Reclaiming land - old boundary

Reclaiming land - old boundary

Postby zefeena » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:13 pm

Hi, I am trying to see if there is anything to stop me putting up a fence on the correct boundary line - which my neighbour is going to see as being in his garden!
The strip of land in question is only about 1m x 14m, but some of the original building drains run in this area and my neigbour is a complete moron so if he believes this to be his land he'll not let me on it without a court order! I need to dig up the drains and i can do it if this land is reclaimed.

The boundary is clearly defined on my plans, and i have the plans and records going back over 100 years to when the actual plot was sold before any building commenced.

The original plot (1890) was a rectangle piece (long side on the road) in farming land, acquired to build a school. The school was centred/slightly forward in the plot, with two outbuilding (toilet blocks) on the corners furthest from the road. About 20 years later a further parcel of land below(furthest from the road) the first was aquired giving the whole land more of a square dimension.

The building has wrought iron railings to the front, the left side and partially (up to the outbuilding) on the right side. The bottom as no fencing and has agricultural fields. The neighbour on the right has put up/replaced the fence to his side.

The boundary clearly runs in a straight line from the front to the back on the left side, but the railings are in about 1m after the outbuilding, hence a 1m x 14m strip is now 'used' by the neighbour.

Having read the old documents it clearly states that in 1940 there was a hedge on the left side, and fences to the other sides. It appears the railings were put in situe after the war (the building was still a school at this time) and i'm guessing that the railing were put inside of the boundary on my side so as to preserve the hedge (part of which, or its ancestor) is still there. The hedge is hawthorne, hence prickly and the land at the back was used as a playground for the school, so i suppose they didn't want the children running into the edge and getting hurt.

My question is:
As i have proof that the railings are not the boundary, and the plans show clearly they are not, can my neighbour claim the land as is own because he has considered it is own for the past 20 years (and probably the previous owner). I only bought the property 3 years ago, but it was built 1897 and the neighbouring properties were not there at the time and have sprung up over the last 50 years or so. When i bought the property the straight lines of the boundary were clear, so as far as I see if i don't get the land back then i have been sold something i do not have!

Thank you for any help.
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Re: Reclaiming land - old boundary

Postby pilman » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:32 pm

I need to dig up the drains and i can do it if this land is reclaimed.


You can do this anyway even if the neighbour can claim adverse possession of the land after more than 12 years of possession.

If there are drains belonging to your property on that strip of land you will have acquired an easement to have the drains in that position. That implies that you have the right of access in order to repair and maintain these drains as this right existed as a matter of fact when the neighbour began occupying and using the land beyond the fence.

He may be able to claim a legal estate in the land due to his adverse possession but there will always be a burden on that land in favour of your land which is the right to have drains located there and the right to service the drains which includes replacing them as necessary, due to any being broken and requiring replacement.
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Re: Reclaiming land - old boundary

Postby Conveyancer » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:05 pm

As King Lear said:

Never, never, never, never, never!

Forget the whole idea.

Take all the old plans and use them to light a bonfire.

Bonfire of the vanities!

Make a donation to your favourite charity and swear a binding oath on your sword never again to think about claiming any land from your neighbour.

If you do not take the above advice your life will take a turn for the worse from which you may never recover.

Believe me.
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Re: Reclaiming land - old boundary

Postby zefeena » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:31 pm

Hi,
I may have the right to dig up and replace the drains but he will try everything he can to stop me - hes just an idiot with nothing to do. So if i'm going to have a fight about it I might as well make it worth my while. Additionally i want to put a manhole (currently all the drains are under the ground and no rodding access with 15 metres) in, which is a dangerous thing if hes going to have easy access to it.

The neighbour the other side has to have his drain rodded every fortnight because the manhole is in the garden of the 'nasty neighbour' and there are bricks, branches and small shrubs in it - which can only have arrived in there if someone lifted the lid and threw them in!
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Re: Reclaiming land - old boundary

Postby zefeena » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:54 pm

Hi, i have been reading other threads and this is stated:
Title to registered land is the register at HM Land Land Registry
It is not anything else and certainly not a pile of old deeds whether they have plans on them or not. Subject to exceptions not relevant to this thread, all you need to show title is the register. The title plan is part of the register.

