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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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There is a piece of land that my neighbour has believed was

Resolved Question:

There is a piece of land that my neighbour has believed was his for 18 years. Land Registry plans show that the land is mine. My neighbour accepts this, but as he understood it to be his and that no-one who has owned my property before me has claimed it as theirs, he says that by law it is automatically his. Is he correct? Can I do anything about it?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for your question.
To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following using the same numbering:-
1. Is the land enclosed?
2. If so, to whose land is the enclosure part of
3. Who has maintained the land
Kind regards.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No, the land is not enclosed. It is outside of my fence and runs alongside a private road owned by my neighbour. The land is not really maintained by anyone.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
On maintenance............thinking about it, as it is alongside his road, he could claim that he is maintaining it
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for your reply.
It’s not automatically his. In order for a person to claim land that is not registered in their name they have to prove what is termed “adverse possession” to the Land Registry in order to have it registered in their name.

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. Enclosing the land and maintaining it are also very important here. 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.

He would have to apply to the Land Registry submitting their form ADV1 to the Land Registry together with sworn statutory declarations regarding how long they have been using the land. Notice would be sent to you and you would be free to defend the claim.

In summary, the land is not automatically his but if he has been using it for over ten years then he may be eligible to attempt (attempt) to claim it as his but you would be free to defend the claim on the basis that the boundaries have been determined by the LR and that in any event he has not enclosed it for that period of time.

If he really wants the land and you are not too bothered then you can invite him to make you an offer for the land.

If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. If you do not click accept your money stays with the site and I do not receive any credit for the time I have taken to answer your question. You will not be charged any further money for clicking accept.

I will answer your follow up questions you may have.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks Tom. One final clarification then I will accept answer. What is the legal interpretation as "use" ie. in your paragraph where you say "if he has been using if for over ten years". The neighbour is the landlord (not tenant) and the land, in its broadest description, could be termed as garden. Does being a garden mean the same as "being used"?
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.
If the land is similar in character to a garden then he must have been using it in the same way as he would use the land adjacent to it that is registered in his sole name.

In any event, he would have to make the application to the LR and have determination in his favour. At this point, he could not sell his land claiming this disputed land to be his because it is presently registered in your name.

Please click accept.

Kind regards,

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