A Nottingham family from Woodthorpe has been left deeply frustrated over attempts to sell their home, due to an ongoing land dispute. Linda Hoffman, 73, and her son Bryn have been trying for the best part of two years to establish the ownership of 400 square meters of land on which part of their house is built. The ongoing uncertainty caused by the dispute is preventing the family from selling their property.
Linda and her late husband built their dream home in 2003 on land they had purchased three years earlier from their neighbors.
However, they were later stunned to learn that 400 square meters of the land did not actually belong to them.
The discovery meant that the corner of their living room and their garden space were standing on land they did not legally own.
The shocking discovery came in March 2021, when Linda decided she wanted to move out.
She made the decision to move closer to her son’s house in Gedling, following the tragic death of her husband in April 2020 after Covid first struck.
The 73-year-old had her heart set on a bungalow and had lined up a buyer for her current house, who has since pulled out due to the delays.
The family has made no headway is ascertaining who the owners of the land are, despite repeated attempts.
They believe it could be Nottinghamshire County Council due to the proximity to the road and the old railway line behind the house.
Bryn told Nottinghamshire Live: “A bungalow came up and it was stunning, perfect location and round the corner from me.
“We put the house on the market and got a buyer, and it was all going through.
“Then it popped up through their solicitors that there’s a section of the land that doesn’t belong to my parents which is the bank next to the road, the footpath down the side of the house to the bridge and the very edge of the house , the corner of the living room basically.
“Nobody knew, my mum didn’t know and my dad wasn’t there to ask.”
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“Last week the buyers understandably said they can’t wait any longer and have pulled out, so that’s where we are.”
A spokesperson for His Majesty’s Land Registry has since stated: “In 2021-22, we saw an extremely high level of property transactions as the property market bounced back after Covid-19 restrictions and stamp duty and land transaction tax holidays fueled demand.
“HM Land Registry received around 1.8 million more service requests in 2021 than in 2019. That increase did affect our processing times, including the time taken to initially consider Mrs Hoffman’s application. We have apologized to Mrs Hoffman previously and do not hesitate to repeat that apologies.
“HMLR cannot proceed with an application until it complies with the relevant statutory formalities. Unfortunately, the initial delays were exacerbated by defects in the applications originally lodged on behalf of Mrs Hoffman. These meant we had to cancel some of the applications and request replacements. “
They continued: “The replacement applications have since been submitted and considered by HMLR. Mrs Hoffman’s applications involve adverse possession, which is a highly technical area of law. Consequently, once the applications are in order, HMLR is bound by certain statutory timeframes.