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I viewed an auction property this week, a probate sale, and the neighbour appears to have appropriated the shared driveway and fenced it off leaving no access along the side of the house to the rear.
It is clearly shown on the outline boundary plan as being shared access and all the other houses on the street have the same shared access arrangement. On the PIF (property information form) it states no boundary issues, probably to prevent any delay in the sale.
Does anyone know whether, if the house is bought with the current arrangement in place it implies the buyer's acceptance of what is there at the time, or whether it would be possible to query this later in some way, in the hope of getting the access re-instated?
All comments are made in good faith and are given to the best of my knowledge and experience but I would advise you to consult an expert before making important decisions and I accept no liability for comments made.
Boundary Law is very complex
There is the 12 year rule about claiming land as your own if fenced off and no one challenges but that is a very simplistic summary of a very complex issue especially where rights of access are involved involving a vehicle. Suggest seek a solicitors view . People tick a box but its ` to the best of your knowledge` so you cannot see inside their minds sometimes so as long as there is no paperwork to the contrary the owner may claim that as far as he is concerned there are indeed no boundary issues. Dig deeper to clarify their position and justification for that tick in the box
Ive had to reclaim land and have boundaries altered by LR and also deal with rights of access. And its fine if a common sense rules apply and both parties agree if there has been perhaps just a technical breach. But if one party knuckles down and wants to fight yes it becomes torturous and expensive and i would walk away. I would speak to the neighbour as my first port of call to get a feel of the potential outcome. If you get a . `tough mate its mine now` response then you will see the £1 signs mount up in your head . If you get a ` gosh I`m so sorry I simply didnt realise I will take the fence down tonight` response then maybe worth pursuing and hope the other bidders havent taking the trouble to knock on the door to find out but have the same fears so they walk away and you get it cheaper .
I bought a property once which was a detached 2 storey block with just two flats in it . I saw that the fence clearly didnt match the land registry version. The current owner had nicked a bit of land to get a bigger garden and in doing so reduced the car parking spaces designed for the other flat from 2 spaces down to 1 . I went ahead and bought anyway without making any further enquiries . Why? Because I was the other owner of the other flat anyway ha ha and there is no point in arguing with myself as i will always win . On completion I became answerable only to myself as freeholder of the block now and I moved the fence the very next day back to where it should rightfully have been
Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com
Another great source for boundary problems is Google earth, the time lapse can normally take you around 10 years at various stages
The answer to your question resides in the legal pack the auction house will have published usually on line. This will contain the boundary details which the land registry have used for the title plan but also more importantly the covenants granting rights of way/ access to the owners of the property. These are legal rights and last forever.
The key documents to read are the previous conveyances used to sell the land/property. Might be best to ask a solicitor to review the legal pack for you.
Thanks to everyone for your comments.
Having viewed again it seems clear to me that this neighbour knew exactly what he was doing and he has also appropriated a 2 meter slice all the way up the garden and put up rough built brick and block sheds which straddle the supposed boundary and look pretty permanent.
Good tip from Timmy69 about Google Earth by the way. The sheds described above have been there a long time although the barrier over the shared drive has not it's pretty new.
I'm sure it could be questioned as it is so blatant but I'm not looking for either a big fight or a big legal bill so I'm going to leave it, bargain as it is at first sight.