Legalising unregistered land

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olisun
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:44 am

Legalising unregistered land

Post by olisun » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:43 pm

Hi,

I have a small alleyway next to my house and this alleyway is a unregistered piece of land. I checked this with the land registry and got it confirmed from them and it's does not form part of any of the neighbours deeds. Also there is no ROW detailed in any of the neighbours deeds including mine.

Now the front part of the alleyway is part of my front porch and it has always been that way since we bought the house more than 10yrs ago (Nov 2003). Similarly there is also a small door to stop strangers from walking into the alleyway and it has been there since day one.

Now I wanted to know if it is possible to make a claim over / register the land, which is part of my front porch. I don't know if I can make a claim over the entire alleyway.

The reason I am trying to do this is because one of my neighbour is building 2 "Gym" rooms with a door opening into the alleyway. He has plans to rent it out (not my concern) with access for the tentants via my front porch. He was planning on replacing that door on my property with a Iron door telling me that the council has given him permission. I spoke to the council who told me that they have not given any such permission (got it in writing). I told the landlord not to touch the door on my property or I will call the police.

Btw the alleyway is very narrow and just wide enough for a normal sized person to walk through.

We are having some sleepless nights and want to put ourselves in a better position before things get out of hand.

Any help will be highly appreciated.

ps: I am trying to attach some photographs (smaller than 100KB) but I am getting the file too big error
pps: Now I am getting the following error "Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached."

arsie
Posts: 1957
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Location: Norfolk

Re: Legalising unregistered land

Post by arsie » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:43 pm

Easier to use Dropbox or some other free site to store photos and then use the URL button here in the Reply window to post a link or links. A plan of the alleyway and properties next to it or served by it would be useful to see as well. Especially the 'small door' you have mentioned. Do you know how long that has been in place?

There is a way of claiming land called adverse possession but as there are others using the alleyway (I think?) this may not be possible. How old is your property and do you know any of the history? I have heard developers in bygone times would often leave an access to the rear of properties for coal deliveries for example. Rather than give ownership of the access way to any of the new dwellings it was just left unsold. Less trouble than writing out lots of rights of way etc.

olisun
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:44 am

Re: Legalising unregistered land

Post by olisun » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:05 pm

http://i43.tinypic.com/14lpq9j.jpg

http://i43.tinypic.com/244o1ft.jpg

http://i43.tinypic.com/2vl7bjc.png <== the tiny circle is our front porch.

Nobody has used the alleyway since we moved in 10yrs ago because it looks like it's our part of the house.

As per the deeds our property was built in 1853 and the door has been there before we bought it. I don't know when it was put there but I still have the advertisement we got from the estate agent and also photographs somewhere around 2004-2005.

Inititally there was a metal boundary in the front (where the brick wall is) but it kept coming off on one side and was potentially dangerous for the public especially mothers with prams and children cycling on the pavement.
Last edited by olisun on Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

arsie
Posts: 1957
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Location: Norfolk

Re: Legalising unregistered land

Post by arsie » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:08 pm

Oli I think you need to remove the "(dot)" text from those links to let them work? You can edit your post for a short while.

olisun
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:44 am

Re: Legalising unregistered land

Post by olisun » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:09 pm

arsie wrote:Oli I think you need to remove the "(dot)" from those links to let them work?
It doesn't allow me to post links if I remove the "(dot)"..

EDIT: It allows me once I post with the (dot) and then go back and edit my post and remove the (dot)... :twisted:

arsie
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Location: Norfolk

Re: Legalising unregistered land

Post by arsie » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:45 pm

Presumably one of those houses to the right (east?) of your house is the one with the gym rooms to rent and wants to gain access via 'your' alleyway and his back garden? As a matter of interest which one is it?

