Can my neighbour apply for adverse possession on land I have a right of way over?

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    Can my neighbour apply for adverse possession on land I have a right of way over?

    At the side of my house there is an alley that serves an empty plot, the rear of a cafe and a small garage. The alley itself appears to be unregistered land and the owner is unknown. I have recently bought the empty plot which comes with a right of way over the alley. The cafe also has a right of way. The renter of the garage has been storing old cars on the land for many years now. The renter of the garage has put a gate across the enterance of the alley but has given the cafe and the previous owner of the plot keys and they have used the alley for a fire escape and access. Can the renter apply for adverse possession of the land even though he's alley been using it?

    #2
    A sketch plan showing the layout and positions of the alley, garage, cafe and plot would help.

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      #3
      Thanks for the reply, am away from my normal computer but will sketch a basic plan and attempt to send it over.
      Attached Files

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        #4
        Sorry for the crudeness of the plan but hopefully will be helpful

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          #5
          Surely the garage has a right of way through the alley.

          As such, adverse possesion would be impossible as they have been exercising their rights not adversely possessing?

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            #6
            I can apply for adverse possession of Buckingham Palace. Obviously the neighbour can apply, question is, will he win.

            What evidence does he have he has been using it for 12 years?
            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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              #7
              His arguement is that he's put the gate up and been storing scrap cars in the alley. In his mind he's been allowing the others to use the alley..
              It's interesting that it's only the cafe and the plot I recently perchased that have right of way on the title but not the garage he's been letting..

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                #8
                And yes he's been using it for 12 years

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                  #9
                  Would the fact that the alley is the only way to access his garage imply a right of way?

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                    #10
                    Do you know who the owners of each bit are according to land reg? £3 a go.
                    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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                      #11
                      The plan is just what is needed, thank you.

                      The layout is such that the Land Registry will argue that no one will be able to be in adverse possession of the alley as it is clearly a means of access and not within the curtilage of any property.

                      If the garage at one time enjoyed a right of way over the alley the garage owner cannot be in adverse possession because his presence on the alley was explicable by the right of way. His title is worth looking at to see if a right of way is mentioned. Also, his possession cannot have been exclusive because others enjoy a right of way over the land.

                      In any event, should the unlikely happen and he is registered as owner your right of way will not be affected.

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                        #12
                        Many thanks for the replies. I have looked at the titles of all properties involved.
                        The alley itself is unregistered and the cafe and my plot have rights of access on our titles.
                        The garage has no mention of right of way on the title. I believe this is because it was built more than 20 years ago without any permission. The title shows it part of a building next to the cafe but there is no access from that building to the garage now.

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