Handing over an adverse possession

Handing over an adverse possession

Postby Cardiffbloke » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:29 pm

Hi
I'm in the process of buying a property. The current owner adversely posessed a piece of adjacent land in 2012. He did not inform a solicitor as he thought he didn't have to do so. He fenced the parcel of land and has kept it free of undergrowth, kept bees and planted shrubs and bushes.I would like to continue with this possession. What process or forms do we need to complete to allow me to continue with the adverse possession. Should we notify a solicitor?
H
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Re: Handing over an adverse possession

Postby mr sheen » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:08 pm

At the moment, he has simply fenced off someone else's land. All land is owned by someone so he has fenced off someone else's land. He is simply claiming he has taken adverse possession until he registers his interest in the land. You need to do some research and ask some more questions. If he only did this in 2012, he is nowhere near the length of time required.

Check if the land in question is registered to someone (don't take his word....he is a person who 'steals' other people's property so be wary of him) if so it is highly unlikely his claim of adverse possession will succeed.
If the seller believes he has achieved adverse possession of land he does not own, get him to register it with the LR before you complete on the purchase.
If you proceed in the hope that you will be able to continue with an unrecognised adverse possession, you take the chance of having legal costs if the actual owner comes forward and you are likely to lose.

You are buying only what he is able to sell and he cannot sell you the fenced off land since it is owned by someone else. So the price should only reflect the land he has title to since that is all he can transfer to someone else. The contract will outline the land he is transferring to you and no more....and with land everything has to be in the written contract. No complaining later about what was said/suggested/intimated/theorised about etc etc verbally since it is all irrelevant.

You need to discuss this with a solicitor BEFORE completion so that you know exactly what you are getting into.
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Re: Handing over an adverse possession

Postby despair » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:23 pm

Was it really nessecary to post this 6 times to clutter up the forum
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Re: Handing over an adverse possession

Postby Cardiffbloke » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:28 pm

You think I did that on purpose?
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Re: Handing over an adverse possession

Postby Cardiffbloke » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:30 pm

Well... I have no idea what steps he took at the beginning of his fence construction. What should he have done? I thought you only register with a solicitor after 12 years. It is unregistered land, I've checked.
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Re: Handing over an adverse possession

Postby mr sheen » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:39 pm

So you have no idea if he...removed a fence or bits of fencing that indicated someone else was in 'possession', agreed with the owner to use it Etc etc...both of which would probably lead to a failure of the claim of adverse possession.

You need to run this whole thing past your solicitor so that you get a realistic picture of what you are taking on. You can only buy what he has title to so you will just 'possess' this extra land without any title. When it comes to making a claim to the land, you will need to know all the circumstances of how and when he took possession.....in writing and as an affidavit.
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Re: Handing over an adverse possession

Postby Cardiffbloke » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:04 pm

Clearly, it seems he had no idea what he was doing. I am only buying what he actually owns, not what he thinks he owns. However he suggested to me that his adverse possession could be handed over to me. That was obviously wrong and I'll certainly be consulting my solicitor over the matter. However, I DO know that the land is unregistered and I certainly would like to adversely possess it should my purchase of the estate be successful. Therefore an idiots guide to how I do it would be gratefully received...
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Re: Handing over an adverse possession

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:06 pm

Hi Cardiffbloke,

when sufficient time has passed an adverse possessor can make a claim to be registered as owner.

the success of such a claim will depend on the evidence which is almost exclusively in the form of a statement of truth from the claimant and supported by other statements of truth from witnesses, etc.

in circumstances where the period is accumulated by successive squatters - like it will be here - it would be a very good idea to obtain a statement of truth from your predecessor. I would suggest getting one in advance so that you and your sols can assess the validity of his claimed possession.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Handing over an adverse possession

Postby Cardiffbloke » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:34 pm

Thank you Mac
In what form should I get a 'statement of truth' off the existing estate owner? A straightforward witnessed statement in written format or is there a specific form he should fill out in the presence of a solicitor? Do you have a rough idea of the wording that it should contain?
Howard
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Re: Handing over an adverse possession

Postby mr sheen » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:25 am

This is a long process complicated by the fact that multiple squatters are going to be involved. Get a solicitor to assess your chance of success and start the evidence collection.

You really need a solicitor to draw up documents outlining the 'adverse possession' since the requirements for formal adverse possession have not yet been met. A solicitor will 'eek out' the required information from the previous owner in an interview and will give you an assessment of your likelihood of successfully registering this land at a later date.

Photos of the land prior to squatting showing no fencing and no suggestion of 'possession' by the owner would be helpful. You need to know how he 'took possession' and if anyone objected/interfered or if any letters have been received about his actions.

If the land is council/crown/authority owned, there may be agreements in place allowing use by residents and/or other legislation preventing adverse possession claims being successful. You need to research the area, other properties and use a solicitor to get an assessment of your potential success.

If the property you are buying has any easements or rights over the land, then a claim of adverse possession is even less likely to be successful since this is evidence that the land is owned by someone else.
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Re: Handing over an adverse possession

Postby arborlad » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:31 am

arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Handing over an adverse possession

Postby arborlad » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:16 am

Cardiffbloke wrote:However he suggested to me that his adverse possession could be handed over to me. That was obviously wrong..




Sort of, time in adverse possession is cumulative, his time can be added to yours.
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Re: Handing over an adverse possession

Postby arborlad » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:51 am

mr sheen wrote:This is a long process complicated by the fact that multiple squatters are going to be involved..




Not sure about this comment, currently there's one, if the OP decides to go ahead with the purchase, he will be the second.
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Re: Handing over an adverse possession

Postby pilman » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:24 pm

The first statement of truth that needs to be signed will be from the current occupier of the property offered for sale. if he has family capable of confirming the facts then obtain statements from them also.

After the period of 12 years has elapsed then the new owner will be able to submit an application to Land Registry seeking to be registered as the owner of the land in question.

That will require further statements of truth from said new owner and his family.

Below is an example of a simple statement of truth that can be modified to meet the exact circumstances.
Statement of Truth

I (name) of (address) bought the residential property at (Home address), on (Date).

In (year), I took possession of the land alongside my original garden because no one was occupying the land and it was going to waste, which I thought was a real shame.

Up to that time the land was totally overgrown and unkempt, but as soon as I had decided to occupy the land for my own use I set out the land in order to incorporate it as part of the garden of my house.

I levelled the whole area and completely re-seeded the entire area I had purchased, using a variety of grass seed suitable for a lawn.

Since (date) I have mown the lawn that I set out, as well as planting and maintaining shrubs and flowers on certain parts of the land in order to create the residential garden that I wanted to establish on the land.

At all times during the last (number) years I have treated the land as part of the residential garden to my house and have been in exclusive occupation without any interference from anyone.

I believe that the facts and matters contained in this statement are true.

Signed …………………………………………………. Date …………………………………….

Name & Address
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Re: Handing over an adverse possession

Postby mr sheen » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:52 pm

arborlad wrote:
mr sheen wrote:This is a long process complicated by the fact that multiple squatters are going to be involved..




Not sure about this comment, currently there's one, if the OP decides to go ahead with the purchase, he will be the second.


What are you not sure about Arborlad? Is the definition of ''multiple' your problem?

'Multiple'. Adjective...having more than one part. In the sentence given multiple is used as an adjective to describe the number of squatters ie....more than one.

Or is it the tense used?..... The future tense is used to indicate that 'multiple squatters' ie more than one, is not the current situation but 'is going to be' involved. Here the present tense of the verb 'to go' is used along with an infinitive..this is common usage to indicate the future and an action that has not yet been completed.

Anything else I can help you with?
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