Now I see the layout I think you might want to look into claiming adverse possession if no one else has used or has use of the alleyway. I am not qualified or experienced in the law but others on here are and will be along soon I expect. But on the Land Registry web site http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/professi ... ce-guide-5 it says for unregistered land:
3 Adverse possession – the essentials

You must show that:

the squatter has factual possession of the land

the squatter has the necessary intention to possess the land

the squatter’s possession is without the owner’s consent, and

all of the above have been true of the squatter and any predecessors through whom the squatter claims for at least 12 years prior to the date of the application (see section 4 The limitation period).

- See more at: http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/professi ... MqkHY.dpuf
Your >10 years is a good start. Any chance you can get a Statement of Truth from the previous owner? This would be a statement they would sign to say that they had exclusive use of the land in question before you did, to make up the 12 year period you need to establish for unregistered land.

It might be a good idea to check the deeds of the adjacent properties including Gym Rent Man's. You can get these for a small fee online from the Land Registry see here http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/public/p ... -ownership

It's early days yet and making a claim will take months even if things go smoothly.

Once submitted the Land Registry write to interested parties. I did it for registered land so this might be different but I would assume they will write to adjacent properties including your Gym Room Man to see what they have to say. I can imagine the other neighbours won't be too happy about strangers coming and going so you might find some allies there. And expect some shall we say porky pies from your adversary ;)

I can't say whether it would be a good or bad thing to keep others off your alleyway during this period?

Having to call the police sounds ominous.

olisun
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Re: Legalising unregistered land

Post by olisun » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:20 pm

The first house on my right (facing the road) is no 23 then 25 and so on. It's no 27 & 29 (both owned by the same landlord) at the end of the alleyway who was / is planning on using it as access to his "Gym" room. He has also put points for lights on the window and door that he has built.

I am not sure if I will be able to contact the previous landlord because I haven't seem him for years now. He used to come to my local church on Sunday's but I can't see him anymore.. Might have to try other ways to track him down.

I have checked the deeds of the neighbouring properties (23, 25, 27, 29) and none of them have any references to the alleway or the ROW. When I called up the landregistry CS they also confirmed the same and I have also got it in writing as well (will upload a copy later).

The landlord also wanted to move all the materials of the build through the narrow alleway i.e through the front of my property by trying to tell me porkies but I refused to allow him access. I told him to do whatever he wants through the front of his own property. He didn't like it.

What we are more concerned at this stage is people going through our front porch to gain regular access to our property, which they should be able to do it because they are illegally entering my property.

I only home the landregistry will NOT write to the Gym man if we take that route.

Regarding calling the police, I only told him that when he was planning on replacing that door on my property with a metal gate and locking it up.

EDIT: BTW the alleyway in question is not that wide as it shows in the online map. And when the architect submitted his plans to the council he didn't consider my boundaries and showed the alleyway to be very wide.

arsie
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Location: Norfolk

Re: Legalising unregistered land

Post by arsie » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:49 pm

yes I thought that the photo of your front porch shows what is left of the alleyway is less than it appears on the plans. I think the Land Registry say the plans are only plus or minus 1 metre in accuracy and that seems to be the case here.

Blimey he's got a cheek hoping to have access, I wouldn't have guessed it was 27 and 29. Who owns 23 and 25? Are they tenanted? Owner occupiers might be concerned about security too. Landlords wouldn't care. Sounds like this guy has clocked the unregistered land and is having a punt. Did he buy 27 (or 29) recently?

Me, admittedly not now but as a young man, I would put up a locked gate right quick to keep them out. Might cost a bit but far cheaper than the loss in value of your property. Who's to say if permission is given (I think he needs to apply for change of use) he doesn't find gyms are not a good return and these rooms become a massage parlour or worse?

If you can't find your previous owner if you keep people out another two years that's you squatter's rights for 12 years. As I said I can't see anyone else objecting if you do that, no one else uses the alleyway but you.

MacadamB53
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Re: Legalising unregistered land

Post by MacadamB53 » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:21 pm

Hi olisun,

Similarly there is also a small door to stop strangers from walking into the alleyway and it has been there since day one.
Can you please advise who are not strangers?

