor will probably advise him that he doesn't need to buy the land, he already owns it by adverse possession and just needs to register his title.
    Originally posted by Badger50
    Unlikely - the OP has already stated that the land hasn't been fenced off so it's unlikely that the neighbour will be able to prove that they've excluded all other people from using it.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 18th Apr 18, 12:00 PM
    • 24,807 Posts
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    Davesnave
    Unlikely - the OP has already stated that the land hasn't been fenced off so it's unlikely that the neighbour will be able to prove that they've excluded all other people from using it.
    Originally posted by ciderboy2009
    They'll have excluded them from the 'big shed,' but a landlocked shed with no access rights isn't much use either!

    There are too many known unknowns to be sure though.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Apr 18, 4:51 PM
    • 15,350 Posts
    • 42,818 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    They've owned the property for around 22 years but the property was sold assuming the land concerned came with it.

    It's around 40m sq. and its not fenced off just a big shed has been built on it.

    Thanks for the advice.
    Originally posted by Berocca
    One of the criteria for stealing land by "adverse possession" is to fence it off I believe.

    With them not having fenced it off - can you just pretend to believe that the shed is yours and go in and knock it down and put something else up there fast. That being - just act as if its yours - because it is yours.

    Or have you unwittingly "shot yourself a bit in the foot" by referring in conversation with said neighbour to "your shed and what you are doing on your land" (ie because you didnt know its actually your land)?
    ***************
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