To say FOTTFSOF... long, boundaries, house sale, neighbours...(37 Posts)
live in a terraced house with an entry between myself and next door neighbour in question. This entry provides rear access for three properties.
When I bought the property 9 years ago the drive in front of my house was/is clearly defined by the material it is made from (cobbleprint) and spans the entry doorway. I was assured by seller that this was all my drive, a selling point as it was a two car drive, and the next door neighbours, who were the sellers parents, agreed. Next door neighbours have a block paved drive which ends at the entry edge and pre dates my drive. For the past 9 years I have used all this drive as my own , even had conversations with neighbour when they have apologised for relatives 'coming over onto your drive a bit'.
Now neighbours are selling their house and they have informed me that their prospective buyer 'wants the area of the drive in front of the entry doorway put back to how it was' and made shared. I don't know how long ago this was but its way before my time .My drive has been the way it is now for at least 12 years. Apparently originally there was a path up the drive centrally. The prospective buyer doesn't want a path reinstated but he does want their drive widened and my drive cut back with some kind of boundary line created. They are pressuring me to agree or they will lose their sale. Apart from the fact I bought the house and drive as it is, I don't think its possible to just chop a bit off a creteprint type drive . AIBU to say FOTTFSOF and then build a bridge and get over yourself?
I told them I would take legal advice but am now wondering why I should spend any money at all on it as it seems madness to me.
If you've made it to the end thanks for reading I never thought I would be one of the boundary dispute posters
But solicitors sort all this out when you buy, to stop this sort of thing happening? Your solicitor would have checked all boundary/land issues when you bought? Go back to your initial conveyancer, that's what you paid them for.
Surely it's on the deeds? I think you probably should see a solicitor.
Do you have house insurance with legal cover - they can sort all this out for you - we had a minor boundary niggle when we had lived here 6 years and they sorted it all out by saying to neighbours that it was as it should be all along and they had no case to make...
The legal response to them made them wind their necks right back in.
Yes, check the deeds - it's either your land or it's not. I assume if it wasn't your solicitor would have flagged it with you when you bought? It sounds like it's your land but the other properties have a right of way over it to access the entry.
If it's your land then their buyer has no right to decide they want some of it unless they negotiate with you directly to buy it.
Thanks for replying all.
I don't remember what the deeds say about this bit of the property . I will have a look at a copy. Because the drive or parking space I suppose it is really, was so clearly defined and because the seller told me it was 'mine' I don't remember scrutinising it or the solicitor commenting. The properties were built in 1790 and so the gardens and rear land have changed shape a lot . The houses were at that time in the middle of a wood, over time people have defined their own bit of garden and frontage. House insurance thing is a good point Somewhere, I will check this out too. Kaymondo, I know other properties must have access via the entry and have always happily complied with this. Ironically the neighbour I am having trouble blocked up his other side neighbours access to the entry while the property was empty a few years ago, as it passed through his garden and because its a rental property it hasn't come to light. I just felt very taken aback when the neighbours confronted me about this, as they have all along known that this drive/parking area was thought of as mine by me and them.
So at one time the two houses were owned by parents and children of the same family? Have I got that right?
Is it possible that the former occupants of your house needed a bigger drive so they asked their parents if they could incorporate the shared bit- parents said OK as it was all in the family, and no one officially changed the deeds to reflect that?
Sounds like the buyers solicitor has spotted it and pointed it out to them, and they want to claim back the land that seems on the deeds to belong to the property they are buying.
I am not sure if the potential buyers can at this point demand anything of you, the sellers have to now sort out the problem as it is still their property.
I would have a free consultation with a solicitor, or check you your house insurance , often they have a number you can ring for initial advice.
I don't think you are being unreasonable at all but it will need to be sorted out for the future.
yes Penelope you are right about the ownership. I now think maybe there was some agreement between parents and daughter but it was not presented that way when I bought the house. I think the seller pushed the two car drive /parking as a selling point and the parents were happy to go along at that time. I think I will at some point need to get some legal advice :S if only for my own benefit. The neighbours are telling me its their potential buyer making this demarcation of property line and digging up of drive happen, but its them really isn't it? Potential buyers can do nothing
Yes it is them. Have you legal advice with insurance company? Or work?
