The rules on adverse possession are complex and timing is critical for both landowners and persons in possession.
Our property litigation solicitors are experienced in supporting land owners successfully navigate adverse possession claims.
A person who is not the legal owner of land can become the legal owner by possessing the land for a certain period of time. This is known as acquiring the land by adverse possession.
There are two regimes in England and Wales. The regime used depends on whether the land is registered or unregistered and when the period of possession is said to have accrued.
In any claim for adverse possession, the applicant must show:
The person in possession must have had exclusive physical control of the land. This generally means that they should have dealt with the land as though they were the owner of it eg by fencing it off.
If the period of possession is interrupted or there is any indication that the legal owner consented to the person being in possession, this may defeat an adverse possession claim.
In addition, the person in possession must also prove that they intended to exclusively possess the land during the relevant period.
You may be entitled to become the legal owner of land if you meet the above requirements. If this is the case, you should seek legal advice from our adverse possession solicitors, to promptly to protect your position.
Conversely, if you are a landowner, we can advise you on documenting your consent to occupation of anyone on your land through a formal tenancy or licence, in order to ward off potential claims.
Our experienced adverse possession solicitors can support you with:
The team's real strength lies in the fact that everyone takes a very commercial approach towards litigation, realising that sometimes a good settlement may be worth more to a client than a judgment from a court.