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  • FIRST POST
    • Harris1980
    • By Harris1980 17th Apr 18, 11:31 AM
    • 2Posts
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    Harris1980
    Can I fight (potential) adverse possession of my land after 12 years?
    • #1
    • 17th Apr 18, 11:31 AM
    Can I fight (potential) adverse possession of my land after 12 years? 17th Apr 18 at 11:31 AM
    This is my first post so I apologise if this in not the correct forum.

    Around 2001 (when I was a kid), neighbours cut down our tree and built a crude brick wall in the dead of night. My dad couldn't do anything as he was on his own, I was only a kid and the neighbours were a bunch of thugs who threatened him. He called the police but they could not get involved due to it being a civil dispute.

    They erected a building (probably without permission) and have erected another one.
    They have had the land for more than 12 years, but I don't think they have applied for adverse possession (or else we would have been notified)

    Now that the nasty old neighbour has passed away, and my Dad is in a better financial
    (and security) position, is there any possibility (however slim) of getting our land back!
Page 1
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 17th Apr 18, 11:37 AM
    • 748 Posts
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    BBH123
    • #2
    • 17th Apr 18, 11:37 AM
    • #2
    • 17th Apr 18, 11:37 AM
    Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought anyone applying for adverse possession had to contact the Land Registry and they would write to the owner, I also thought 12 yrs was the deadline but I'm sure someone knowledgeable will be along to help
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  • Land Registry
    • #3
    • 17th Apr 18, 11:56 AM
    • #3
    • 17th Apr 18, 11:56 AM
    You need legal advice here re what your options are. General thoughts, which may assist include

    The law allows someone to take possession of someone else's land - it is a very complex law and such claims can be thwarted within a certain timeframe. Our Practice Guides 4 and 5 explain the registration requirements re such claims but not the complexity of the law involved.

    Whilst registration can be seen as being key to completing the legal process re such a claim you have to look at the wider picture. If they have occupied and used the land and 'taken it' from your Dad for 17 years then anything you or he now does may trigger an application to register, which on the face of the details posted could be successful. Just because they have not registered it may not mean any claim is negated but veyr much something to get legal advice on

    I appreciate they are now deceased but are their next of kin/beneficiaries aware and may they seek to carry that claim on and register it?

    And as taking land from someone else can be done so legally so can the reverse occur so again something to discuss with a legal adviser before doing anything.

    Legal advice is essential here as the specifics matter and it is important that you have an understanding of what your options are and of course what options may be available to the neighbour's beneficiaries. If the neighbour has died presumable someone is looking to deal with the estate, which may mean a sale and of course any buyer is likely to query 'why the extra land?'
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    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 18th Apr 18, 4:28 AM
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    Tom99
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 18, 4:28 AM
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 18, 4:28 AM
    Is this not a case where you would argue that the land has been occupied with your father's permission, even though reluctant permission, since he clearly knew about it?. If so does the 12 years not even start running?
    • TheBanker
    • By TheBanker 18th Apr 18, 6:16 AM
    • 626 Posts
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    TheBanker
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 18, 6:16 AM
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 18, 6:16 AM
    Is the actual (original) boundary marked in any way?

    Is the house occupied or likely to be sold by the executors?

    You need legal advice but it would be best to move quickly, so that any action can be taken before potential buyers view next door and decide that they like the nice big garden and out buildings. If the neighbour's executors are selling and keen for a quick sale, it's in their interests to resolve this without getting into a protracted dispute. If they do sell the house, surely any buyer (or their surveyor/solicitor) will identify that the sale appears to include land not owned by the estate, which will delay the sale.
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    • googler
    • By googler 18th Apr 18, 9:40 AM
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    googler
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 18, 9:40 AM
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 18, 9:40 AM
    Around 2001 (when I was a kid), neighbours cut down our tree and built a crude brick wall in the dead of night. My dad couldn't do anything as he was on his own, I was only a kid and the neighbours were a bunch of thugs who threatened him. He called the police but they could not get involved due to it being a civil dispute.
    Originally posted by Harris1980
    So there's basically an unresolved dispute between the two, which should be declared by anyone selling the house (as long as they are aware of it).

    Write to the executors and outline that you and your father are still in dispute over the land.
    • ciderboy2009
    • By ciderboy2009 18th Apr 18, 10:36 AM
    • 456 Posts
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    ciderboy2009
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 18, 10:36 AM
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 18, 10:36 AM
    How much land are you talking about?

    If just a small bit then it's probably best to forget about it - boundary disputes can get very expensive very quickly. At the end of the day the only winners in them tend to be the solicitors.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Apr 18, 4:56 PM
    • 16,606 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 18, 4:56 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 18, 4:56 PM
    I'd go with just taking your land back quickly - before potential buyers come along and think your land is part of next door's garden.
    ****************
    • Lysimache
    • By Lysimache 18th Apr 18, 9:44 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    Lysimache
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 18, 9:44 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 18, 9:44 PM
    Take your land back quietly and quickly. Build a wall or something, or plonk something on it, or place an army of mates on it on rotation at all times (last one a joke).
    • Lysimache
    • By Lysimache 18th Apr 18, 9:47 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    Lysimache
    Also, if there was threats of violence used to keep you off the land in the first place, then I imagine (but dont know) that might render any claim to the Land Registry by the other side for adverse possession etc invalid? Perhaps Land Reg can clarify if threats and force can be used to keep someone quiet for 12 years?
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 19th Apr 18, 8:24 AM
    • 26,156 Posts
    • 94,906 Thanks
    Davesnave
    Perhaps Land Reg can clarify if threats and force can be used to keep someone quiet for 12 years?
    Originally posted by Lysimache
    Coersion is a matter for the police, not the Land Registry. It may be a little late to press charges, though, if the miscreant is deceased.

    LR rep has already stated that legal advice is required swiftly, and because the ownership of land is ultimately a legal matter, OP would do well to heed that, rather than DIY suggestions here from amateurs.

    However, if there's a dispute over ownership here, no executor of the other party's estate is going to want it, that's for sure.
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
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