How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Thomas Your Own Question
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Type Your UK Property Law Question Here...
Thomas is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My farther had a licence for a piece of land the owner gifted

This answer was rated:

My farther had a licence for a piece of land the owner gifted it before he died to him verbally, as son I have maintained it for 25 years since with no licence fees The National Trust took over his estate and registered it with the Land Registry 25 years ago. They say it is not mine and have offered either a new licence or a lease. May I ask for your thought. Thank you.

Was the licence simply a vernal permission for your father to use the land?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Please clarify meaning vernal permission


Did your father simply have verbal permission to use the land?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No written document drawn up by his solicitors we paid £2 a year rent till he verbally gave my farther said land a little while before he died. This land I use for growing apples and have no intension of use as a building plot.


Thanks for your patience.

I’m afraid that any transfer of land must be in writing to be effective. The verbal gift to your father is not enforceable against the owners of the land now unfortunately.

If you have enclosed the land and looked after it for that length of time you could potentially appear to be eligible to make a claim for the land and you have to prove what is termed “adverse possession” to the Land Registry in order to have it registered in your 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. 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).

However, a claim like this is certainly something on which you should seek specific legal advice on before you do anything, because a local solicitor will be able to give you an indication of your chances of success based upon specific instructions that he will obtain from you.

If the licence or lease that they offer you is not feasible from your point of view then you should book yourself in for a consultation with a local land/property solicitor to advise on a potential adverse possession claim.

Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE or above if you are satisfied that you have received the correct legal advice (even if it is not the answer you wanted to hear), otherwise I do not receive any credit for answering your question.

If you are not willing to rate my answer as OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE then allow me to assist further by replying asking what clarification you require rather than rating my answer at levels below.

If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Tom I feel that the National Trust will fight it with a large amount of money and I may waste mine, back to the original question. Will I be better off having a new licence for the land with them which may end when I die or having on a lease that may be passed on to family member. Thank again.


A licence is typically terminable on short notice so if you wished to have something that you coudl pass on to your children then you shoudl consider a lease...

Please remember to rate my answer.

Thomas and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you