Adverse Possession

publication date: Feb 11, 2011
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author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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Adverse Possession


If you own a property, there is a rule that sometimes allows a squatter to claim ownership of the property by ‘adverse possession’.

It is actually very rare for squatters to claim this right as they do have to have lived in the home without the owner’s permission for 10 or more years. Whereas most people that own an empty home would find out about it and take action.

However, the law was changed recently, so if squatters accessed the property prior to 13th October 2006 and does so for 12 years, and the land in unregistered, they can go for a ‘good title’ claim.

Any squatters who enter a property post 13th October 2006, whether the land is unregistered or not requires to have lived there for 10 years. This doesn’t automatically mean they will be handed the property over, the squatters will have to apply to the courts for a ‘claim’. There is then an effort made by the court to find and show the claim to the original owner. If the owner can’t be found, or the claim questioned, then it may be granted.

If you do suffer from ‘adverse possession’ then you need to consult a legal specialist. Visit the Legal Centre for more information.

Also read our other articles:-

Dealing with Squatters and What can you do to avoid squatters taking over your property

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