adverse possession and predecessors

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    adverse possession and predecessors

    We have been caring for a small stretch of land that is behind our garden since 2008. The land runs along the back of the houses ether side but we have been caring for all of it after I spoke to the neighbours and no one was interested in it as it was unstable and sloping at about 45 degrees. I have taken pictures of it and used it regularly, I've removed rubbish, cleaned it up, planted flowers, trimmed trees and put signs saying private property. I made a small boundary fence to the limits of what I want to look after which is about 14x4 meters of land and knocked a door though my workshop wall for better access.

    The land has been abandoned by its owners since the houses were built. The people who owned the house before us built a workshop, had to remove the existing fence and have built on this land by about 6", they left a small access gap to it (approx. 15") the changes were made over 10 years ago but unfortunately there is no other sign of them using the land before us.

    Can I use the age of the workshop to prove that the previous occupiers have had factual possession of the entire stretch that im hoping to claim so as I can put my claim of adverse possession in earlier and using the easier pre 2006 laws? Or would this just prove that they have had the 6" the workshop has is sat on?

    Lastly my father in law has contacted the land owners (which is a big development company) and has tried to buy the land last year, they are aware that we are using the land but have made no attempt to remove us or tell us we can or cant use the land at all and seem uninterested in the land as im guessing its too small to worry about...?

    please can any one advise me on the next step and where I stand with this,


    thanks

    ST

    #2
    The type of occupation you describe may be considered by the Land Registry to fall short of what is needed to secure possessory title. It does not look as if you can prove occupation for sufficiently long either.

    The degree and mode of occupation required to amount to adverse possession depends on the land in question. The fact that the land is a 45┬║ slope is going to tell against you because it is difficult to see how land with such an acute slope can be meaningfully occupied. Whether on a slope or not, merely keeping land tidy is not a sufficient act of ownership. Planting trees and other plants helps, but is not conclusive and neither is enclosure. You do not say if the land is the other side of some boundary feature, but if it is that tends to make the Land Registry shake its head. When it comes to adding to a garden, a rule of thumb is to ask if someone visiting the property would assume that the land you bought and the land you have occupied were an integrated whole; if the answer is "no" an application is more likely to fail than succeed. Putting up a sign saying "private property" is not enough on its own. It may indicate an intention to possess, but may in fact be taken as indicating that there is no immediate intention to follow it up with acts that actually amount to demonstrating actual possession - if there are signs of occupation and a fence such a sign is not really needed.

    Apart from the above, it does not look as if you can prove occupation for the relevant period and that you will have to rely on your own occupation. That rules out an application before 2018 if the land is registered and 2020 if it is unregistered.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for your reply,

      the land backs onto an abandoned canal, the land is classified as canal corridor and as such cannot be a part of my garden. I have been regularly fishing and launching my small canoe from this land and that is why I would like to own it.

      I have made significant changes to the area, and have cut a pathway including steps and a multi level flower garden, cut in swims to the area and a small seated area to feed the ducks with my daughter.

      the land isn't all 45 degrees just the centre part of it now, I have levelled it at both the top and bottom. I have also kept a log and dated photos of all the work I have done on the area...
      I also have a letter from 2010 from the land register agency explaining who the land belongs to and its class...


      sorry I didn't add any of that info before, but do you think that will help my case?


      the previous owners did remove the fence and build on the area, wouldn't that show in intention to possess?


      thanks

      ST

      Comment


        #4
        I do not know what effect the fact that the land is part of a canal corridor may have as I do not know a great deal about waterways. If the public have some sort of right over it that may scupper your chances of getting in registered in the same way as if it were a public highway.

        Ignoring that, the further information you have supplied goes further to indicate adverse possession.

        If, as you seem to be suggesting, the land is registered that is not so good as not being registered as the procedures are different. See the Land Registry guides:

        http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/profe...actice-guide-4

        http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/profe...actice-guide-5

        From what you have said, the previous owners' occupation does not seem to have covered the whole area. In any event, even if it did, you cannot get very far without getting a statutory declaration from them as (except in the case that you knew the property before you bought it) you cannot make a declaration yourself in respect of the period before you bought.

        Comment

        Latest Activity

        Collapse

        Working...
        X