Acquiring Land By Squatters Rights
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In the sleepy Yorkshire village of Thorp Arch, a lengthy dispute between neighbours over a small strip of land has recently been concluded.
For 12 years, an elderly couple maintained a verge which they did not own, by doing the following work:
- removing bushes
- applying top soil
- generally ‘beautifying’ the verge, and
- creating two parking spaces.
Their wealthy neighbour registered the paper title to the verge and told the elderly neighbours to make no further use of it.
This triggered a lengthy court battle, which ended in the Court of Appeal. The Court found that the couple who had maintained the verge were now the owners of it, as a result of "adverse possession", also known as "squatter's rights".
The losing neighbour was faced with a large legal bill.
It is possible to become the owner of a piece of land, if (usually for 10 or 12 years) you were using the land, and intended to own it.
At Samuels, we have advised a great many clients about issues with land and boundary disputes. If you are unsure, we can tell you whether you can make a claim for adverse possession, or a whether neighbour can claim adverse possession over land you own.
For a free discussion, contact us today.