Essentially they are now in dispute with you which is going to make it hard to sell.
Agree, this is absolutely what you paid the conveyancing solicitor for. Dig out all the paperwork from your purchase and see if there's anything helpful in there, before spending money on calling the solicitor. Though that's what you may have to do.
The neighbours are telling me its their potential buyer making this demarcation of property line and digging up of drive happen, but its them really isn't it?
Yes, it is them really. Dig out all of the paperwork and hold out for what you think you bought.
Dig out your letters from the sale. You will know in a second if the drive is yours. Your property and it's boundaries, inc back and front garden will be marked in thick pen, usually photocopied piece of paper that will have your neighbouring properties on too.
Oh and give us an update when you've looked!
I don't think the prospective buyers can do anything about it until they have purchased it, so it's down to the seller to sort out. They should not have misled the buyers into thinking they could reclaim the portion of drive unless they have documents to prove that it doesn't belong to you outright.
They should also not have misled you when you bought the house if that land isn't legally documented as given over to your property, as in always referring to it as your drive. I am hoping this isn't just a verbal agreement between family members, but it is their issue to deal with the buyers. Yours is just to find out what you legally own, and then you decide whether you are willing to sell the required land to the prospective buyers or not.
I would see a Solicitor just for your own peace of mind.
I would guess that the prospective buyers have asked their Solicitor about their rights to access the entry & been told that the deeds show a mutual path there.
What I would be asking is whether you have any legal rights over the land, as you have been using it as your own for so long.
I would tell them that you are not willing to dig up your drive/lose any of the land you have had use of, and that if they want to officially go into dispute with you over it, they will have to register that fact with any potential buyer.
That should sort it
If they still pursue it legally, only then would I bother going to the expense of hiring a solicitor myself.
If it is not yours on the deeds, your neighbours were happy for it to be yours while it was convenient to them (supporting their daughter's sale, selling point of the house if you can evidence that from your sale documents) and now want to change their minds when it is no longer convenient to them for their sale, which is news to you, will inconvenience you and cost you money.
I would think under those circumstances, having had that land laid down as yours, used as yours and this happily accepted by neighbours for this many years, legally you would be seen to have some claim on keeping it as it is, even if it turns out to be shared land on the deeds.
If I were in your situation, I would be claiming that the whole drive belonged to me and was sold to me when I bought the house.
The fact that it is so clearly marked by the different "cobbleprint" stones, and that the vendor noted it as a selling point, maybe you have the right to claim it? Was there an implicit transfer from the parents to the daughter that was explained (and sold) to you but not documented?
even if it turns out the sellers have rights over that bit........the fact that they chose to keep quiet about it for 12 years even when their daughter was misrepresenting it in her sale should make it more difficult for them to 'claim it back'?
You lot are soo kind. I needed a few different perspectives to clear how i felt in my own mind. Had quick look at home and cant find a copy of deeds in my ppwk . I feel like leftie, random and rumble describe really. I dont want to fall out with neighbours but dont want to roll over and say go on shaft me either. I dont know what the legal position is likely to be but partner has rung our solicitor and asked them for an over the phone quick opinion. Might be next week before they get back to us. In the meantime i know i need to sort this for my own benefit when i come to sell. Am expecting more conversations with neighbours over weekend tho thanks again for taking the time to look at my first world problem xxx
have a look at their deeds...they should have them to hand as they are selling.....then you can ask them about the 'cover up' if their deeds show it as theirs
The deeds and title plan should be available online for a small fee.
12 years of you living there using it as your drive in plain view of the neighbours makes me think that, even if it isn't part of your property on the deeds, you could claim adverse possession by now.
Get an instant download of the title register and title plan from the Land Registry via the Gov.uk website for £6 and see what they show.
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