Now I wanted to know if it is possible to make a claim over / register the land, which is part of my front porch. I don't know if I can make a claim over the entire alleyway.
Why only part of the parcel of land?

Kind regards, Mac

olisun
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Re: Legalising unregistered land

Post by olisun » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:19 pm

Strangers = anybody who would like to take a piss seeing an open alleyway.

Regarding making a claim over the entire alleyway, I thought it's easier to make a claim on the front part of the alleyway as it is already "integrated" with my front porch.

MacadamB53
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Re: Legalising unregistered land

Post by MacadamB53 » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:33 pm

Hi olisun,

I asked you to clarify who is NOT a stranger to the alley.

Why do you think it would be harder to claim it all?

Kind regards, Mac

arsie
Posts: 1957
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Location: Norfolk

Re: Legalising unregistered land

Post by arsie » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:37 pm

It will surely be no harder or easier to claim the whole parcel of unregistered land than just a part, though could you mark as accurately as you can and show us a plan of the whole piece of land? I don't think it will alter the strength/weakness of any adverse possession claim if no one else is annexing or occupying the land. In my non expert opinion.

And that is a very serious question, who else uses the land if anyone? Leaving aside people wandering by needing a pee.

olisun
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Re: Legalising unregistered land

Post by olisun » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:51 pm

MacadamB53 wrote: I asked you to clarify who is NOT a stranger to the alley.
tbh I didn't understand your question. If you mean who knows about the alleyway then not many people. Infact most of my didn't even know there was an alleyway there until I mentioned about the landlord intention.
MacadamB53 wrote: Why do you think it would be harder to claim it all?
I don't know as I am not an expert and have never done this sort of thing before.

I am assuming that making a claim over the entire land will get 27-29 also involved and he will definitely create a fuss over it.

arsie
Posts: 1957
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:13 am
Location: Norfolk

Re: Legalising unregistered land

Post by arsie » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:03 pm

olisun wrote:
MacadamB53 wrote: I asked you to clarify who is NOT a stranger to the alley.
tbh I didn't understand your question. If you mean who knows about the alleyway then not many people. Infact most of my didn't even know there was an alleyway there until I mentioned about the landlord intention.
MacadamB53 wrote: Why do you think it would be harder to claim it all?
I don't know as I am not an expert and have never done this sort of thing before.

I am assuming that making a claim over the entire land will get 27-29 also involved and he will definitely create a fuss over it.
Olisun,

I think your answer to Mac's question is saying that nobody realises you do not actually own the alleyway. A point in your favour. But though he was short I think Mac's question is valid. (By the way, most of your what?)

I am not an expert either but the answer to your assumption needs an expert. Have you thought about solicitor's advice?

olisun
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:44 am

Re: Legalising unregistered land

Post by olisun » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:14 pm

arsie wrote:It will surely be no harder or easier to claim the whole parcel of unregistered land than just a part, though could you mark as accurately as you can and show us a plan of the whole piece of land? I don't think it will alter the strength/weakness of any adverse possession claim if no one else is annexing or occupying the land. In my non expert opinion.
The following image is from the house no 27th's title plan

http://i40.tinypic.com/11i1ht5.png
arsie wrote:And that is a very serious question, who else uses the land if anyone? Leaving aside people wandering by needing a pee.
Till date nobody has used the that alleyway other than me and once by the gardeners when I had my lawn turfed. I use every year in summer it to clear the weeds and cut the branches of the trees which grow over my roof and block my Sky signal.

When I did my house renovation back in 2006/2007 I had to pay the builder extra to get the entire alleyway cleared as there was some damp rising on that side of my house.. The builder couldn't use the alleyway to the take the materials to the rear of my house as the alleyway is very narrow and ended up taking through the main door all the way to the back of the house.

I know the owner of 23 very well and he has a gate at the rear of his garden via the side of his property i.e. the main road and no 25 I think is rented out.. I rarely see the residents in their backyard as it has overgrown with weeds etc and never maintained.

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