Property has taken over land that doesn't seem to belong to them

Joined
3 Jan 2009
Messages
67
Reaction score
0
Location
Durham
Country
United Kingdom
I'm not sure if this is the correct sub-forum for this question but here goes.

One of our neighbours has block paved a space that according to the land registry doesn't belong to the property.

I've attached a crude drawing of what the property layout would have originally been like, with the red line outlining the boundry according to the land registry.

Originally the 'fenced off garden' would have been fenced off, with an access gate on the 'parking space' side of the fence. The parking space area was originally open.

Over the years it looks like someone bought the house from the council, and assumed that the parking space was part of the property, as a result they built a brick wall from the garage and all the way around replacing the fence for the 'fenced off garden'.

Someone else has then bought the house, pulled the wall down at had the parking space and the fenced off garden area block paved to create a double drive, just like many of us have done in the street as there's not a lot of parking.

My query is, what action would a council take if they were to find out that land had been 'taken' over by one of the previous owners? This isn't one of those questions where we want to notify the council, as we get on well with the neighbours, I'm just curious about it. Would the council simply ignore it, or somehow have the plans changed, or would they expect the owner to pay to buy the land?

Our property is the same layout as the neighbours, we've also had a double drive installed too, however land registry shows our 'parking space' is within our boundry, but not the neighbours.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_6911.JPG
    IMG_6911.JPG
    66.2 KB · Views: 263
Sponsored Links
Councils can be slow to act, but when they get round to it, they can force land-thieves to pay for demolishing walls and reinstating the ground.

In England the rules on adverse possession changed not long ago to make it more difficult for people to steal land.

I used to live in a place where people extended their gardens to steal the wide grass verge. We were all very pleased when their walls and gardens were ripped up during build of a new pavement.
 
If the land is actually registered (ie owned by the council) then the council could just petition to evict the occupier, similarly as they do for gypsies on council land.

However, as the two parties own adjoining land, if the neighbour has occupied the land for more than 10 years, then he could claim registered title (ownership) and the council will have little grounds to object - on the basis that the council have had ample opportunity to notice the neighbours use of their land and did nothing about it.

There are other factors that come into play, and it will all depend on dates and other facts as to whether action can be taken by one party or the other, and what counter action is available.
 
I don't know whether it is true, but I once heard that if you use and maintain land that you don't own for more than ten years with no one teilling you to stop, you get a claim on it.
Ah woody was faster, and obviously more knowledgeable...
 
Sponsored Links
explained here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...guide-4-adverse-possession-of-registered-land

For land registered after 2003, the process is slightly different (from that woody describes) - in this case where a claim is made the current registered owner will be informed about the application and can object: the registered owner then has two years to start legal proceedings to have the squatter ejected, and only if they fail to take action, will the squatter, in two years time, be entitled to be registered as the owner.
 
Last edited:
explained here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...guide-4-adverse-possession-of-registered-land

For land registered after 2003, the process is slightly different (from that woody describes) - in this case where a claim is made the current registered owner will be informed about the application and can object: the registered owner then has two years to start legal proceedings to have the squatter ejected, and only if they fail to take action, will the squatter, in two years time, be entitled to be registered as the owner.

That is where the squater does not own adjacent land. If he does then there is no two year period for the registered owner to bring action - the registered owner has no right to object.

The only criteria is that the squater must "reasonally believe" that the land belongs to him - ie not take it on purpose.
 
And the boundary has not been determined, I don't think this is about the exact location of a boundary, given the above diagram.
 
the registered owner has no right to object.
Only if one of the conditions laid out in S6P5 applies; the third one deals with adjacent land, but that's for situations where the physical features on the ground disagree with the registered plan. If the plan has a large parking space shaped notch in it, and there's a large parking space shaped feature on the ground, it's a bit harder to argue that it should be part of a different title.. what I'm confused about, from the op's description is what is physically there right now- he appears to have drawn one thing and described another
 
Think you need to ignore the land registry outline – I know from experience they get things wrong (I’m still in dispute with them over a boundary on my property).

The plan on the deeds is what should be referred to.

When was the estate built? It’s been the norm to provide 2 off-road parking spaces for vehicles. What you may have here is what is known as shared access land – the property owner ‘owns’ the land and has to maintain it but has to allow free access to the council and any company who route services to the properties in the area.

What the plan on the deeds will show is the property outline by a solid line and the shared access area by a dashed line. The authorities have a right to access the underground services and can dictate the ground cover, the area probably (shall ?) not be fenced off.
TBH - I'd leave well alone if it isn't your property and isn't causing you a problem.
 
Only if one of the conditions laid out in S6P5 applies; the third one deals with adjacent land, but that's for situations where the physical features on the ground disagree with the registered plan. If the plan has a large parking space shaped notch in it, and there's a large parking space shaped feature on the ground, it's a bit harder to argue that it should be part of a different title.. what I'm confused about, from the op's description is what is physically there right now- he appears to have drawn one thing and described another

Yes, the plan I attached is what it originally looked like. Now the whole area to the right of the garage to the end of the property has been block paved, so there's no longer a garden there. It's now simply the garage, and block paving at that side of the property.
 
If they haven't taken exclusive possession of the land, then there is no right gained other than perhaps an easement, but that is unlikely. What you have is a claim by the rightful land owner for the costs to undo the works.

If you want to find out your neighbours intent, park on it and see what he says ;)
 

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

 
Sponsored Links
Back
Top