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Ask Stuart J Your Own Question
Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22400
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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I am trying to fill in ST1, and do not know what other

Customer Question

I am trying to fill in ST1, and do not know what other information section 11 requires. the disputed area is the basement well and old coal vaults which we have controlled through locked access since 1992.We have occupied in plain sight since then, continuing previous leaseholders use. The need to do something now, arose last year at the same time as1. we had asked another leaseholder to remove mirrors on an outside wall that gave him sight into our daughter's bedroom and 2. we and others set up a Residents' Association...is this relevant? We asked the freeholders lawyer 2006 verbally if we could include the area in our demise and were told it would never be granted...is this relevant? The freeholders and their agent have come up with various arguments since 2015 to get us to hand over access (except in emergencies/maintenance of the building which we have always granted)..but other flats either have 1.the fire escape terrace included in their demise, or 2.have a licence to use a well for themselves exclusively, or 3.have used balconies and vaults without title to them. is this relevant? First arguments form the freeholders' agent was about plants in the area rather than our actual possession...is this relevant?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location. Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: In the UK
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so...other than that I have now set up an RTM which I am one of 2 directors..so I am legally obliged to enforce the covenants of the leases(I have taken out director's insurance but...!) and there is some interest from other leaseholders in buying the freehold...I think I am better off negotiating with current freeholders.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 month ago.

Section 11 is literally what it says, anything else you can think of in support of your application.

I don’t think that you have a good chance of getting your application for Adverse Possession registered based upon what you told me. You need 10 years without consent or objection and not in secret.

You asked the freeholders in 2006 if you could included in your demise and they said it would never happen.

Since 2015, they have come up with various arguments to get you to hand over access and for tribunal purposes, treat that as an objection to your occupation stop

Is there anything else that you want to know about this?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Sorry, I don't understand why you don't think we would have a chance; we have had possession, to the knowledge of 3 sets of managing agents, since 1992...the question to the freeholders' solicitor was put verbally in 2006.
I wanted to know whether it was relevant to include a) why their objection started in 2015, b) other lessees' uses of various parts of the buildings and c) the first objections dwelt on our placing plants in the areas rather than our occupation of them.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
We have exclusive access through 1) locked gate giving on to steps to the basement and 2) locked access from within the flat.
The only access we have granted has been for emergencies or maintenance work for the rest of the building with the porter having keys for that purpose only.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
haven't had an acknowledgement that this subsidiary message has gone through
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 month ago.

Please remember I have no vested interest in saying that you have a fantastic claim or a poor claim. I think the freeholders will argue that they have continually said that you would never get it included in your demise and that would be construed as an objection.

Even if the last time they mention that was 10 years ago, the freeholders and their agents have come up with various arguments over the years to get you to give access back and that could also be argued as being an objection.

I don’t think that the access for emergency purposes would defeat your occupation however.

You don’t include their objections, they put those in as part of their defence and the tribunal will decide whether there objection stands. I can’t see that what other lessees have been doing is relevant.

They will also argue first objection about placing the plants was an objection with regard to your exclusive occupation and treating it as your own. You cannot be treating it as your own if they are objecting to you having things in the area.

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