Question re adverse possession

Question re adverse possession

Postby seeker » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:17 pm

I recently discovered that a 8 meter x 6 meter patch of ground adjoining my garden, accessible by a gate between the two that predates my ownership, is part of a much larger Possessory Title on land that was bought/transferred to a local woman approximately 11 years ago (at the same time she bought a nearby property - I think the PT was part of the deal). There are no signs or fences displayed anywhere on the land. I was previously informed, by the same woman, that the land was unused, ownership unknown. I have been using this 8 x 6 piece of ground openly and regularly for the last 7 years, for composting and potting purposes, and the Title owner has never commented or asked me to stop, despite seeing me there most days. I've not tried to fence or otherwise acquire the patch I'm using and am not intending to try and 'possess' it, however I would like to continue using it unless she asks me to desist. We don't get on, hence I'm wondering if there's some legal reason why she hasn't converted the PT to Absolute Title or told me to stop use. I doubt very much she's wary of making such a request as she's a formidable lady! Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
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Re: Question re adverse possession

Postby jonahinoz » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:02 pm

I'm wondering if there's some legal reason why she hasn't converted the PT to Absolute Title or told me to stop use.

Hi Seeker,

My first thought is that she is waiting for you have used the land for 11 years and 11 month, and nearly in a position to claim it yourself, then she can hit you with a whammy. I think if you do "possess" it for 12 years, your claim will trump hers.

It may be that she does not understand the Adverse Possession rules, and mistakenly believes that she has to own it for 12 years before she can register her claim ... one year left, and counting. Do you know when the previous owner started to possess this land.

It may be that the transfer of this land, to her, was a bit iffy ... possibly a CGT/Stamp Duty scam? It is reputed that when France changed from the Franc to the Euro, a lot of peasants were left with the problem of accounting for the bags of Francs hiding under their mattresses. Were many Francs "laundered" by buying dilapidated cottages and barns, and lying to the Notaire about the prices paid?

It is a legal requirement that all property transfers must be notified to Land Registry, so it seems her solicitor was a bit remiss.

If she does eventually register her claim, offer to not fight her claim if she shakes hands and lets bygones be bygones. That way you will both feel good about yourselves ... but only you will know.

John W
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Re: Question re adverse possession

Postby seeker » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:26 pm

Hi jonahinoz, thanks for your reply.

The Land Registry does name the woman I've referred to above as owner of the Possessory Title of the land (as of approx. 11 years ago when she bought a nearby property plus the PT land from the former Title/s owner) which is partly why I'm mystified by her telling me she didn't know who owns it! I discovered the Title owner details (her) when I purchased them from Land Registry, mainly out of curiosity. As I said, I don't intend to try claim it myself as it would appear she's OK with my current usage. I suspect your first suggestion - that she'll object if I'm still cultivating it on the 12 year periphery - may prove true.

I don't know when the previous Title owner claimed the land. CGT/stamp duty scam idea is interesting . . . and I wouldn't be surprised if there were something 'dodgy' going on, however that's not really my business so I shall just enjoy using the land whilst I can.

Cheers for your input.
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