Ac­cess road leads home but own­er­ship can pose prob­lems

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - John Rob­son

yours must pro­ject over on to the ser­vice road re­veal­ing the en­croach­ment.

You can take com­fort in the fact that the ex­ten­sion has been built for over 15 years. This time span does help your sit­u­a­tion. But the fact you have ac­cess rights to your gar­den does not, in my view, pro­vide you with any com­fort with re­gard to the ex­ten­sion en­croach­ment.

When you pur­chased your prop­erty your con­veyancer would have sent to you or shown you a copy of the ti­tle plan to your prop­erty. Ex­am­i­na­tion of the ti­tle plan would have re­vealed the pro­trud­ing rear ex­ten­sion and the fact it was, in part, built on the ser­vice road land be­long­ing to a third party. If this had been dis­cov­ered then your con­veyancer would, or should, have taken steps to reg­u­larise the ti­tle de­fect. Th­ese are your op­tions : To ap­proach the lady who owns the ser­vice road and ask if she would be will­ing to sign a trans­fer of the sec­tion of ser­vice road over which your ex­ten­sion has been built. The owner may, of course, re­quire a con­sid­er­a­tion pay­ment but on the ba­sis the ex­ten­sion has been in situ for so many years this should be fac­tored into any ne­go­ti­a­tion. This may be the most high risk op­tion as if the land owner re­fuses, you are un­able to progress the next op­tion.

To ar­range for an in­surance in­dem­nity pol­icy to be taken out to pro­tect your po­si­tion should the new owner make may claims for pos­ses­sion of the sec­tion of land or re­quire a com­pen­sa­tion pay­ment. How­ever, to take this course of ac­tion you must not ap­proach the cur­rent owner and you will be re­quired to swear a Statu­tory Dec­la­ra­tion (a state­ment of fact sworn un­der oath) con­firm­ing all cir­cum­stances.

Col­lec­tively all in­ter­ested prop­erty own­ers in the row could make an of­fer for the land. Once pur­chased, it would then be an op­tion to ex­e­cute trans­fers of in­di­vid­ual sec­tions of land to the prop­erty own­ers who have en­croached on to the land. Such trans­fer doc­u­ments will re­quire com­pli­ant plans in ac­cor­dance with Land Registry re­quire­ments un­der Land Registry Rule 2003. Prac­tice Guide 49 pro­vides full de­tails and is avail­able on­line.

You will re­quire the ser­vices of an ex­pe­ri­enced con­veyanc­ing prop­erty lawyer.

John Rob­son is Res­i­den­tial Con­veyanc­ing Man­ager at Ford & War­ren Leeds.

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