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Are we complete idiots?

(310 Posts)
Happy20 Mon 08-Jun-20 20:03:15

We have an ongoing issue with a boundary which isn't as easily answered as you would think! Basically the neighbors think a piece of land is there's when we are pretty sure it's ours.

When we brought our house the sellers said a meadow at the bottom of our drive was theirs, they mowed it and used it, even had a couple sheep on it once.
We moved in, all fine and dandy until the next weekend when neighbour is out there mowing the meadow. Very kind of him we think because obviously he is being neighbourly what with us having only just moved in. We think we've struck it rich with such lovely, thoughtful neighbours. Wife of neighbour comes round the next day with a welcome card and has a nice superficial chat. We thank her profusely for mowing our meadow and offer to help them out if they ever need a hand, well you can probably see where this is going. Neighbour tells us it's their meadow and there must have been a mix up. We explain what the old owners told us and she claims they ' must have been talking about another bit of land as it has always been theirs'. After much awkwardness and many protesting about how old neighbours must have pulled a fast one (without actually saying they have pulled a fast one) we leave it at we will talk to our solicitor and her being nice but increasingly frosty. I think she honestly thought we would just say it's fine and not bother with taking it any further. She seemed very out out that we would be talking to the solicitor and old owners solicitor.

Now is the massive issue!

Our house is very old, the deeds were lost a long time ago. We have insurance to cover the lack of deeds (can't remember what it's called but our solicitor insisted we needed this) and can see up to date deeds from our sale with the old owners, but cannot find anything further back than that.

So YABU - leave the neighbors to it. You brought a house with no deeds just hope they don't want to build on it.
YANBU - it's clearly your land and the are trying to pull a fast one.

We are waiting on a call back from our solicitor but in the meantime does anyone have any ideas where we might find really old, long list deeds? I would be forever grateful!!

OP’s posts: |
Tinyhumansurvivalist Mon 08-Jun-20 20:08:09

Surely the land registry will have information regarding the property boundary? Its like £2 or something to download it.

Happy20 Mon 08-Jun-20 20:12:27

It does, but again it's from our move so it doesn't show the piece of land on it.
It also doesn't show the piece of land owned by them on their deeds, or any other address within the same/close postcode.

OP’s posts: |
CharmerLlama Mon 08-Jun-20 20:13:28

Can you check the NDNs title deeds on HM Land Registry to see if the meadow is mentioned on theirs?

CharmerLlama Mon 08-Jun-20 20:14:13

Sorry cross posted with your update

StCharlotte Mon 08-Jun-20 20:15:08

The insurance would be indemnity insurance.

Don't worry about the lack of deeds per se - when we paid off our mortgage we were looking forward to receiving the deeds but the bastard lender destroyed them and all we got was a Land Registry print out.

The deeds you do have should show the meadow as part of your land (probably edged red). Your solicitor may also have asked whether the plan correctly indicated the property you were buying. Did It?

Alternatively ask your solicitor to do an index map search which will tell you the title number and then they can search to see who owns it (unless it's unregistered).

If this doesn't help your solicitor should contact your seller's solicitors to find out what the hell the seller was playing at.

Tinyhumansurvivalist Mon 08-Jun-20 20:16:27

Then the chances are no one owns it. Did it not show on the searches with the council?

Is there anything in writing as part of your sale that states the land belongs to you? If so get your solicitor to write to neighbours, chances are they are trying to pull a fast one

BeingATwatItsABingThing Mon 08-Jun-20 20:18:28

So neither of you actually has proof that the land belongs to you?

Bluntness100 Mon 08-Jun-20 20:22:46

Op, you don’t need old deeds. Your property is what is on the deeds now. So no you don’t own it. It was never sold to you. What was sold is on rhe deeds you have.

However if it’s not on their deeds they don’t own it either. As such you can try to do adverse possession. As you’re new there you won’t have the ability to succeed. How long have they been there? Because they may be able to.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Mon 08-Jun-20 20:23:54

Did the price of the house reflect the land you thought you would own?

EggysMom Mon 08-Jun-20 20:27:03

I found I could search the land registry via a map, which helped me to identify the owner of a piece of land backing onto our garden (so unfortunately it was not unregistered as I hoped!)

