Dealing with Adverse Possession objection

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    Dealing with Adverse Possession objection

    I bought a property 3 years ago which was in AP of a small strip of unregistered land next to it since the 1960s.
    I recently applied for AP and all was going fine until recently an objection was received by a neighbour with a lot of spurious and false claims.
    The letter received is a B193(A) Notice of objection under Section 73(5) Land Registration Act 2002 which states that I can either (1) Negotiate or (2) Proceed to the first tier tribunal.
    Whilst I understand the above options, I read online somewhere that as long as I remain in possession for 2 further years, I will be granted the AP - is this correct?

    #2
    Have you represented to the Registry that the objection is groundless?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
      Have you represented to the Registry that the objection is groundless?
      Am I able to do that? If I can, then I will write back, however, the letter said that I need to reply by 12 noon 8th September 2021 and I can only choose to either (1) Negotiate or (2) Proceed to the first tier tribunal.

      Comment


        #4
        Are the neighbour's claims patently ridiculous?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
          Are the neighbour's claims patently ridiculous?
          Well, as part of my application, I had a Statutory Declaration from the Executor of the Estate (and cousin) of those who owned the property to confirm their exclusive use, sole possession of key to gate as well as a Stat Dec from one of the immediate neighbours who has lived there since 1991 to confirm the same.

          As part of their objection, the other neighbour's claims are that they have had access and maintained and used it. However, there is no evidence of this. In addition, they have rubbished the Stat Decs by saying that the Executor of the Estate didn't live there so they don't know anything and the neighbour who has been there since 1991 is being 'looked after' by me.

          So, to me, the above objections are pretty rubbish as I had to provide all sorts of evidence such as OS Surveyor Visit, pictures of work undertaken at the land etc.

          Looking at the guidance, it states the following:

          If an objection is received, whether in response to the registrar’s notice or otherwise, then the application cannot be determined until the objection is disposed of, unless the registrar is satisfied that the objection is groundless (sections 73(5) and (6) of the Land Registration Act 2002). If the registrar decides that the objection is not groundless, notice of the objection must be given to the squatter or their conveyancer (section 73(5) of the Land Registration Act 2002). The registrar will then ask both parties whether they wish to negotiate and whether they consider that it may be possible to reach an agreement.

          So does this mean they have already decided that they are not groundless claims?

          Comment


            #6
            Is the land in question securely fenced off from ‘outsiders’ ? (Sole possession key to gate?)
            It would be difficult for your neighbour to claim they’ve been maintaining it if so.

            AP is quite different in the cases of registered and unregistered land.
            Registered land - you can apply after 10 years and those with an interest will be notified by land registry and given the chance to object.
            Unregistered land (as you have posted) - 12 years possession required.

            It does sound like HMLR have considered it a valid objection.

            I do have Access to historic satellite images, PM me your property address and an email and I will send them over.
            Hopefully, with the satellite images we could evidence to HMLR that your property has had exclusive possession for the required period and they should consider the objection groundless.

            Also check out the exceptions in Schedule 6, paragraph 5 LRA 2002 to check if they apply. Especially as you have been led to believe by Stat Dec during your purchase?

            Comment


              #7
              The land is fenced off as was confirmed by the OS Surveyor visit. I can only guess that at some point some neighbour may have had historical access and/or received permission to use it for some purpose.

              The Statutory Declarations were done later (post-purchase) when I realised that this land is unregistered/not part of the property. Therefore, looking at the exceptions in Schedule 6, paragraph 5 LRA 2002, the closest one is:

              The squatter has been in adverse possession of land adjacent to their own for at least 10 years under the mistaken but reasonable belief that they are the owner of it, the exact line of the boundary with this adjacent land has not been determined under section 60, LRA 2002 and the estate to which the application relates was registered more than a year prior to the date of the application.

              However, I did not refer to this in the original application. Is it possible to now/will it do any good now?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Ken_Johnson View Post
                So does this mean they have already decided that they are not groundless claims?
                I think it probably does. The neighbour has made claims which can be tested.

                If the neighbour has not personally claimed the land there is not really anything to negotiate.

                Schedule 6 does not apply to unregistered land.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Send your address and an email. Let’s see what the Ariel photos show?
                  It could be something to disprove your neighbours claims if it’s been securely fenced off.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post

                    I think it probably does. The neighbour has made claims which can be tested.

                    If the neighbour has not personally claimed the land there is not really anything to negotiate.

                    Schedule 6 does not apply to unregistered land.
                    So is it worth me replying contesting their claims in a letter back to Land Reg? What about the formal response I have to give by 8th September? Should I do both?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by helpmenot View Post
                      Send your address and an email. Let’s see what the Ariel photos show?
                      It could be something to disprove your neighbours claims if it’s been securely fenced off.
                      I have PM'd you. Thanks.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        What exactly does the Land Registry letter say?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                          What exactly does the Land Registry letter say?
                          The LR letter simply attaches the objections and asks how I want to continue .i.e. I can either (1) Negotiate or (2) Proceed to the first tier tribunal or (3) Withdraw the application.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I suspect that that means that the land registry have identified that the claims made are sufficient, if true, to prevent them changing the records.

                            They are not a decision making body in these kind of cases, they don't evaluate the claims, they just note that they exist and are sufficient to cause them to stop doing what you request.
                            The claims may indeed be spurious (or even simply incorrect), but they don't have a view on that - they want you to refer the issue to a tribunal (which is the first stage decision making body) or get the other person to withdraw their objection (which removes their issue) or end your claim (which, again, resolves the matter for the registry).

                            The tribunal might decide that the claims are spurious or false and that would allow the registry to continue the process.

                            I have no personal experience of this, but I would imagine that any objection at all might be enough for the land registry to do the same thing.
                            They're a body of record not decision.
                            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Ken_Johnson View Post

                              The LR letter simply attaches the objections and asks how I want to continue .i.e. I can either (1) Negotiate or (2) Proceed to the first tier tribunal or (3) Withdraw the application.
                              In your position I would be inclined to represent to HMLR that I was of the opinion that the objection is entirely without grounds, and inform them I wish to proceed to tribunal.

                              I would then (politely and formally) write to my neighbour (recorded) with all my evidence and explain to them that they should provide evidence of their objection, or retract the objection with land registry and provide a deadline (14 days should be sufficient) for a response.
                              I would be sure to include in the letter that they could provide evidence at this stage, or at the stage when LR had referred us to Tribunal.
                              I would ensure that LR’s tribunal referral letter is delivered to them before my letter is delivered so they understand my letter is not an empty threat.

                              In the meantime (14 days) I would spend my time and energy gathering any additional evidence I could get my hands on and or/ witness’ in order to support my case, should it proceed to tribunal.

                              I would do this in the hope that if my neighbour indeed knows that their objection is unjustified, and showing my readiness to present a prepared case to tribunal, they may see sense and retract the objection before there is any award for costs.

                              I do hope the satellite imagery I sent earlier will prove useful in resolving things.

                              Comment

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