Advice On claiming Adverse Possession over a ROW please!

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CurlyWurlyL
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Advice On claiming Adverse Possession over a ROW please!

Post by CurlyWurlyL » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:08 pm

Hello. Would really love some advice please or if anyone has any experience of claiming Adverse Possession (Squatters Rights) would love to hear.
Here is what has happened to us:-
We have lived in a terraced property for almost 28 years now which is the middle of 3. There is a small foot accessway to the rear which is used by a neighbour on the inside of the terrace, crosses over my land at the back and then the end of terrace to the road. It’s the usual set up for 1,000’s of terraces in the UK. It’s on the deeds of the inside terrace and we had it added by prescriptive rights to our deeds and the end of terrace, who’s land we both pass over but they don’t need to access at all as they have a separate side access. We’ve used it that way for 28 years, stored our bins there, planters, composter. It’s gated. Always has been. Never locked as the inner terrace needs access. Didn’t ask our old neighbour if we could use it, he didn’t and didn’t need to, never thought anything of it.
Then we had a new neighbour after the old boy who had been there for 35 odd years moved away.
He wasn’t happy at all as we had access rights over his land and he wanted to park/turn his car there and it was ‘his land’. As the brick arch and gate stand at the entrance of the access, ‘his land’, he has told us (shouted at us!) that he is taking it down in 2 weeks time and ‘going to make things difficult for us’.
We’ve reported to police, solicitor etc but obviously it’s time and money. It’s not right what he’s doing but we’re arguing over a scrappy piece of land that we want to use for what it was intended since the 1920’s and he wants to drive over it to park his car!
I’d like to claim possession of it either by Adverse Possession (Squatters Rights) or altering the title so that it is in our ownership. My solicitor has said a ‘big fat NO’ (not 100% sure why, thinking it’s too difficult to claim, not are) but obviously I’ve gone obsessive with looking into this and making an application to Land Registry.
This is my understanding of it so far:-
We’ve used the land, not JUST as an access (stored bins, composter, planters, maintained/bought the gate, erected the brick archway, kept it clean and tidy, cleaned up after people have used it as a urinal (or worse), a place to have censored or throw up), we have considered it OUR OWN. We didn’t ask anyone, we just used it.
There is already a Statutory Declaration lodged with our deeds to prove long and continuous use of the land.
It is only us who have used it as our own, the residents of the inner terrace have merely passed over it.
I understand the application to cost around £130 and there will be a 3 month or so period for objections.
The neighbour WILL 100% object. He wants the land to drive over!
Hopefully the Registrar will find his objections groundless, he can’t say we haven’t used it, he can’t say that we haven’t lived here since the early ‘90’s, that’s easily proved and has been, HE kicked our stuff out into the street (I have photos of this but whether that’s enough proof??).
I’m not sure what constitutes a ‘groundless objection?’
If this goes to tribunal for an adjudicator to decide, will there be more costs involved? And if we lose (which I really hope we have a sympathetic Registrar who can see we are doing this for all the RIGHT reasons and HE is not!) will we have to pay more money out i.e damages/compensation etc?
I also gather that we can claim under the older regulations rather than Land Registation Act 2002 as we have used the land for so long.
I’m even thinking of approaching a ‘no win, no fee’ solicitor as I feel I have nothing to lose really.
Look forward to hearing from you.

mugwump
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Re: Advice On claiming Adverse Possession over a ROW please!

Post by mugwump » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:57 pm

You can't claim adverse possession due to the simple fact that you already have a documented right of way over it.

You can't claim AP over land that you already have a right to be on.

CurlyWurlyL
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Re: Advice On claiming Adverse Possession over a ROW please!

Post by CurlyWurlyL » Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:01 pm

We only have right to use it as a right of way on foot.
If we owned the land that the gateway stood on, he wouldn’t be able to knock it down and put a hard standing on to drive his car into.

mr sheen
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Re: Advice On claiming Adverse Possession over a ROW please!

Post by mr sheen » Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:14 pm

Your solicitor is right it's a big fat 'no' you can't get ownership of it. I Agree with Mugwump.

You are highly unlikley to be successful in claiming AP for land over which you have a right of way. The requirement for a right of way is that your rights extend to being able to pass and repass over land you accept is not owned by you. Since you have a legitimate right to pass and repass over the land in question, then you cannot 'adversely possess' it since you have a right to be on it.

You are extremely likely to lose a claim for AP and in all likelihood you will have to pay all costs. It's likely that you will Not find a solicitor to take this on at all, never mind offer no Win, no fee...sorry.

ukmicky
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Re: Advice On claiming Adverse Possession over a ROW please!

Post by ukmicky » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:02 pm

It is only us who have used it as our own, the residents of the inner terrace have merely passed over it


The underlined part is also enough to thwart a claim for AP


You will have gained additional prescriptive rights but not a right for AP.
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

CurlyWurlyL
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Re: Advice On claiming Adverse Possession over a ROW please!

Post by CurlyWurlyL » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:37 pm

Thanks all, a Possessory Title has also been mentioned along with making an alteration to the title deeds I think but I’m not sure of all the correct terms??

mr sheen
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Re: Advice On claiming Adverse Possession over a ROW please!

Post by mr sheen » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:48 am

A possessory title would be the title resulting from a successful AP claim, which is unlikely in this case.
You cannot just alter deeds.

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