LakieLady Mon 08-Jun-20 20:27:59

I wonder if it might have been the vendors who pulled a fast one - let you buy their place thinking you were getting the meadow as well!

Was there any mention of the meadow in the estate agent's details? If you no longer have them, you can usually download them from Zoopla.

lockdownstress Mon 08-Jun-20 20:31:07

TBH if you assumed you owned a bit of land without seeing any proof you're a bit naive OP. I think you've just lost that land. Why on earth didn't you insist on some proof at the time of purchase?

Ickabog Mon 08-Jun-20 20:33:48

I wonder if it might have been the vendors who pulled a fast one - let you buy their place thinking you were getting the meadow as well!

This was my first thought.

If there's no proof you own it, then you don't own it.

ChequerBoard Mon 08-Jun-20 20:34:00

I'm struggling to understand this. Didn't your solicitor show you the boundary of your property and go through the various searches that will have been done as part of conveyancing? That'a happened every time I have bought a property. If the land wasn't included in the boundary details of the property you have just purchased I don't think you have a leg to stand on!

TorkTorkBam Mon 08-Jun-20 20:34:07

Smells like neither of you own it but each has tried to claim ownership at some point.

Happy20 Mon 08-Jun-20 20:35:34

So the land registry map shows the meadow but looking at it nobody seems to own it.

It's not on our 'new' deeds and it's not on the neighbours, neither is it on the house over or the one below.

There is an old gate from the meadow onto our drive.

The price of the house was a little higher than we could've possibly haggled for but we didn't bother as with the meadow it made the price worth it to us iyswim?

indemnity insurance.
Yep that's the one.

Land registry seem to show it as unregistered then? As it's not on anyone else's deeds close by and it doesn't have an option to click on it or anything.

If nobody close by owns it is there anyway we can check?

OP’s posts: |
dontgobaconmyheart Mon 08-Jun-20 20:38:36

If it hasnt formed part of what you purchased at completion as per your deeds OP you may not be in the position you think. This should have been clarified and picked up during conveyancing. If your conveyancing solicitor hasn't seen it and it isn't on any paperwork you did not buy it and them saying they owned it is immaterial.

I would politely ask the neighbours if they can show you on their own deeds, their ownership of the land and put the matter to bed with them or take next steps if paperwork has been falsified by your vendors. If not you need a solicitor.

Not sure anyone here can really help without seeing all paperwork you've signed and all copies of deeds, house listing,inventory, surveyors reports etc that pertain to the matter.

GreenTeaMug Mon 08-Jun-20 20:39:05

What do your current deeds say? When you bought your house did that trigegr first registration? Unregistered land is pretty common if a property has been owned for decades, but the sale should have triggered registration which means there should be a boundary map?

missmouse101 Mon 08-Jun-20 20:39:16

Yabu to keep saying brought! Surely you mean bought? You can't bring a house anywhere. It's a very difficult situation OP but they are cheeky as fuck really. Do they have any proof of their 'ownership' of the land. Hope you can get legal help asap.

Bluemoooon Mon 08-Jun-20 20:39:43

Well, you could ask for a letter from previous owners to show to NDN as proof. As they ahve no proof either it might stand for something.
Has there been any buildings put up near by as the planning dept might have old maps showing boundaries. Any 'meadow' is very useful and valuable imv and you need to try to hang on to it. maybe previous owners only felt it belonged to them as they has used it as such for more than ?12 years (or something which bestows rights on land).

AuditAngel Mon 08-Jun-20 20:40:24

I would go back to your solicitors. We’re they aware you were expecting the meadow to be included? They can go back to the vendors.

Happy20 Mon 08-Jun-20 20:42:42

No I mean brought. I deliberately used the incorrect word to try and get on your tits, did it work?

OP’s posts: |
Happy20 Mon 08-Jun-20 20:43:19

The very worse case for us would be if the neighbours went for adverse possession, got it and then tried to build on it as it would face directly into our windows. It would honestly make it pretty unbearable.
Is there a way we can stop that happening?

OP’s posts: |
Saz12 Mon 08-Jun-20 20:43:21

If it’s not on land registry, then no one is the registered owner.

I would assume your neighbours have more rights over it than you do, as they’ve taken care of it for (?) years. I would also guess they’re going to try to prevent you registering ownership of it!

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