My title from the land registry is exactly the same as the original plans - basically there is nothing over the past 100 years to suggest that the boundary has changed except that a set of railings has been placed inside of the boundary, but i believe that the railings were not meant to act as a marking of the boundary - meerely to fence in the kids! at the time the railings were placed there were NO other buildings around.

My neighbour may think he owns the land, but his plans and mine clearly state that is not the case, and presumably he would hve to register the land to consider it to be his own, which can surely not be possible as Landy Registry has title showing I own it?

I REALLY want to make my boundary fence clear where it ought to be to prevent further problems in the future (one fight is enough - i don't want to be squablling everytime i need to rod my drains!)

thankyou
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Re: Reclaiming land - old boundary

Postby pilman » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:28 pm

You're obviously the sort of person that only wants to be agreed with, so get on with it.
Hire a competent fencing contractor and erect a fence in the position that you consider to define the legal boundary of the land that you have registered title of.
The neighbour has not made a claim for adverse possession of this registered land, so your Land Registry Title Plan is the evidence available to show the extent of the land belonging to you. The location of the drains under this land is further evidence of that fact.

Once the fence is erected, it is up to the neighbour to take legal action to repossess the land if he is prepared to do this based on whatever evidence he can muster.

As your land is registered, any claim that he has been in adverse possession for a long period of time is now worthless, as the Land Registration Act 2002 changed how registered land can be adversely possessed.
Until a claim is made for the land to be registered with possessory title, time cannot be said to have run prior to the 10 years immediately before such a claim.
That allows the registered owner to object to any such claim, which is then unlikely to be granted unless certain facts can be established.

If you do erect a fence, that puts the neighbour at an immediate disadvantage.
If he damages the fence that is criminal damage so that the police can be involved as this turns the situation into a criminal law matter rather than a civil law matter.
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Re: Reclaiming land - old boundary

Postby Conveyancer » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:58 pm

It is entirely possible that the LR title plan and a plan on an old deed agree. However, that does not necessarily take you very far. The first point is that neither plan will be sufficiently accurate to enable the boundary to be defined with pinpoint accuracy. Secondly, and probably more importantly, is the very important rules of thumb:

Legal boundaries almost always follow established boundary features.

Anyone seeking to upset the status quo (however unreasonable his neighbour) faces an uphill task.

Please go and read these two threads:

http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2247

http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3149

If they do not persuade you go here:

http://www.boundary-problems.co.uk/

and especially this page:

http://www.boundary-problems.co.uk/boun ... plans.html
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Re: Reclaiming land - old boundary

Postby andrew54 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:19 pm

In many ways Conveyancer is right - leave things alone. But if zefeena wants this land back then pilman is suggesting the best way forward.

I will just remind us all of information in the original post....

zefeena wrote:I only bought the property 3 years ago....... When i bought the property the straight lines of the boundary were clear.......

And I presume he means clear on the ground.
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Re: Reclaiming land - old boundary

Postby Conveyancer » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:08 am

It is possible that if Zefeena does as Pilman recommends it will all turn out lovely.

But then again it may not.

There is an important point in Pilman's post that needs correcting. The railings have been there since 1946. That means they were there more than 12 years before section 97 of the Land Registration Act 2002 came in to force. Accordingly, if it is the case that any land on the other side of the railings is in Zefeena's title, the transitional provisions set out in paragraph 18 of Schedule 12 to the Land Registration Act 2002 will apply and the neighbour will be entitled to be registered as proprietor of the land.

I fear that Zefeena may have fallen into the classic trap. He finds that his life would be easier if he owned a bit more land. He looks at his title and at the old deeds. That is when, however honest you are, you convince yourself that your title shows you own the land you need to make your life easier. It is clear form Zefeena's post that he has made assumptions he ought not to have made: that the hedge was within the boundary and that the railings were put up to stop children running into the hedge.

