Easement through to land

Avatar Image
lewis&cherie | 15:31 Mon 08th Oct 2007 | Property
7 Answers
Approximately twenty years ago a former owner of our property brought a piece of land behind our garden. Then they put an easement in place giving them a right of way down the side of our garden and access into their land should they ever move away. I have been told by a couple people they wanted to keep chickens in this land but once they were refused permission, they abandoned the land. Shortly after they moved away from the area and have never come back.

I have tried everything to contact the owners of this land but with no luck. On the Title register for this land the owners address is still showing as our address.

Does anyone know any way or any laws where the easement can be removed? Or can I buy or claim ownership of the land behind my property if the owners are never going to come back?

I would be really grateful for any suggestions�Thanks


1 to 7 of 7rss feed

Best Answer

No best answer has yet been selected by lewis&cherie. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.
Have you considered contacting a solicitor, they may even not charge you for the initial chat. There is something called adverse possession you could look into.
-- answer removed --
Removing an easement is not straightforward - especially since the whereabouts of the legal owner of the land is impossible for the LR to find.
The best bet is to claim the land through adverse possession but I'm afraid you are going to have to bide your time to effect a final outcome. Once you've claimed the land in this manner, the presence of the easement becomes rather irrelevant!
The following link to Practice Guide No. 4 from LR may help. documents/lrpg004.pdf
This will download one of a series of PGs published by LR - for registered land. If you find it tough going, here's a precis.
The law changed for registrered land in 2002 in respect of claiming adverse possession - what the popular press insist on calling squatters' rights. Now you can make the initial claim after 10 years - not 12 - at which point the LR make efforts to find the registered owner. If they can't or if the registered owner does not oppose the claim, the land can become yours after a further 2 years.
The leaflet gives you clues to what you have to show to claim Adverse Possession. Basically you fence it and maintain it - nothing fancy - get an industrial strimmer in then cut the 'grass' as paddock, perhaps. Take some photos at regualar intervals of you enjoying your 'new' land. Lewis cutting the grass - Cherie in a deckchair, perhaps. All these things help.
Come back in 2017 and tell us how you got on.
Question Author
Thank you buildersmate and kelsmels.

I believe that you can use the years of your previous owners towards the 10 years for adverse possession.

There is already a fence in place marking the boundary of this land and I think the previous owners of my property and the owners before them used and maintained the land (kept it tidy).

Does anybody know how I can prove this? Is it just a case of the land registry contacting the previous owners and asking them?

Again any help would be appreciated�Thanks
Oh yes, you can do this - I assumed the land in question hadn't been maintained by the previous owner of your land. Go back and look at Para 4 of the LR article I linked for you on how to make the application. You need to produce a Statutory Declaration (sworn statement) yourself and you would have to acquire a sworn statement from your previous owner. They might want a payment for doing this - and each sworn statement itself will probably cost �50 or so for a Commisioner for Oaths to process. The LR won't do this donkey work for you - you have to collect the evidence together.
Question Author
Thanks buildersmate. But what if the previous owner(s)doesn't agree to a Statutory Declaration even if i was to pay them. They might regret that they didnt claim adverse possession when they owned my property.

Is there any other way of helping to prove or show that this land has been maintained and used for over 10 years?

Is it worth sending an application in without the the previous owner(s) Statutory Declaration?
Too true - that's why they might need a sweetener.
You're out of my depth on the other questions other than to say I believe that you have to demonstrate the minimum of 10 years adverse possession by the succession of owners of your land. However the LR aren't ogres and I've always found them pretty helpful if you call them and clearly know what you are talking about. Try asking them to try and clarify what evidence is acceptable.

1 to 7 of 7rss feed

Do you know the answer?

Easement through to land

Answer Question >>