(Original post by abeel121)
Need help on the following question.... im pretty sure its on adverse possession but not enitrly 100 percent sure Please please please HELP as i need to be certain ! THANK U guyz
In February 1989 Maria Coleman decided to make use of a piece of disused waste land, which adjoined the back garden to her house, Riverview Cottage. Over the course of several months she had the existing fence of the her back garden taken down and employed landscape gardeners to level the land and lay turf. In May 1991 she had a summer house built on the land and in June 1991 the land was fenced in as part of the garden of Riverview Cottage.
The owner of the land was Geoffrey Williams, a local property developer. His title to the land was unregistered freehold. He had purchased the land in 1985, with the intention to build a new house on the land and sell it on. He had struggled, however, to get planning permission to build the house and so the land had been neglected. Following a visit to the site in January 2000 Geoffrey wrote to Maria telling her that she was trespassing on his land, informing her of his intentions to develop the land but suggesting that he was prepared to grant her a licence agreement to continue her occupation. However, Maria never replied to the letter and Geoffrey took no further action.
Maria died in November 2001. Her daughter, Sophie, inherited Riverview Cottage but as she was working as a lawyer in London at the time she could not visit the property very often, although she would sometimes spend long weekends there. In 2006, however, tired of city life, Sophie moved to the country to live in Riverview Cottage and has remained there ever since.
Geoffrey Williams has now obtained a planning consent for the construction of a bungalow on the land and is threatening to bring proceedings against Sophie to recover the land.
1. Please advise Sophie whether Geoffrey is likely to be successful in recovering possession of the garden land.
2. Would your answer be different if title to the land had been registered freehold?
Please explain your answer with reference to appropriate legal principles and authorities.