I want my land back but will the council let me have it?

I want my land back but will the council let me have it?

10:09 AM, 15th May 2023, About 10 months ago 13

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Hello, The footpath that runs along the side of my house is on my deeds. This was left as a right of way for a road to be built between the gap in the house in 1936 which has never happened.

I would like to have a driveway installed but the only way to do this would be for me to have the land back which is 2 m wide and 70 m long.

Would I be in my rights to try and claim this back from the council?

Thank you,

Dave


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Comments

Darren Peters

10:48 AM, 15th May 2023, About 10 months ago

When you say,
"the only way is...to have the land back"
Is there a fence or something stopping your access to the land? Has anybody including the council laid claim to this land and if so how?

If not I would get a surveyor to confirm the boundary of your land and take it from there.

Judith Wordsworth

11:15 AM, 15th May 2023, About 10 months ago

When did you purchase the property?

Is it a dead end path or where does it lead to? Who uses it? For what purpose ?

Has the Council been maintaining the pathway? If not then it's likely not theirs. If they have been maintaining it they could claim, depending on how long they have maintained it, possibly adverse possession rights.

Speak to your /a solicitor first, not the Council.

Ian Narbeth

12:11 PM, 15th May 2023, About 10 months ago

Dave
I suggest you take legal advice. A quick check at the Land Registry will establish if the land is registered and if so who owns it.

It is not clear from your post if the land over which the right of way exists is within your title or is owned by the Council. If the latter then you have no more right to it than anyone else. That said if you were to fence it off and treat it as part of your property you might begin to establish a claim for adverse possession but that will take years.
If you are bold and don't mind taking a risk you could construct the driveway anyway. If the land is unregistered it could be that the legal owner died and the property has not been transferred meaning it is less likely you will be challenged. However the risk is the Council or the new owner objects and removes your improvements.

As I say, take legal advice.

RoseD

12:14 PM, 15th May 2023, About 10 months ago

This makes no sense. It's either your land as outlined on your title deeds or the Council's. Also isn't there a statute of limitation process for this type of thing? 1936? Doubtful the road proposal is going to happen! Is it beyond taking legal advice as the alternative would be just move forward with your plans on assumption it's your land....which you suggest it is.

Simon M

12:15 PM, 15th May 2023, About 10 months ago

Not all solicitors might be suitable for this - some don't have the depth of experience leading to a problem when you want to sell.
Look for one with experienced conveyancers - they often resolve problems like this during a sale.

Reluctant Landlord

13:24 PM, 15th May 2023, About 10 months ago

if the Land registry shows its your land then its your land. Check today so you know the deeds are the latest ones - don't bank on old copies at this stage as you need to know the latest position. Check the wording in the title deed carefully if it mentions a right of way or anything else. If not then I would take it as do what you like as its your land.

Anyone who subsequently challenged ownership/right of way this would need evidence, so if nothing is registered then how can they prove anything??

Ian Narbeth

15:34 PM, 15th May 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 15/05/2023 - 13:24
"Anyone who subsequently challenged ownership/right of way this would need evidence, so if nothing is registered then how can they prove anything??"

The land might be unregistered because it was in the ownership of a predecessor of the Council. As it will not have been transferred "for value" it might not have become compulsorily registerable at the Land Registry. Ownership would be proved by title deeds. When property is registered, the title deeds no longer prove the title.

Reluctant Landlord

15:56 PM, 15th May 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 15/05/2023 - 15:34
So how would you find out if (in this case land) something is registered? All sounds very confusing to me.

Ian Narbeth

16:40 PM, 15th May 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 15/05/2023 - 15:56
I am a conveyancer and have access to the Land Registry portal.
Non-conveyancers can sign up and obtain access to the Map Search https://www.gov.uk/guidance/mapsearch which allows you to obtain title numbers and to see if land is unregistered.

Barry Cook

19:42 PM, 15th May 2023, About 10 months ago

Report to the council that you've tripped and it's unsafe. They'll soon tell you it's not theirs.

We did exactly that a got a free bit of land next to one of our properties.

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