Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Postby StaffyMan » Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:10 am

I live in a property which is bounded on 3 sides by 'unclaimed land' (I am not the property owner). I have confirmed with the Land Registry that this land is 'unclaimed' and that there are no pending applications to claim it.

One of my neighbours has built a fence around this land to the front and rear of his house and treats it as his own. My neighbour on the other side has advised me that he owns the land outside my cellar door and has forbidden me to use it. It's a tiny triangle, possibly 1.5 square metres, raised about half a meter from the road, which I need access across to enter my cellar. I used to store my wheelie bin on it but the neighbour has told me he does not want me doing this anymore. This does not show on his deeds as belonging to him and the Land Registry are unaware of any applications to possess it. I don't understand how he can claim it as his - I need to use it to access my cellar and it's only on the far edge of his property. The neighbour has added some stones around it, possibly to show he has been tending it so he can make a future claim for adverse possession.

On my title plan there is an area of land shown as belonging to me. My other neighbour advises me he has right of access across this piece of land so that he can clean his kitchen window. There is no mention of such a right on my title plans. Does he have such a right?

Thanks.

Staffy Man
StaffyMan
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:12 am

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 

Re: Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Postby MacadamB53 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:16 am

Hi Staffy Man,

whether the neigbbouring property comes with a right of way over some your land would not be shown on your title plan - the title plan's sole purpose is to indicate whereabouts the land described in the register can be found.

have you read through the register entries for both your property and his to see if a right of way is mentioned?

as for the 'unclaimed' land - it's none of your business is it really?

Kind regards, Mac
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 6023
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am

Re: Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Postby StaffyMan » Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:48 am

Hi Mac

There is no mention of any right of way in the register entries for mine and other properties. I have read them all.

Regarding the unclaimed land being 'none of [my] business' I'm not sure I follow you here? One area of 'unclaimed land' is outside my cellar door and I need access across it to enter my cellar from outside. Is it therefore not my "business"? The neighbour who claims it is his - although the Land Registry confirm it is not assigned to him nor is there a pending application for a claim under adverse possession - has advised me he does not want me storing my wheelie bin on this land (as I have done for years) now that it is his land (although there is no evidence that it is). Should I just agree that it's now his land and not use it to enter my cellar or store my wheelie bin on? Is that what you would do? Am I being unreasonable here?

The other neighbour has fenced off land to the front of his property, narrowing the road (it was formerly asphalted) and causing parking problems in the village. Would you be OK with this? I have a small area of land outside my back door, shown on the register as belonging to my property, bordering the area of unclaimed land - perhaps I should divide it in two and donate it to each of my neighbours - is this what you would do? I would hate to appear confrontational. Thanks for your opinion.

Best wishes,

Staffy
StaffyMan
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:12 am

Re: Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Postby Collaborate » Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:02 am

Possibly your neighbour could actually own the land outside your cellar door. It might be an unregistered title.

If he's trying to claim AP then he'd need to do more than pile a few stones together. He'd need to fence it off and exclude everyone else.

It's likely that you and your predecessors in title have acquired a ROW from you cellar door. However there's nothing to stop you fencing it off - sooner rather than later. Then the 12 years would start to run on your possession of the property. By getting in there before any of your neighbours that means they would not be able to evict you. You would have the strongest claim to any fenced off property save for the actual owner - whoever that might be.
Collaborate
 
Posts: 1121
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:17 am

Re: Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Postby StaffyMan » Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:09 am

Thanks, collaborate. I believe by piling the stones around the land (which is too small an area to fence off) and telling me I cannot use it to store my wheelie bin on, he is trying to take possession of it for a future AP claim. What can I do in order to prevent this? Can I legally remove his stonework, for example? Does he have any right to forbid me to use the land to store my wheelie bin on?

If he does own the land by unregistered title how can he prove this? I do not want him claiming this land which I feel is very unlikely to belong to his property.
StaffyMan
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:12 am

Re: Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Postby MacadamB53 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:51 am

Hi Staffy,

apologies for not being clearer in my last post.

I was not referring to the 'unclaimed' land outside your cellar door.
I was referring to the other land - the larger parcel which you have no legal interest in.

can we see a plan showing your property, the ROW claimant's property, and the unregistered parcel outside your cellar door please?

(we have to use third party sites to share images - I use www.tinypic.com - since the forum's storage has been maxed out...)

Kind regards, Mac
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 6023
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am

Re: Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Postby mr sheen » Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:24 am

All land is owned by someone so it is difficult to understand what you mean by 'unclaimed' land...are you considering it unclaimed purely because it isn't fenced, or because it isn't registered at the LR...in either case it is still owned by someone. There is still some land that has title deeds but is not registered and there is no need to fence it off.

