Dealing with Adverse Possession objection

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    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
    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.
    Just to clarify:

    In this case the LR has no records to change as the land is unregistered. When land is unregistered section 17 of the Limitation Act 1980 applies and the title of the ousted owner is extinguished when the period of limitation expires. An application to be registered as proprietor of the land by the adverse possessor is an application for first registration. As in any application for first registration, the LR assesses the title deduced and if satisfied will register the land with the applicant as first proprietor and with whatever class of title the LR considers appropriate.

    Quite separate from the above, anyone can, under section 73 LRA 2002, object to any application to the LR. If an objection is made the application must, unless the objection is considered groundless, be referred to the First-tier Tribunal if the objector and applicant cannot reach agreement.


      I rang the LR and spoke to a lawyer support officer to ask about what evidence had been provided to substantiate the objections. She said there did not appear to be any but that it must have been the lawyers that decided to continue on this track. When I explained the circumstances, it was suggested that I write back to the LR explaining that I have provided evidence and requesting evidence from the objectors in order to make an informed decision about whether to negotiate or proceed straight to first-tier tribunal. I have done that and will see what they come back with.

      It may be that, as one poster suggested previously, the LR would do this with any objection - even some of the false ones I have received such as neighbours using the land daily when they have no access to it, however, I would have thought some of these could easily be struck off as groundless to save everyones time.

      helpmenot - thank you for the images, some of which are very helpful.


        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 that case if you wish to proceed with your application I think that post 15 has some sound advice.

        You may though wish to bear in mind that, whilst being registered means your title is guaranteed by the state, if you are in adverse possession you still have title to the land which is good against the whole world other than someone who can show a better title. So long as you remain in occupation you are unlikely to have a problem.


          Assuming it goes to the tribunal, is there any merit in obtaining further statutory declarations or rather, new stat decs. with further detail?

          Previously stat decs. were from the Executor of the Estate/cousin of the couple that I purchased from and a neighbour stating:

          - dates (e.g. neighbour been there since 1990), that the previous couple had exclusive use of the land, constructed the access gate and maintained it etc.


            Better to have them than not need them?
            That being said, don’t commit to much money or time on obtaining them.

            You have made your case to title - which LR have accepted, the onus now is for your neighbour to substantiate their objection.

            I stand by my opinion in post #15 and do feel the next logical step is to extract the evidence (if any) my neighbour had.
            This would hopefully show. A: If they do have better title than I B: what evidence I need to counter and C: an idea of my chance of success.

            I know it’s difficult, but the quicker this process ends, the less tension and resentment will build between you and your neighbour/s.

            I recently employed a litigation exert to write a Pre action letter, which I would be happy to share as a template for you to draft for your situation.


              helpmenot There wouldn't be much cost to obtaining them so I might just do that to have them 'in my back pocket' so to speak. I'm definitely taking heed of your advice in post 15 and if you have a pre action letter to share, that would be great - you have my e-mail address.


                Letter emailed. Best of luck


                  Well I heard back from LR who in a long-winded letter state that:

                  "While an applicant must show an arguable case to support their application and provide evidence of this, an objector is not under the same burden."

                  So now following the advice in post 15 and seeing what happens.


                    Any update?


                      Apologies for the delay.

                      Wrote to the two objectors, twice, never heard anything back. One of the objectors tried threatening physical action, reported to Police, crime reference number obtained. Informed Land Registry that as they are not responding, it's best to go to tribunal.


                        Good to hear an update.
                        To clarify: you informed land registry your opinion is that the objection is groundless.
                        did you also send my letter template to your neighbours?


                          UPDATE: I informed the LR that the objections, in my view, were groundless and in response, basically, they did not care - if an objection is raised then it's down to negotiations and/or first tier tribunal.

                          I tried negotiation - sent several letters to both objectors (recorded delivery) but got no response. One of the objectors then threatened to physically break the gates so I reported them to the Police who gave me a crime reference number. Subsequently, I informed the LR that there does not appear to be any hope of resolution via negotiation.

                          I have just received notice that we are proceeding to the First Tier Tribunal and I need to put together a statement of case. Quick question for anyone who knows about this - in the SoC do I include all relevant info/points made from the beginning to the LR?


                            I have just received notice that we are proceeding to the First Tier Tribunal and I need to put together a statement of case. Quick question for anyone who knows about this - in the SoC do I include all relevant info/points made from the beginning to the LR?
                            You are now at the start of a legal process much like a court proceeding, although you do not have to employ legal representation if you decide to represent yourself at the Tribunal hearing.

                            You need to treat the matter as having just started, because it will be the Tribunal that has to be convinced by the evidence provided to it that your application to be registered as first proprietor meets the legal requirements that adverse possession had continued for a period in excess of 12 years, so that the legal title was extinguished by section 17 Limitation Act 1980, as was set out in the earlier postings by Lawcruncher.

                            The possession had to be exclusive possession, together with the intention to possess that was made clear to everyone by the actions of the person in adverse possession.

                            Costs will be awarded to the winning party in a tribunal hearing, which is often dealt with by employing a barrister to represent a claimant or the defendant at the hearing.
                            I bought a property 3 years ago which was in AP of a small strip of unregistered land next to it since the 1960s.
                            That sentence presents the biggest problem to your claim before the Tribunal.

                            What evidence is there that the previous owners of the registered property had exclusive possession and made their intention to possess clear to the world at large.
                            All written witness statements will need to address both legal requirements,with the intention to possess as important as factual exclusive possession.

                            Can anyone provide evidence of such an intention now that the deceased former owners are unable to confirm such a matter?

                            During the last 3 years you have been in possession, which relates to the legal maxim "Possession is 9/10ths of the law."

                            If the legal owner has not come forward since the 1960's to claim possession of this parcel of land, you need to consider whether having a registered title is really all that important, if you continue to exercise factual possession by excluding all others from the land, including the legal owner.

                            Making sure to retain exclusive possession is most important.

                            Taking the matter forward to a Tribunal may not be the best way forward, especially because all of the witnesses will need to provide verbal testimony before the Tribunal and be subject to cross-examination.

                            Sometimes that presents difficulties asking these people to appear at the Tribunal hearing held many miles away from their home addresses, in which case written witness statements may not be given sufficient weight by the judge.

                            I have personal knowledge of that as a matter of fact, so the witness statements will need to be carefully drafted to be used before the tribunal.


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