Have I lost the land?

Re: Have I lost the land?

Postby jonahinoz » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:06 am

Hi,

I do not like the Squatter's Rights laws, although I have twice benefitted by them ... the first time unknowingly, until my solicitor told me that I now had title to over half an acre of "common" land. Both times I would have conceded to somebody who could provide evidence that the land was theirs.

The Law is the Law. Land is pretty well written in stone. Maps, on the other hand are flexible. Topographical features can come and go. The Land Registry specify, on-line, their expected margin of error. That margin of error should be reflected in Legislation (No grounds for action if dispute is over less than one metre, or whatever). All new builds should have the dimensions of the plot documented on their registers. Even better... in France, you can settle a boundary dispute by calling in a Geometre, who will sink a permanent marker into the ground, with it being a criminal offence to interfere with it.

The Law requires a change of ownership to be registered. Something I read on this forum recently led me to believe that Adverse Possession was not written in stone until it was registered. Was I mistaken in that understanding?

Is demanding sympathy a legal reason for preventing someone from claiming what is legally theirs?

John W
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Re: Have I lost the land?

Postby Morgan Sweet » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:30 am

I fully agree these disputes based on historical law should be able to be resolved using modern technology and enforced arbitration and the Government was looking to amend these laws. There are always two sides to a story and some use the law as it stands to profit from it (land grabbers) and some that are genuinely in adverse possession with the reasonable belief that they are not trespassing on someone's land.

Despite what many on this forum say, based on the law at present the advantage is with the land grabber. It is with this knowledge that the land grabber takes advantage of the situation. Many dispossessed just give up due to the expense and stress, and that is what the land grabber hopes for, he can just sit tight and then the law is on his side. I have personally witnessed a land grabber take a 40 yard x 6 yard piece of land from a neighbour. The neighbour challenged the grab and finally the grabber relented. Victory for the dispossessed? I do not think so, it cost the dispossessed over £750 in solicitor fees to get back what was his whilst the land grabber paid nothing.

In my rule of thumb the land grabber cost the innocent neighbour £750 to recover what was his and is no better than a thief. The dispossessed had hoped that the dispute would have gone to court to be solved with the expectation that he would at least recover some of his legal fees but the land grabber just settled before court proceedings.

The land grabber can just think, nothing ventured nothing gained while the dispossessed keeps the Solicitors well rewarded and has to pay for the land grabbers dishonesty.
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Re: Have I lost the land?

Postby arborlad » Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:02 pm

Morgan Sweet wrote:I fully agree these disputes based on historical law should be able to be resolved using modern technology and enforced arbitration and the Government was looking to amend these laws. There are always two sides to a story and some use the law as it stands to profit from it (land grabbers) and some that are genuinely in adverse possession with the reasonable belief that they are not trespassing on someone's land.

Despite what many on this forum say, based on the law at present the advantage is with the land grabber. It is with this knowledge that the land grabber takes advantage of the situation. Many dispossessed just give up due to the expense and stress, and that is what the land grabber hopes for, he can just sit tight and then the law is on his side. I have personally witnessed a land grabber take a 40 yard x 6 yard piece of land from a neighbour. The neighbour challenged the grab and finally the grabber relented. Victory for the dispossessed? I do not think so, it cost the dispossessed over £750 in solicitor fees to get back what was his whilst the land grabber paid nothing.

In my rule of thumb the land grabber cost the innocent neighbour £750 to recover what was his and is no better than a thief. The dispossessed had hoped that the dispute would have gone to court to be solved with the expectation that he would at least recover some of his legal fees but the land grabber just settled before court proceedings.

The land grabber can just think, nothing ventured nothing gained while the dispossessed keeps the Solicitors well rewarded and has to pay for the land grabbers dishonesty.




You and Eliza keep mentioning 'Land Grabbing' in the context of this thread but it's simply not relevant to the circumstances as we know them...............the only time 'Land Grabbing' would become relevant is if the OP decides to follow Eliza's ill-founded advice!!

'You saw what you bought and bought what you saw' and Caveat Emptor - buyer beware, are both relevant and pertinent to this thread.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Have I lost the land?

Postby jonahinoz » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:54 pm

Viewing and purchasing a property based solely on what the Title Plan purports to include - would have to be regarded as the highest form of folly

Hi,

There must be thousands of silly people buying property every year. I have bought a place in France on the strength of nothing more than some photographs in the vendors on-line advert. We sold it three years later, due to ill health, for €30,000 more than we paid for it ... and spent several months each year in the sun. Silly me!

