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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 25645
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I live at the end of an unmade lane. This lane has been used

Customer Question

I live at the end of an unmade lane. This lane has been used for access by several houses adjoining this lane for over 50 years. It is unregistered with the Land Registry. I have an access indemnity policy guaranteeing me access. Someone is now claiming ownership of this land and has recently taken away stone purchased by me to fill in potholes claiming that as the land is his he has the right to take away the stone. Is this correct? this lane.Regis
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I ask if you know who the man is and can prove he is taking stone please?
Where is the stone stored or located?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I know who the man is and can prove he has taken the stone as he was witnessed taking it by several residents living on the lane.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The stone was located on the lane where the work was being carried out. The residents formed a residents association and clubbed together to by the stone and also the labour to dig some drains and lay the stone. What was taken was the left over rubble and stone after the job was completed. This was supposed to provide us with spare stone to fill in any potholes that might occur in the future. The man who claims ownership of this unregistered lane is known to be particularly disagreeable and residents are afraid to contact him directly.
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
my apologies for the short delay in reverting to you. There are two main bases on which to claim ownership of the road. The first is if a third party can demonstrate title to the land by reference to documentary evidence proving ownership. If you could do so, he could register title to the land of land registry but this is not very common because it is unusual though by no means impossible for individuals to suddenly come across decades old title documentation proving title to a road sufficient to satisfy the land registry. In any event, from what you say, he has not registered anything of the land registry.The other more common approach proclaiming title to a road is using Frontager Rights. The person who has a frontage to a road which is unregistered can claim frontager write to the extent of road that runs in front of his property up to the middle point in the road. if there is therefore a line of houses on both sides of the road, between them, the house owners can claim the entire road using frontager rights and then either set up a residents association as you have done or applied to the local authority for adoption if they are prepared to cover the costs of making the road up to adoption standards and are contended the road would then become a public road.From what you say, the individual in question does not appear to have proved title to the road and simply engaged in theft of materials from the road and accordingly, this would appear to be a matter for the police in the first instance. It is also possible to issue a claim in the County Court for recovery of the stone or its commercial value to enable you to purchase more. If you propose to issue a claim, the simplest way to do so is by using the courts online issuing service:https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcomeif we concede for a moment that the individual is the legal owner of the land albeit, that there is no evidence to support this based upon what you say, even then, he was still have no right to remove the stone. the stone has not been integrated into the land and therefore does not belong to him if he were the owner. Rather the stone is being stored on the land and if you were the owner he could ask for it to be removed and warned that if it is not removed within 28 days, that he will dispose of the stone or sell it then he could lawfully remove it to sell or dispose of under the Torts (interference with goods) Act. However, I assume he is not displayed or given any of you any notice of his intention to do so under this act and to reiterate, this only applies if you can prove title to the road which from what you say does not apply either.Accordingly, this would appear to be a simple case of theft and in the first instance would appear suitable for referral to the police and potentially if he will not return the stone, a civil claim for damages for the replacement cost of the stone.I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. You have confirmed what I already suspected and have been advised informally by various people. I think we will be contacting our local police in the first instance. Thanks again.
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
I am glad I could be of some assistance. I hope the police will intervene and support you in restricting the individuals actions.