Access road

Rosiegarden
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Access road

Post by Rosiegarden » Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:20 pm

We recently tried to gain possession of a strip of land next to our house which is on an access road through adverse possession. This strip of land is on our title deeds stating access and has a dotted line where the proposed road is. We maintained this strip of land for 14 years and prior to us the owners of our house maintained it for 20 years. Neighbours have objected to the adverse possession and we decided not to pursue this strip of land. My question is can we ask for money as last year we spent alot on clearing the land and we will have to pull up some posts which the neighbours now want us to remove. As they are requesting we remove them will they have to share in the costs or pay all the costs as it is at their request?

IdefixUK
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Re: Access road

Post by IdefixUK » Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:31 pm

Hello Rosiegarden.

Can you please tell us if the "strip of land" is owned by the neighbours who objected to your adverse possession claim,ie. Is it within the red line on their title plan? Or does it belong to someone else, or is it unregistered?

Regards

Rosiegarden
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Re: Access road

Post by Rosiegarden » Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:30 am

The land is unregistered but we have been told that 'it is still owned by someone' but not registered with the land registry as it 'has never been sold'. We have had a lawyer involved and the land registry however neither seem to know about whether we have to remove the fence posts and if we do whether the ones who want it removed need to pay for it. The road with the strip of land is between 8 terrace houses who have access and as mentioned the strip of land is next to our house.

MacadamB53
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Re: Access road

Post by MacadamB53 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:59 am

Hi Rosiegarden,

can we ask for money as last year we spent alot on clearing the land and we will have to pull up some posts which the neighbours now want us to remove

you can ask, for sure, but nobody is under any obligation - legal or otherwise - to contribute.

any property owner with a RoW over the track is entitled to ask you to remove any obstructions and may be successful in court if you refused.

kind regards, Mac

arborlad
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Re: Access road

Post by arborlad » Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:38 pm

Rosiegarden wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:30 am
We have had a lawyer involved and the land registry however neither seem to know about whether we have to remove the fence posts and if we do whether the ones who want it removed need to pay for it.



These aren't matters for Land Registry, your lawyer should at least have informed you of that.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

pilman
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Re: Access road

Post by pilman » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:19 pm

we will have to pull up some posts which the neighbours now want us to remove.
The person with a legal right to tell you to remove the posts is the owner of the legal title to the land.

The neighbour can only make such a request if the posts are substantially obstructing a right of way granted for the benefit of their property.

Such a substantial obstruction is a trespass and can be prevented by court action where the claimant will need to provide evidence that the post are such an obstruction, which prevents use of the full width of the accessway by the neighbours.

If you have been using this land for over 14 years and your predecessor for over 20 years, I fail to understand why you are taking any notice of the neighbours unless these posts are preventing use of the full width of the accessway.

Your claim to be in adverse possession of this land is still valid unless the true legal owner comes along to dispute it.
The objection to the land Registry application has to be dealt with as part of the Land Registration Act that requires such an application to be dealt with by Land Registry referring the matter to the Land Registration Chamber First Tier Tribunal for its decision on the legal merits of the application, but if the true legal owner is not the one objecting you have a better title than anyone else as long as you continue to use the land as an owner would use it.

Ask yourself the question what would the true owner say to a neighbour who told him to remove posts he had erected on his own land, which did not have any adverse impact on the use of the access road.
The answer would be to tell the neighbour to mind his own business.

Rosiegarden
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Re: Access road

Post by Rosiegarden » Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:52 pm

Thank you for this. The posts do prevent the 'full use' of the road for access, as at one time it has been measured, but these houses are old and measurements were never accurate. Our garden is also not measured accurately. I have read that if we wait two years we can again apply for adverse possession and whether there are objections or not the land will be ours. It is a pity if we have to remove the posts as the neighbours want to access it for parking which is not an access right, however, turning might be.

You've been very helpful.

MacadamB53
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Re: Access road

Post by MacadamB53 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:15 pm

Hi Rosiegarden,

if your property comes with a RoW over the strip then your AP claim has a much, much, much more limited chance of success than if it didn’t.

kind regards, Mac

Clifford Pope
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Re: Access road

Post by Clifford Pope » Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:26 pm

It's clear why you might want to maintain the land - perhaps to stop it becoming overgrown with weeds, or sycamores say. But what are the posts for?
You know it is an access road with a ROW over it - why have you impeded the ROW?

Rosiegarden
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Re: Access road

Post by Rosiegarden » Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:26 pm

a ROW? When we purchased the property the posts were already there and had been for about 20 years. We asked our solicitor whether the land belonged to the property and he said it did. No one has maintained the road. However we have maintained the 'access'. I'm not here for any confrontation. I was just asking advice and a ROW doesnt seem very helpful.

