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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7602
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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adjoining but not part of my property are two small buildings

Resolved Question:

adjoining but not part of my property are two small buildings which were originally intended for joint usage by three other households. They consist of an 18th c. wash-house and "ash shed". They have been derelict for over 50 years (proveable), and the entry way is overgrown.

What steps do I take in order to gain ownership of these buildings? They are situated at the end of my garden, and look as if they should belong to my property.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.



If you are not sure who the owner is to make an offer to purchase the land then you can submit an index map search to the Land Registry to see if the land is registered with them (it may or may not be). You can do so by using Form SIM (enclosing a map of the area), they will then tell you definitively if it is registered. You can also download that form from the LR website. A small fee will be payable (call the LR to find out) and you will have to submit a map showing the area in question edged red.


If the property is registered then you can approach them directly to see if they are willing to sell.


If you can not do this or are otherwise eligible you could try and claim the land as your own by proving adverse possession to the LR.



If the land in question is unregistered then you must have been using it continuously for 12 years in order to claim possession of it and be registered as the registered proprietor at the Land Registry

If the land is registered then you need only have been using it continuously for 10 years in order to apply for adverse possession at the Land Registry. Notice of the application will be sent to the current registered proprietor of the land, who is obviously at liberty to object. It is therefore more difficult to claim adverse possession of land that is registered.


In the case of both applications you would have to submit form ADV1 to the Land Registry together with sworn statutory declarations regarding how long you have been using the land (from you and others who know of your use) and it may be something over which you should consider taking specific legal advice from a local solicitor to ensure that the application and supporting documentation is drafted correctly.


If you do not yet meet this criteria and cannot contact the owner then you should consider documenting your use of it from today (eg. statutory declaration)


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Kind regards,


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