You have your own title deeds and therefore are fully aware what you own and this is the full extent of any interest you have in ownership of land around you. There may be rights over your land that aren't shown in your title.
mr sheen
 
Posts: 2092
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:33 pm

Re: Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Postby Collaborate » Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:40 am

StaffyMan wrote:Thanks, collaborate. I believe by piling the stones around the land (which is too small an area to fence off) and telling me I cannot use it to store my wheelie bin on, he is trying to take possession of it for a future AP claim. What can I do in order to prevent this? Can I legally remove his stonework, for example? Does he have any right to forbid me to use the land to store my wheelie bin on?

If he does own the land by unregistered title how can he prove this? I do not want him claiming this land which I feel is very unlikely to belong to his property.


You need to fence off the land to get in there first before your neighbour does. If he fences it first he has first punt at claiming AP. You would have to then fight him through the courts for recognition of any ROW you have over the land.

I suggest you also set up a cctv system trained on the fence, which should discourage him from removing the fence.

Only the owner of the land can tell you not to store your bins there. I'd remove his stones after you've fenced the area off.

Use the cheapest but secure fencing you can get.
Collaborate
 
Posts: 1121
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:17 am

Re: Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Postby arborlad » Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:00 am

StaffyMan wrote:One of my neighbours has built a fence around this land to the front and rear of his house and treats it as his own. My neighbour on the other side has advised me that he owns the land outside my cellar door and has forbidden me to use it. It's a tiny triangle, possibly 1.5 square metres, raised about half a meter from the road, which I need access across to enter my cellar.



How old is your property?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
 
Posts: 7382
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Postby StaffyMan » Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:32 am

Thanks for the advice. I use the term "unclaimed land" because that's what the LR told me it was - it is not registered. The patch adjoining my cellar directly affects me as I require access over it to use my cellar door and I have enjoyed its use in the past to store my wheelie bin. If you were to look at it you would probably assume it was part of my property. It would be difficult to fence off because it is so small and if it were fenced off I would be unable to access my cellar. The cellar door has a cat flap in it so again the fence would make it awkward for my cat.

My neighbour has clearly decided to claim this patch of land - not sure why as it would be of no perceivable benefit to him. Last winter he erected scaffolding on the land without telling me, preventing me from opening my cellar door. While I do not use this entrance on a daily basis I do use it from time to time for bringing in logs and other items.

Recently he put his house in the market and put a For Sale sign up on this land, obstructing my access.

The other point is that I am not the property owner - my landlord is very laid back and uninterested in this issue, leaving it up to me to resolve. Not sure if I have any rights as such?
StaffyMan
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:12 am

Re: Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Postby StaffyMan » Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:36 am

In answer to other questions the property is a terraced cottage, 150 years old or more. I will scan copies of the title plans indicating the land in question a and post links as Mac requests soon
StaffyMan
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:12 am

Re: Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Postby arborlad » Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:13 am

StaffyMan wrote:In answer to other questions the property is a terraced cottage, 150 years old or more.



Unless the cellar door was a recent addition, highly unlikely, you and your predecessors, whether as owners or occupiers will have used a route to access the cellar. Adverse possession is a 10-12 year process and even if successful, the land will still be burdened with a right to enter that cellar by that door.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
 
Posts: 7382
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Postby cleo5 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:12 am

StaffyMan,
Just go on using your cellar door entrance as you have done over the years. Any obstacle your neighbur puts there simply remove back onto his own land and carry on.
Hopefully the new owners will be more reasonable.

If the problem continues after the neighbouring house is sold and it is still a nuisance then consider moving. Why live next to nasty neighbours if you don't have to.?
cleo5
 
Posts: 272
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 12:33 pm

Re: Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Postby arborlad » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:54 am

StaffyMan wrote:Recently he put his house in the market and put a For Sale sign up on this land, obstructing my access.



You are entitled to remove anything which obstructs your access.

View the property details online, and if he's including land he doesn't own, make your landlord aware of this.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
 
Posts: 7382
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Unclaimed land 'claimed' by neighbours

Postby mr sheen » Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:18 pm

Since you are a tenant you have to deal with the landlord since you don't own any of the land in question and the use or otherwise of any part of the land and property will be part of your contract with your landlord. If you have a right of way in relation to the cellar door as part of your lease you need to make your landlord aware that you are not getting the full benefit of what you are paying rent for.

What the neighbours are doing with the unregistered land is irrelevant to you since you don't own any of it and unless they are interfering with the land such that you have a reduced benefit to land as per your contract with the landlord, it is not your business. You can keep the landlord informed but it is his choice as to whether to do anything about it or not where the land lies outside that specified in your lease.
mr sheen
 
Posts: 2092
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:33 pm

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 
Next

Return to Fences

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 6 guests