Collaborate
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Re: Access road

Post by Collaborate » Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:47 pm

Rosiegarden wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:26 pm
a ROW? When we purchased the property the posts were already there and had been for about 20 years. We asked our solicitor whether the land belonged to the property and he said it did. No one has maintained the road. However we have maintained the 'access'. I'm not here for any confrontation. I was just asking advice and a ROW doesnt seem very helpful.
ROW = Right Of Way.

pilman
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Re: Access road

Post by pilman » Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:05 pm

I have read that if we wait two years we can again apply for adverse possession and whether there are objections or not the land will be ours.
if the road had been a registered property with a title issued by Land Registry there is a different system when someone makes an application to be registered as owner due to adverse possession of the land in question.

An application can be made after 10 years because there is no limitation period attached to possession of registered land.

The Registered Proprietor will be notified about the application and if that person objects he then has the opportunity of starting court proceedings to recover possession of their land.

If that has not happened after a further two years have passed, that is when Land Registry will grant a possessory title if the original applicant makes a new application.

With unregistered land after 12 years adverse possession, which needs to be exclusive possession with the intention to possess by excluding all others from the land including the legal owner, the Limitation Act 1980 applies, so that after 12 years the legal owner cannot begin legal proceedings and the legal title is extinguished.

Your problem is that in response to your application it seems as though the neighbours were notified by Land Registry, even though they are not the owners of the land that you claim to in possession of.
Under the Land Registration Act 2002, as long as the objection is not groundless, Land Registry cannot make a decision as to whether to grant or refuse to grant a registered title.

The matter has to be referred to the First Tier Tribunal where a judge will decide the matter on the facts of the case that would have to be presented by the applicant and the objector.

That appears to be the situation you found yourself in and it seems as though you have chosen to withdraw the application.
When we purchased the property the posts were already there and had been for about 20 years
That sentence implies that any right of way used by the owners of the houses has been taking place despite the posts being there.

As I stated in an earlier posting you have a better title to the land you have been in possession of than everyone, except the person able to show a legal deed of ownership.

The fact that this land remains unregistered is because there has been no dealing with this land since compulsory registration was imposed in your area sometime between 1925 and 1990. Very often these back access ways were set out by the builder who erected the row of terraces to allow access to the back gardens of properties when coal deliveries were such an important part of home ownership.

Once all the houses were built and offered for sale, a right of way. or a right of access, as it is sometimes referred to in a deed, will have been included in each conveyance when each property was sold.
Then it was quite common that the retained land that comprised the back lane was ignored by the builder who had sold off all the houses and gained the required profit from those sales.

When that builder died it was highly probable that this back road was totally ignored as part of his estate.
It had no value to his beneficiaries, which is why so many of these types of accessway remain unregistered, because no personal representative of the deceased person could be bothered to deal with them when the time came to list the assets of a deceased person.
A back road with rights of way over it was considered worthless, so that quite often it was not passed on to any of the named beneficiaries in a will.

Your problem with being granted a registered title is the use you have made of the land if it has not been totally enclosed so that other people cannot walk or drive over it.

The fact that your property has a right of way over the land will also act against a claim of adverse possession, because you have a legal right to be on the land if you were using it to pass and repass from your back garden to the road at the end of the accessway.

However if this land is a verge set out alongside the part of the accessway that is being used by neighbours to pass and repass to their own back gardens, then there could be a claim that such use is adverse to the true legal owner.

Tending to the land while it can still be accessed by passers-by using a right of way is one of those occasions where it will be more difficult to prove the necessary requirement of adverse possession, which in addition to exclusive possession is to show that there has been an intention to possess.
Not just an intention to keep it tidy, but an intention to prevent anyone else from using the land for any purpose, as an owner of the land would have done.

You do not have to remove the posts being referred to, although if the neighbours chose to do that themselves by claiming that a right of way was being obstructed, it would be very difficult and expensive to start legal proceedings claiming that you are the legal owner of the land on which the posts were located, due to your adverse possession for longer than 12 years.

There is no doubt that you can continue to use the land as you have been using it for so long, but preventing other people from sharing its use may not be possible.

Rosiegarden
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Re: Access road

Post by Rosiegarden » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:54 am

Thank you. I suppose if that is what happened with the access road then there will never be an owner found. It does sound true about our strip of land. We never would have bought this house without that strip of land and I feel that we have been deceived. Next house purchase will definitely be a new build.

Thank you for all the information.

arborlad
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Re: Access road

Post by arborlad » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:59 am

Any chance of a sketch or anonymised title plan to aid the understanding.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

Morgan Sweet
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Re: Access road

Post by Morgan Sweet » Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:09 am

arborlad wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:38 pm
Rosiegarden wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:30 am
We have had a lawyer involved and the land registry however neither seem to know about whether we have to remove the fence posts and if we do whether the ones who want it removed need to pay for it.



These aren't matters for Land Registry, your lawyer should at least have informed you of that.
I respectfully beg to differ; it is most likely that the Solicitors consulted the LR for their documentation as a first and important step.

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