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Adverse Possession

Adverse Possession

A person occupying a property or land without the owner’s consent and with a sufficient degree of physical control will be in adverse possession of that property or land. Adverse possession can be referred to as squatting, although squatting denotes short-term occupation of property.

Historically, a person had to be in adverse possession for 12 years to acquire an interest in the occupied land. However, the introduction of the Land Registration Act 2002 changed the position in relation to registered land. The period of adverse occupation has been reduced to 10 years, after which the occupier can apply to the Land Registry to acquire a proprietary interest in the land. If this application is opposed the land owner has another two years to regain possession of his property.

The position in relation to unregistered property remains that the occupier should adversely possess the land for 12 years after which he can apply for possessory title of the occupied land.

From 1 September 2013, squatting in residential as opposed to commercial buildings is illegal. Offenders can be imprisoned or fined. This does not apply to a tenant who enters property with an owner’s permission but then falls behind with rent payments.

Contact our experienced adverse possession solicitors to discuss your claim

To discuss your adverse possession dispute please contact a member of our team on 01895 207976 or 01895 207988. Alternatively you can send an email with your name, contact information and brief details as to the nature of your property dispute to jon.mowbray@ibblaw.co.uk and one of our team will be able to help you.