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To think that my cheeky neighbour can't sell land he doesn't own (with diagram)

(81 Posts)
PinnenStripen Tue 11-Oct-16 18:18:35

When the road was built, around 15 years ago, part of the planning permission was that a strip of land had to be left down the side of the road with a larger area at the end of the road as a wildlife refuge for a protected species. It is on all the plans of the road.

A fence runs down both sides of this strip of land, so it is clear where the boundary of the gardens is. At the end of the road, where there is a larger area of protected ground, there is a gate through to this area from the neighbours drive. Other neighbours used to check their garden cuttings into this area, so he put a padlock on the gate (or at least, that's why I assume he did...)

The larger area of protected land is adjacent to neighbours drive, house and garden.

The neighbour has now put his house up for sale and included in the particulars are this wildlife area, listed as an additional plot of land to the side. But HE DOESN'T OWN IT! It's a wildlife area and not his. You can't just randomly grab a piece of land, can you?

What can I do about it? I bet the other neighbours whose gardens also back onto this patch of land don't know about it and wouldn't agree to it.

I am so cross that he is trying to sell the wildlife area.

thenightsky Tue 11-Oct-16 18:20:39

It will show up on the searches as not belonging to him I guess.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 11-Oct-16 18:20:56

First of all, thank you for the awesome diagram! grin

Who does own this piece of land? I'd suggest contacting them , as well as perhaps the estate agents?

SouthPole Tue 11-Oct-16 18:21:23

It's a ransom strip. His solicitor will soon see he doesn't own it. Unless he's attempting adverse possession? In which case let the Council know pdq.

helpimitchy Tue 11-Oct-16 18:21:34

Oh, that sounds bad. Perhaps contact the local council as a start?

WutheringTights Tue 11-Oct-16 18:23:14

How long ago did he put the padlock on? Could he be claiming adverse possession (squatters rights)? Disclaimer: I know hardly anything about it.

KickAssAngel Tue 11-Oct-16 18:24:38

is there an estate agent involved? Can you contact them and tell them that it isn't part of the property and therefore can't be part of the sale?

Ausernotanumber Tue 11-Oct-16 18:26:09

Cheeky boy is claiming adverse possession I'd guess.

Chickenagain Tue 11-Oct-16 18:29:40

First of all I would write to the Estate Agents so they would be obliged to mention the ownership/boundary dispute to anyone interested in the property & maybe even put it in the details - Property Misdescriptions Act.
Then I would get the other owners together and compose a strongly worded letter to the neighbour, followed up by a solicitors letter demanding the immediate removal of the padlock and/or the gate.
Finally, I would start treating it like the benefit it is - stop dumping garden waste there & install a bench or a swing.

BellaGoth Tue 11-Oct-16 18:34:23

Many years ago, our neighbours were selling there house and advertised part of my driveway as their parking space (don't ask). I rang the estate agent and it was removed from the listing within an hour. Never heard any more about it so I assume they sorted it!

I'd ring the EA ASAP.

PinnenStripen Tue 11-Oct-16 18:39:52

I looked up adverse possession. Websites at 10 years or 12 years. The padlock has been on for about 4 years at a guess. And he has never used the land, just padlocked the gate. Which seemed fair enough at the time.

I am not 100% sure who owns the land. At a guess, it is the property developers who built the road. A Big national company. I think they still own the road too as it is unadopted. Basically, there used to be a couple of biggish houses here which were knocked down to build the road.

Garthmarenghi Tue 11-Oct-16 18:40:32

Is this new build? If it's a wildlife corridor then either the original owners of the land, the developers or possibly the local council will own it. The council will be able to tell you whether they own it as a first point of call.

SouthPole Tue 11-Oct-16 18:42:45

If you go onto land registry website (the proper government one) and look at their map-search tool you'll be able to see if the land is registered. You need postcode and it's fairly easy to use.

Greaterthanthesumoftheparts Tue 11-Oct-16 18:43:24

Wasn't there a reverse post of this type around 6 months ago. In that situation I believe the land did actually belong to the house and the OP wanted to remove the fence between her garden and the wildlife strip, she was, I believe told she WBU.

PinnenStripen Tue 11-Oct-16 18:44:40

If I email all these people, can I inform them anonymously without declaring which neighbour I am? If it stops him selling his house, I don't really want lots of bad feeling.

anon123456 Tue 11-Oct-16 18:49:10

after so many years, yes he will own the land

anon123456 Tue 11-Oct-16 18:50:17

I have had neighbors and relatives that have successfully obtained land the council never used, and then sold it.

AlmaMartyr Tue 11-Oct-16 18:52:19

He might actually own it. There is a bit of communal land at the bottom of our garden. It belongs to us and is on our deeds but we can't fence it off or anything. I wouldn't advertise it with the sale because it's a scrappy piece of land but if it was a wildlife strip I might.

NerrSnerr Tue 11-Oct-16 18:53:54

I remember the other thread, it was something like on the deeds it said they own the wildlife bit but on another plan they didn't. So it might be a bit more complex?

FrancisCrawford Tue 11-Oct-16 18:54:19

Two families in our street tried this, actually extending their fences to take in a strip of land between them and the school.
Then one day, the builder noticed: that land belonged to them as it had never been alienated from the major area title.
They were each told to cough up £19k or move the fences back to their rightful position.
And this was a strip of land about six foot deep, by twenty foot long.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Tue 11-Oct-16 18:58:49

Bolt cut the padlock.

Call into the estate agents, next time you happen to be passing and helpfully point out the error in the details.

Or call into the estate agents and say ooh, I didn't know he bought that land, god knows how he pulled that off without anyone knowing, do you know if he would accept an offer on the wildlife area only, we might be interested in buying it? <innocent eyes>

Or call the estate agents, tell them, ask them not to mention that it was you that dobbed him in because you don't want a neighbour dispute (they won't want that either because it will be harder to sell his or your house).

GardenGeek Tue 11-Oct-16 19:05:16

I would go on the land registry; you might have to pay a small fee to get full details of ownership.

Also, you can go online to your local council's 'planning portal' and you will be able to see all of the planning documents sent originally for building of the houses. Here you will be able to see the exact written conditions from the council with regard to the wildlife strip. When you have all of this then you can either go to the council, or tell the other neighbours.

Dont feel bad about this, the twat is trying to screw everyone over. And by that I don't just mean your street, I mean everyone who lives in the UK. Because if every 'wildlife strip' or environmental planning condition could be claimed so easily then we will have no wildlife or environment left.

Its beyond scummy. So stop it for me please
- from someone in UK who loves the environment -

Careforadrink Tue 11-Oct-16 19:10:26

Do an online search at the land registry. Find out who owns it and inform them.

He might have been trying to claim adverse possession but that doesn't happen automatically.

Sara107 Tue 11-Oct-16 19:12:41

Contact the council I think. If there were conditions put on the planning permission initially to keep the wildlife areas then the council should have the details.

yoyo1234 Tue 11-Oct-16 19:13:23

Searches for title plans on Land registry are only circa 20 pounds. Do this to check details. inform estate agency . 4 years of sole access is not enough for adverse possession and then the neighbour would have to have actively sought to get ownership of the land. Stop it quickly.

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