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LONDON, April 5 (UPI) -- The owner of a London estate soon to be worth nearly $260 million can't evict a man who has inhabited the garden for 21 years, British media report.
5 Can a person become the
owner by “squatting” on land?
In certain circumstances, yes – but
it is not easy or quick.
An owner of unregistered land can
lose his or her ownership after there
has been uninterrupted “adverse
possession”. Adverse possession
is a complex and technical area of
the law that involves the exclusive
occupation of land with the
necessary intention to possess the
land, without the owner’s consent.
The rules for registered land and
unregistered land are different.
Further information is contained
in Practice Guide 4 – Adverse
possession of registered land under
the new provisions of the Land
Registration Act 2002 and Practice
Guide 5 – Adverse possession of
unregistered land and transitional
provisions for registered land in
the Land Registration Act 2002.
6 So if I discover some unregistered land that appears to be abandoned then I cannot simply claim it?
That is right. Unless you have actually done things with the land, such as fenced and occupied it without permission, and which amount to “adverse possession” in law, you will have no rights to it at all. Even if you are in adverse possession then the true owner could have you removed from the land if he or she takes action before the relevant period has ended. The relevant period is laid down in the Limitation Act 1980 and is never less than 12 years, but can be longer.