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Adverse posession next to public highway

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  • Adverse posession next to public highway

    Two years ago we bought a very old listed property in a small village. The property sits at an angle to the road which is narrow (at the point near our house cars have to give way to each other to cross a bridge and for 100m before and after the bridge) There are two small areas of land on two sides of of the frontage of our house that we use as one area -we use as a driveway up to our boundary gate (traffic also uses it as a partial passing place) the other we have as a front garden - planted with lawn and rockery etc. We know that from our deeds this land is not ours (our boundary at the front is our house walls) and we think perhaps it comes under Highways ownership. However previous property owners (up to 15 years ago) used this land for parking and it was them who initially created the rockery etc. When we bought the property 2 years ago the building was unused although owned and basicly kept structurally safe by a neighbour who owned it, the land to the front similarly was in a fairly poor state although the neighbour did ocasionally spray down the weeds. The guy who sold it to us was clear that it was not within the deeds, but was also clear that Highways had not maintained the land to his knowlege within the time he had owned the building (the previous 10 years).
    How would we go about securing this land within our ownership bearing in mind the lack of maintanance carried out by Highways and that there have been no objections to this land being used as garden and driveway?

    Any advice welcome

  • #2
    I think I'm right in saying you have to apply to the Land Registry. I suggest this is something you'd best use a solicitor for.
    Mark Donald
    www.Reports4Planning.co.uk
    providing more effective reports.......

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    • #3
      You can only start to obtain a title to the land by adverse possession and you will have to possess it for 12 years. This means that you must show you have undisputed use of it as of right.

      The "garden" area would be best fenced but possibly maintenance of it as obviously part of your garden would be sufficient.

      The area which is used as a passing place cannot be shown to be under your undisputed control unless you fence it within your property and do something with it - e.g. grow vegetables on it.

      You then have to sit and wait 12 years and can then apply fro a possessory title. Also I assume you have already checked that it isn't registered at the Land Registry to someone else. If it is then the process is slightly different.
      RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
      As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

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