Unless the plot was registered before the railings were put up, it is probably going to be the case, the title plan being based on the OS plan, that the boundary shown is actually the railings. Leaving that aside, if you wish to be 99% certain (and you need to be 99% certain if you are shifting boundary features) where a feature shown on the OS plan is where the scale is 1:1250 the relative accuracy is +/- 1 metre - which is the width being claimed.

So we have a boundary feature that has been in place for 65 years and a title plan insufficiently accurate for the stated purpose - to claim a metre strip of land.

I know who I would put my money on.
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Re: Reclaiming land - old boundary

Postby ukmicky » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:30 am

Kool

There is an important point in Pilman's post that needs correcting. The railings have been there since 1946. That means they were there more than 12 years before section 97 of the Land Registration Act 2002 came in to force. Accordingly, if it is the case that any land on the other side of the railings is in Zefeena's title, the transitional provisions set out in paragraph 18 of Schedule 12 to the Land Registration Act 2002 will apply and the neighbour will be entitled to be registered as proprietor of the land.
Im not specifically talking about those on this forum but their seems to be a general confusion out their surrounding the transitional rules as many believe that they do not count anymore if the land has not by now been claimed . I'm gad you posted that as its something i wanted to say but didnt as i didnt want to get into any arguments over my interpretation.
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Re: Reclaiming land - old boundary

Postby ukmicky » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:13 am

double
Last edited by ukmicky on Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reclaiming land - old boundary

Postby Conveyancer » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:14 am

ukmicky wrote:Im not specifically talking about those on this forum but their seems to be a general confusion out their surrounding the transitional rules as many believe that they do not count anymore if the land has not by now been claimed . I'm gad you posted that as its something i wanted to say but didnt as i didnt want to get into any arguments over my interpretation.


I can see nothing on the online version of the Act that shows the paragraph has been amended or disapplied.
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Re: Reclaiming land - old boundary

Postby ukmicky » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:22 am

I have actully searched for an authorative view in the past saying otherwise but could not find anything and agree with your view, however when and how the transitional rules apply to situations now does seem to be something that confuses people.
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Re: Reclaiming land - old boundary

Postby pilman » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:17 pm

I did say this in the earlier posting.
"That allows the registered owner to object to any such claim, which is then unlikely to be granted unless certain facts can be established. "
The Land Registry Fact Sheet 2, clarifies one such reason that seems to apply here.
the squatter reasonably believed for at least ten years of the period of adverse possession that the land belonged to them along with their other adjoining land, and the exact line of the boundary between the land claimed and the adjoining land has not been determined. For this condition only, the estate must have been registered for more than one year prior to the squatter’s application. This condition will not come into force until 13 October 2004, one year after the remainder of schedule 6.


Conveyancer has made me reconsider my previous interpretation of the effect of LRA 2002, so that the final section of LR Fact Sheet 2 seems to confirm my wrongful interpretation.
Registered proprietor’s title barred by the squatter prior to 13 October 2003 under the Limitation Act 1980
• The proprietor will hold the legal estate as trustee for the squatter.
• For three years from 13 October 2003, the squatter’s interest will override a registrable disposition and any purchaser will take subject to it.
From 13 October 2006, the squatter’s interest will only have overriding status if the squatter remains in actual occupation.

That does suggest that 12 years adverse possession prior to the LRA 2002 coming into effect means that the Limitation Act had already extinguished the title whether it was registered or not so as the neighbour is still in actual possession, the overriding interest is also still in existence.
The OP bought the land with a person in actual possession of the land outside of the railings who is entitled to be registered with possessory title as the OP now holds the land in trust for the neighhbour.

I am grateful that superior knowledge has pointed out the error in my thinking; and so politely too!
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Re: Reclaiming land - old boundary

Postby confused3 » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:09 pm

Pilman,

I must aplaud you for your good grace in admitting to a mistake, everyone makes them but few admit it, and not always pleasantly.

At the same time, please continue to contibute to these fora? your input is invaluble, along with many others, notably conveyancer.

Thanks.
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