Acquiring Land By Squatters Rights

Mark Cummings

To speak to an expert about squatter's rights, call 01271 343457 today. 

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.