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Beware of the ‘Ransom Strips’

Posted on 6 February 2018 by Kylie Bourne

Beware of the ‘Ransom Strips’

A man’s castle may be his home but a siege mentality can seep in if someone else owns the drawbridge.

What is a ransom strip?

A ransom strip is quite simply a piece of land, no larger than a few feet in some cases, owned by someone else that separates a private property from a public road or from another part of the property.

What are the consequences?

Such pieces of land are a serious issue for homeowners, property developers and corporations, as anyone entering or crossing the land is risking a charge of trespass when doing so. Much like in the game of Monopoly whereby you receive £200 for passing ‘Go’! It can also damage the value of the property it adjoins, as the property owner cannot build on or use this land.

How can I find out if my property is situated within an area that has a ransom strip adjoining it?

You can use the ‘Search Index Map’ on the HM Land Registry website at https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk to see who owns which boundaries.

How can I resolve the issue of a ransom strip?

You could check with your local council to see if they are willing to assist with a compulsory purchase order as any level of compensation must be fair and reasonable. If they are not willing to assist then it will be a matter for litigation.

For those of you interested in any case law with regard to ransom strips please see Stokes v. Cambridge Corporation (1961) 13 P & CR 77

For further advice in regard to how to deal with ransom strips, please contact Kylie Bourne at Pardoes Solicitors in our Yeovil office.

Posted in: Buying & Selling Your Home