Do I own this land?

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    Do I own this land?

    I own an old miners cottage with an illegible lease dating back nearly 200 years. For all intents and purposes it is freehold since even the freeholder is unable to read the terms of the lease. This, I am led to believe, is not actually that uncommon. When reading my title, I find in 1987 a previous owner appears to have bought a small yard area behind my property. I am trying to understand if this belongs to me. As I am in the process of buying the neighbouring property, and the only one that requires access over this small yard area, I wan't to know if I can now enclose it and make it a private yard. Only these two properties open onto it, and it is only exclusively by these two properties since other properties have communal space outside the rear of their own cottages. If anyone can understand based on the title document and plan below, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    NB The image is a bit misleading as the extension of no.32 is actually as good as full width, so no windows or doors opening onto the yellow area as a result.

    NOTE: The lease comprises also other land
    3 The rent has been informally apportioned as to £1 in respect of the land in this title.

    4 The land has the benefit of the following rights granted by a Transfer of the land in this title dated 9 February 1987 made between (1) XXX ana (2) XXX
    (Transferer [should be transferee?]) :-

    "TOGETHER ALSO WITH (in common with the Vendor and its successors in title and all others entitled there to) a right of way over the common yard coloured yellow on the said plan for the Transferee and his successors in title in connection only with the use and enjoyment of the property hereby transferred"

    NOTE: Copy plan filed.

    5. The Transfer dated 9 February 1987 referred to above contains the following provision:


    "(b) All rights of water drainage electricity and other services shall remain as they existed immediately prior to the execution of the Transfer and the Transferee and his successors in title shall pay a proportionate part of the cost of the maintenance repair and renewal of such joint drains sewers and other services and also the common yard-shown Coloured yellow on the said plan

    (c) The walls separating the property hereby transferred from the adjoining properties numbered 2 and 6 aforesaid shall be party walls and maintained and repaired at the joint and equal expense of the owners of the properties separated thereby."

    6 Unless otherwise mentioned the title includes any legal easements granted by the registered lease (s) but is subject to any rights that reserves, so far as those easements and rights exist and benefit or affect the registered land.

    I'm certainly no solicitor, but I don't see that indicating that you own it, merely that you have right of way. Did you download the Title Plan, or just the register? I think for a common yard, there may be rights of way, but someone tends to own it, so would hope for it to be included in the Plan for #2 or #4.


      It was the bit that says "granted by a Transfer of the land in this title dated 9 February 1987 made between (1) XXX ana (2) XXX" that made me think the land ownership of that specific area itself was transferred. I can't seen any reason why an easement would have been needed otherwise as the cottages always had access to the rear yard long before 1987.


        You may well be right, I probably shouldn't be in that lane, but interested due to having a similar 'common yard' arrangement. I would think the filed Plan (ie the one that can be downloaded for £3) should depict what land is included (usually outlined in red) - but if that's what your picture is, it doesn't shed much light. Either way, I guess you will hold the aces by owning both.


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