We have also bought several new cars unseen. OK we had test drives in the demonstrators, and trusted the main dealer to provide an identical car, and crossed our fingers that there would not be a price increase before delivery. After two years of owning our latest car, we are aware that there are gizmo's fitted that we know nothing about, and maybe some that should be fitted and aren't. Silly us!

Many people buy houses "off-plan, and well, they must be silly. Look how many people ask for advice here, when they find the Developer's fencing contractor had his own idea where the fence should go. Silly them! But if they waited until the fences were erected before buying ... somebody else would have bought it first.

Many people are stressed, emotionally and financially, when buying a house. The cost of employing somebody qualified to look after their interests might be the deal breaker. Some people are old and or disabled, so not able to check their boundaries. Some people inherit property, and have no say in where the boundaries are until they take possession. Some people are conned into believing that what they see is what they will get. (OT ... There is a con in France, where the buyer legally takes possession at a reduced price, with the understanding that he will pay a bit more after the sale ... and then denies making such an offer. The vendor has no redress, unless he admits to tax evasion).

Land boundaries are written in stone. What is on the land can be demolished or extended. Rivers and roads can change their course. There should be a legal requirement that fixed markers are sunk into the ground the next time a property changes hands,(or before development starts) with it being a criminal offence to interfere with them. The cost should be small change, compared with Stamp Duty.

Or maybe the Mortgage Indemnity providers can come up with an alternative solution? That might require Land Registry maps being regarded as accurate to within +/- 500mm, which they are not ... but it's all we have, and if implemented, will one day become accurate. Buyers will know what they are buying, give or take a smidgen which can be documented on the conveyance ..."The existing fence on the Northern Boundary IS the Northern Boundary." Both buyer and seller will know the limit of what they bought or sold. If the boundary feature does not match the boundary, that will be for the seller to sort out (or surrender) prior to exchange of contract.

My dog has been microchipped. Surely a concrete post can be microchipped too? Builder erects the post, surveyor records it's number and exact location. Land Registry add the details to the Register. If anybody wants to change the boundary, it's going to cost them to register the change ... but the Law already requires changes to be registered.

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Re: Have I lost the land?

Postby xxredmaxx » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:07 am

I've been quite busy with work so unable to get to grips with uploading images.
I am told by admin that attachments are disabled and I have to use Imageshack.
I will try and get to this when I have time to edit the images so no personal info is present and size them so they are useful.

Thanks for all comments although some are not really pertinent to my OP.

In spite of being accused to the contrary I did not come here with any sense of being right - far from it. This is alien territory to me and simply wanted to understand if I had any rights.
I certainly feel a sense of something is not fair here but that seems to be acceptable.

Arborlad is the only person who has stated that I have no rights over the land because I purchased the property as seen and a predecessor in title agreed the fence position.
I understand that so has anyone got a challenge to that position please?
What if there was duress involved? What if my predecessor was old and not aware of the change in fence position? Does the law allow for such circumstances? It seems a green light for any cunning person to take advantage of vulnerable people living alone or not in control of their faculties.

All we have done with our neighbours is simply ask why the fence does not match the legal boundary position on our title plan. We have made no accusations and assured them we wish to ensure our relationship remains cordial and amicable.
We have made no threats or indicated any action we just asked why the difference.
I can assure those that think I am quibbling over a shallow arc its is more than significant than that. It is a wedge of 3.2 metres at its base with the length being 12-14 metres narrowing on the other edge to under 0.5 metres.
Its about 25 - 30sq metres. Thats a lot of garden.

The reaction from the neighbour and particularly the son has been quite shocking. I was personally insulted yesterday and warned off. There is no attempt to discuss how to move forward even if it is to regularise the matter.
We are worried that a future sale of our house could be jeopardised by a buyer noticing the discrepancy - since they'll be following the advice on this forum to check the boundary.

We do not need the uncertainly so the neighbour should at least apply for AP and we can then all move on.
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Re: Have I lost the land?

Postby MacadamB53 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:02 am

Hi xxredmaxx,

assuming the land was ever part of the parcel of land, then arborlad is correct.

an equitable solution would be to compensate the neighbour for having let him believe he owned the land all this time - amount would be dependent on how he'd made use of it.

it could be argued that your seller should contribute, but it could also be argued that he got less from you in the sale - it would depend on the amount agreed.

kind regards, Mac
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Re: Have I lost the land?

