Adverse Possession Claims

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.

Timing is very important in these cases for both the owners and the adverse possessors. In order not to lose their entitlement to recover their land the owners may need to make possession claims, as soon as they become aware of the squatter, to stop time running against them. On the other hand, the adverse possessors will not want to take any step that will alert the owners to the position during the 10 or 12 year limitation period.

As experts in adverse possession we provide pre-action advice, including advice on the evidence required to support or defend a claim for adverse possession; securing possession for owners; and pursing adverse possession applications for squatters.

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.



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