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Legal Ease
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Adverse Possession in BC Canada anyone have more insight

Resolved Question:

Adverse Possession
in BC Canada anyone have more insight to this - we have been at this house for over 40 yrs now our back yard opens up to green space ( privately owned) prior to the current land owner verbal permission was given to access the land behind our house and use it for a garden or refuse BUT not a dumping ground - fair enough. recent land owner has also given us verbal agreement to use the land with the same conditions. recently he has sent out a later stating that we have less then 4 working days to clear out anything that we or our neighbors do not want bulldozed under. Prior to this 14 to 16 yrs no one has come by or anything related to the use of the land behind our house. On another note there are 40 ft to 80 foot trees that the bulldozer will be going over their root system ( on his land ) that border right on the property line i am afraid that they might end up after a few yrs toppling in our windy season ( our soil is 14 to 20" deep of soil then sand) do to cutting or marring the roots with the track -also i am concerned about wild life the ecco system and the water table - the water table in our winter rises do to the rain we have and i am concerned that the back and forth of the bulldozer will significantly effect that and flood out our property. There are more issues about this as the fence line will stretch a mile long .
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 6 years ago.
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Debra Thal (username) :

If the land was being used by permission then there cannot be a claim for adverse possession. It's like you all had licences to use the land.

Adverse possession is when the land is used without permission.

However, even if they are bulldozing on their land they cannot do anything that will cause harm to yours.

I would suggest retaining a lawyer and having the lawyer write the neighbour putting the neighbour on notice that you will be seeking damages if any harm comes to your property as a result of their actions.

What you can do to find a lawyer is one of the following things.

You can contact the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be $25.

Or you can check on a site called lexpert. This is a legal directory of leading lawyers and law firms throughout Canada and is well-respected by the legal community.

Here's the link to their website:

I hope that helps as a starting point.

Please click accept so that I can receive credit for providing you with this information.

Customer :

Thanks for the info my wife works for a large law firm in Richmond BC- however we do not want to involve them. this action by the neighbor will effect around 30 homeowners which some have owned the property for over 40 yrs and have not received or asked permission by Land owner to use their land. i might have said the land owner gave permission - that was not clear, only one home owner was given permission and that was a close friend to the neighbor that is doing the bulldozing - the rest of us i guess just followed that example. I was under the impression that he would have to do an assessment of the area and any adverse affects this might cause to the homeowners bordering the property line . like i said trees on his property could die by cause of the D9 s track cutting through wide spread root system - the back and forth of a D9 could sink the land behind the properties and cause the ground water to drain into the properties etc etc here is a google map link of the area you can see closer to 3rd ave the bog where no trees grow that is a low area farther down you can see how some have built out,-123.042036&spn=0.005018,0.012134&t=h&z=17

Debra Thal (username) :

If this is so big that it will affect 30 homeowners them it doesn't make sense not to quickly get some lawer involved who will have to quickly write them a letter and, may if necessary, move to get an emergency interlocutory injunction to stop them at least until they can satisfy the owners (or the Court) that they will be doing no harm.

If all the homeowners agree then the legals fees can be shared and can be quite manageable.

The lawyer can advise you about whether ownership could have been acquired through adverse possession as well. It will depend on the facts and on your type of land registry system.

Customer :

thank you - this has been done this morning 

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