Postby Collaborate » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:05 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi xxredmaxx,

assuming the land was ever part of the parcel of land, then arborlad is correct.

an equitable solution would be to compensate the neighbour for having let him believe he owned the land all this time - amount would be dependent on how he'd made use of it.

it could be argued that your seller should contribute, but it could also be argued that he got less from you in the sale - it would depend on the amount agreed.

kind regards, Mac


Mac: I assume that your assertion is based on the OP's predecessor in title agreeing to the position of the boundary fence. Is there anything to back this up?

For a boundary dispute evidence of the parties' subsequent conduct is only relevant in so far as it reveals what the original parties (when the original boundary was created) intended (see Acco Properties Ltd v Severn [2011] EWHC 1362 (Ch)). So unless OP's predecessor in title was the original owner of this parcel of land and was a party to the deed that created the boundary, their agreement to the fence position should shed no light on the intention of the original parties, and would therefore be irrelevant. The neighbour would then have to rely upon a claim of adverse possession, or the existence of a boundary agreement (where otherwise the boundary was unclear).
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Re: Have I lost the land?

Postby xxredmaxx » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:32 pm

Collaborate wrote:
MacadamB53 wrote:Hi xxredmaxx,

assuming the land was ever part of the parcel of land, then arborlad is correct.

an equitable solution would be to compensate the neighbour for having let him believe he owned the land all this time - amount would be dependent on how he'd made use of it.

it could be argued that your seller should contribute, but it could also be argued that he got less from you in the sale - it would depend on the amount agreed.

kind regards, Mac


Mac: I assume that your assertion is based on the OP's predecessor in title agreeing to the position of the boundary fence. Is there anything to back this up?

For a boundary dispute evidence of the parties' subsequent conduct is only relevant in so far as it reveals what the original parties (when the original boundary was created) intended (see Acco Properties Ltd v Severn [2011] EWHC 1362 (Ch)). So unless OP's predecessor in title was the original owner of this parcel of land and was a party to the deed that created the boundary, their agreement to the fence position should shed no light on the intention of the original parties, and would therefore be irrelevant. The neighbour would then have to rely upon a claim of adverse possession, or the existence of a boundary agreement (where otherwise the boundary was unclear).


I can confirm that the predecessor who agreed the fence position was not the original owner. The title plan for my property was drawn upon first registration using title deeds and other information available at the time to support the intention of the original parties. I am not aware of any existing boundary agreement the neighbour is relying on to support the current position of the fence. "its always been there" is the claim.
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Re: Have I lost the land?

Postby MacadamB53 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:51 pm

Hi Collaborate,

The neighbour would then have to rely upon a claim of adverse possession, or the existence of a boundary agreement (where otherwise the boundary was unclear).

when?

kind regards, Mac
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Re: Have I lost the land?

Postby Collaborate » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:35 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Collaborate,

The neighbour would then have to rely upon a claim of adverse possession, or the existence of a boundary agreement (where otherwise the boundary was unclear).

when?

kind regards, Mac


When what?
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Re: Have I lost the land?

Postby xxredmaxx » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:58 pm

Collaborate

I did ask earlier but perhaps you would offer an opinion.
Following your comments re my predecessor agreeing fence position...
If my predecessor had no knowledge of the actual legal boundary or was not in a position to verify the neighbours view does that validate or invalidate the decision to place the fence in its position?

My point is there are more and more vulnerable adults living in isolation in their homes. If an unscrupulous neighbour eyes an opportunity and hoodwinks a homeowner to agree a fence position which is then not subsequently picked up in the event of death of the original party by the subsequent purchaser they will then accept the surviving party to the agreement that the boundary is correct. This can happen until someone decides to checks more thoroughly and realises there is a discrepancy between legal and physical. By this time 12 or more years have elapsed and AP is a possibility but its based entirely on an original subterfuge.

How could this be challenged?

In my cases I am convinced by anecdotal evidence that my predecessor was passively bullied by my neighbour and chose to sell up. He put up a new 6' fence against a small existing wire fence no more than 400 mm high to make the garden more attractive to a purchaser.
It was the small wire fence that was used as a boundary feature but was moved to angle into my garden
He also built a small wall about 8' long by 6' high to stop plants and shrubs encroaching after the neighbour refused to cut back.

All in all the neighbour has encroached progressively over years and appears to be rewarded.
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Re: Have I lost the land?

