Adverse Possession - unregistered Land

Adverse Possession - unregistered Land

Postby RMB » Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:56 pm

I was hoping for some advice. I live in the countryside and the field next door (circa 1.2 acres) has been rented by a farmer in the next door village. I have recently found out that a small parcel of the adjacent field is not registered (< 0.2 acres). The farmer has been renting the whole field since 1993. He was totally unaware of his lease boundaries and has been using the whole field. I put up a temporary fence (beginning of June 2017), mowed the grass, knocked a hole through the dry stone wall for access and was preparing it for a veg garden. On Saturday last w/e came home to find he had removed my fence, put up a new barbed wire fence on my boundary line, thrown my fence over my wall and is now telling me it is his. I have told him he only rents the land and this small parcel is not in his lease and therefore I'm starting adverse possession (I know I need 12 years). Clearly anyone can use this land (being unregistered) so do I take his barbed wire fence down (without damaging it) and put up another fence and keep this going or what else can I do? He is quite a grumpy farmer! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Adverse Possession - unregistered Land

Postby arborlad » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:16 pm

Forget it, unless there are some exceptional circumstances we are unaware of, you haven't got a hope in hell of this having any sort of positive outcome for you, if you remove the barbed wire fence he'll replace it with a muck spreader, whatever you've got - he'll have something bigger and heavier to use.

Who owns the dry stone wall?
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Re: Adverse Possession - unregistered Land

Postby jdfi » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:25 pm

The ownership or registered/unregistered status is irrelevant.

He has possession of it.

If its a field it is probably a case of either:

Asking LR to draw general boundary line more accurately

Or him making an adverse possession application on behalf of his landlord.
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Re: Adverse Possession - unregistered Land

Postby mr sheen » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:14 pm

You fail on so many criteria. He had possession, you took down a wall for access, he has put up a barbed wire fence and has been renting the whole field for years. You have no legal interest in the field and hence the boundaries relating to his lease are of no concern to you. Whether the land is registered or not is also irrelevant to you since you don't own any of it.

Adverse possession may be possible for people who have used land as if it was there own without any interference from the legal owner for many years. It is not possible for those people scavenging around to take bits of fields by forceful removal of the possessor.
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Re: Adverse Possession - unregistered Land

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:18 pm

jdfi wrote:The ownership or registered/unregistered status is irrelevant.

He has possession of it.

If its a field it is probably a case of either:

Asking LR to draw general boundary line more accurately

Or him making an adverse possession application on behalf of his landlord.
the land may well belong to the landlord - in which case he could claim AP for the remainder of the leasehold.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Adverse Possession - unregistered Land

Postby ukmicky » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:27 am

Clearly anyone can use this land (being unregistered) so do I take his barbed wire fence down (without damaging it) and put up another fence and keep this going or what else can I do? He is quite a grumpy farmer! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


You don't understand the law on adverse possession or land ownership.

Firstly just because the land is unregistered does not mean anyone can use it ,unregistered does not mean not owned by someone. There are millions of acres of land in this country that are unregistered and most of it is owned by people who know they own it and can sue anyone trespassing on it. Land now only has to be registered when it is sold. The owner of the 0.2 acres is also probably the owner of the rest of the field.

Secondly the farmer renting the field was in possession before you and under law even if he wasn't renting it and was himself in adverse possession, he was in adverse possession before you. Therefore he has the legal right to evict you and the only person who has more rights than him is the actual owner. The farmer as he was in possession first could even take you to court and sue you .


You knocked a hole in a drystone wall which unless its your wall would be adverse possession with force, which is not allowed legally . I also hope the wall is yours (very doubtful) because repairing a dry stone wall is expensive job and you could find yourself being charged with criminal damage and sued for the repair. Remove the barbed wire fence he has put up and that's with force again, and any damage to it is criminal again . He could also sue you for the cost of hiring someone to replace the barbed wire should you do it.

The field is leased so you can never get to own the freehold.

The farmer could now and in the future if you attempt to take control again sue you for mesne profits for all the time you were in possession of the field.

Lastly you have been evicted.

If I were you I would keep low and hope the police don't come calling or the postman with court papers.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Adverse Possession - unregistered Land

Postby RMB » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:03 pm

Many thanks.

How easy is it to ask the LR to re-draw the boundary so that it actually takes this element into consideration?

I am happy to back down as I think the boundary has been incorrectly drawn.

Thanks for your advice.
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Re: Adverse Possession - unregistered Land

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:30 pm

RMB wrote:Many thanks.

How easy is it to ask the LR to re-draw the boundary so that it actually takes this element into consideration?

I am happy to back down as I think the boundary has been incorrectly drawn.

Thanks for your advice.
your first step is to contact HMLR for guidance and take it from there.
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Re: Adverse Possession - unregistered Land

Postby jdfi » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:42 pm

RMB wrote:Many thanks.

How easy is it to ask the LR to re-draw the boundary so that it actually takes this element into consideration?

I am happy to back down as I think the boundary has been incorrectly drawn.

Thanks for your advice.


Not your concern. Only the freeholder or leaseholder can make the request.
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Re: Adverse Possession - unregistered Land

Postby arborlad » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:14 am

MacadamB53 wrote:
RMB wrote:Many thanks.

How easy is it to ask the LR to re-draw the boundary so that it actually takes this element into consideration?

I am happy to back down as I think the boundary has been incorrectly drawn.

Thanks for your advice.
your first step is to contact HMLR for guidance and take it from there.




You should not be encouraging this folly................
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Re: Adverse Possession - unregistered Land

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:25 am

arborlad wrote:
MacadamB53 wrote:
RMB wrote:Many thanks.

How easy is it to ask the LR to re-draw the boundary so that it actually takes this element into consideration?

I am happy to back down as I think the boundary has been incorrectly drawn.

Thanks for your advice.
your first step is to contact HMLR for guidance and take it from there.




You should not be encouraging this folly................
best to hear the bad news from those with the relevant information to hand - that's my thinking
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Re: Adverse Possession - unregistered Land

Postby arborlad » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:14 am

RMB wrote: I live in the countryside...............He is quite a grumpy farmer!




Whether he deserves that reputation or not is probably dependent on the number of times, you and others like you have tried to steal his land and the fodder from his animals mouths. The grass wasn't yours to cut, it was destined for hay or silage or directly grazed by his sheep or cattle. If I had you as my neighbour you wouldn't be seeing my best side either!!


Who owns the wall?
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Re: Adverse Possession - unregistered Land

Postby arborlad » Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:24 pm

mr sheen wrote:You fail on so many criteria. He had possession, you took down a wall for access, he has put up a barbed wire fence and has been renting the whole field for years. You have no legal interest in the field and hence the boundaries relating to his lease are of no concern to you. Whether the land is registered or not is also irrelevant to you since you don't own any of it.

Adverse possession may be possible for people who have used land as if it was there own without any interference from the legal owner for many years. It is not possible for those people scavenging around to take bits of fields by forceful removal of the possessor.




For reasons unconnected with this thread, this post wasn't visible to me yesterday (Thurs.) but it accurately represents the OPs position.
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