Postby MacadamB53 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:38 pm

xxredmaxx wrote:Collaborate

I did ask earlier but perhaps you would offer an opinion.
Following your comments re my predecessor agreeing fence position...
If my predecessor had no knowledge of the actual legal boundary or was not in a position to verify the neighbours view does that validate or invalidate the decision to place the fence in its position?

My point is there are more and more vulnerable adults living in isolation in their homes. If an unscrupulous neighbour eyes an opportunity and hoodwinks a homeowner to agree a fence position which is then not subsequently picked up in the event of death of the original party by the subsequent purchaser they will then accept the surviving party to the agreement that the boundary is correct. This can happen until someone decides to checks more thoroughly and realises there is a discrepancy between legal and physical. By this time 12 or more years have elapsed and AP is a possibility but its based entirely on an original subterfuge.

How could this be challenged?

In my cases I am convinced by anecdotal evidence that my predecessor was passively bullied by my neighbour and chose to sell up. He put up a new 6' fence against a small existing wire fence no more than 400 mm high to make the garden more attractive to a purchaser.
It was the small wire fence that was used as a boundary feature but was moved to angle into my garden
He also built a small wall about 8' long by 6' high to stop plants and shrubs encroaching after the neighbour refused to cut back.

All in all the neighbour has encroached progressively over years and appears to be rewarded.
how could your predecessor have no knowledge of the whereabouts of the legal boundary? only if he bought without seeing a copy of the title plan and had not seen one since it would seem...
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Re: Have I lost the land?

Postby MacadamB53 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:39 pm

Collaborate wrote:
MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Collaborate,

The neighbour would then have to rely upon a claim of adverse possession, or the existence of a boundary agreement (where otherwise the boundary was unclear).

when?

kind regards, Mac


When what?
the bit in bold...
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Re: Have I lost the land?

Postby xxredmaxx » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:27 pm

how could your predecessor have no knowledge of the whereabouts of the legal boundary? only if he bought without seeing a copy of the title plan and had not seen one since it would seem...

becasue some people are not as confident, knowledgeable or smart.
I never look at my title plan until 4 weeks ago yet have lived in the house for 4 years.
Am I just a thicko or just too deluded to believe there was a protective regime for house owners?

How about this?

my property history is as follows

A lady lets call her Molly owns my house from 1950
My neighbour buys the adjoining property in 1969
Molly lives in my property until sometime in the early 90's when she dies.
There is NO physical boundary between the rear gardens throughout her liftime
The house remains empty unsold for some period of at least 1 year.
The neighbour cultivates the unbordered property and plant many shrubs, plants and trees thus obscuring the actual boundary.
He then erects a small wire fence where he chooses as a symbolic boundary. There is no paperwork, deeds or other document to determine the fence position and nobody to argue.
My predecessor in title purchases my property in 1998.
The land for my property however undergoes 1st registration in accordance with the law and a title plan is issued in accordance with information submitted by conveyancer.
My predecessor inherits an unclear ambiguous boundary and tries to resolve it using title plan.
Neighbour refuses to cooperate having enjoyed use of the additional land.
Predecessor knows the boundary according to title but decides he doesn't want the fight.Erects new fence and wall in 2002/3 to make property attractive and sells in 2006.
My immediate predecessor purchases in 2006 inherits existing boundary but since he only purchased as an investment with a view to a quick flip sells again in 2013.
I purchase in 2013 and i do not realise anything untoward with boundary until an event causes me to check title plan in 2017.
A significant deviation is identified outside the margin of error especially when coupled with fact that neighbours land is unregistered.

How would the neighbour ever be in a position to know the legal boundary without deeds or other supporting info?
It appears he arbitrarily fixed the boundary and then enforced it by exploiting newcomers not wishing to "rock the boat" with a long standing dweller.

I am not saying any of the above gives me a claim. You will say "get over it" but something is wrong with the boundary position and I do have title to land that has a defined boundary of sorts and has relative datum points that have not moved in over 55 years and are accurately plotted on OS maps. He has taken possession of said land and the law says that is OK?

Whilst I may have to concede I cannot move the fence I cannot see this is just.
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Re: Have I lost the land?

Postby Collaborate » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:04 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:
Collaborate wrote:
MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Collaborate,

The neighbour would then have to rely upon a claim of adverse possession, or the existence of a boundary agreement (where otherwise the boundary was unclear).

when?

kind regards, Mac


When what?
the bit in bold...


you're not making sense, Mac. There was nothing in bold in your post. If you mean the bit in italics, do you want me to give you a date, a time, or what? Please spell it out. I'm not a mind reader.
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