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$260 million estate has 21-year squatter

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posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 09:06 AM
A squatter has been given the rights to live in the garden of a soon to be renovated London estate.

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.

When completed the home, owned by a mystery Middle Eastern billionaire will be the most expensive in the world. It will include a pool, tennis courts, staff housing, and one squatter.

Wondering if there were any more free land going around? I must admit it's been a while since I've read up on squatters rights but it's something like this....if you take possession of a piece of land that isn't being used by it's owner and keep possession of it for 1 to 30 years, depending on country, then it's yours.

From my understanding free land is easy to acquire. Check your counties statues for squatters rights, find some land, move in, stay the required period and its yours.

Wikipedia _squatting

[edit on 7-4-2008 by Master_Wii]

posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 09:22 AM
I herd something like if you could prove a piece of land had not been walked across by any person for more than (6 months? 6 years?) you could claim it as your own and declare it another country - I believe it was a loop hole discovered in age old laws here in the UK - and probably - if true - a very quickly closed loop hole..

It was the subject of a pretty good short film.. I should really research my thoughts before typing
oh well. (might be able to edit later with details)

posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 09:33 AM
In the U.S. the Homestead Act allowed anyone who lived on and cultivated public land to purchase up to 160 acres for $1.25 an acre plus $15 filing fee.

It was repealed in 1976, except Alaska in 1986. Estimated 60,000 families took advantage.

posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 10:06 AM
Here's a (sort of) relevant PDF from the land registry. If you have a passing interest on this then it's a start.

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.

[edit on 7/4/2008 by Now_Then]

posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 04:56 PM
I looked into this myself a few years back.

From what I remember, there's a whole lot you can do to find/claim property.

As of about 1995, the UK government makes about 8 billion pounds a year from property that is "intestate" , ie, property that had an owner who died but never wrote a will.

The government then claims this property. The banks are the best at this. I was in Eire looking at some property there and found that whilst searching through ownership records there are several employed people who search for data day in day out. They are mostly privately employed whose employers are employed by the big banks.

There is a ruined stone tower or 'keep' next to a bridge in County Claire that has a ruined church opposite. Beautiful place it is. Local farmers cows rummage around there most of the time. Bank of Ireland own it.

Once you've found a property, lets say a house for example, you firstly have to get mail to be sent there, establish the date you took on ownership. You must treat it as your property from day one. You don't have to live there.

Cutting the grass, painting the window frames, keeping the property in order is all that is required. After 12 years, you send your claim for the title of the property to the land registry. There's a few things you gotta do for them and it'll cost you a few hundred pounds.

Apart from the work you do on the property, you'll spend some time trying to locate the owner (not required but helpful, they could be dead or living abroad...or next door).

Scrambling through my old grey matter again, I think there was an update on squatting laws. Squatting in the UK was made illegal, yet claiming property in this manner is still valid.. odd set of rules going on there. I think it's designed to keep ordinary joe public out of the picture to allow the bankers access to the schemes they already run.

If you do find a gotta gain access.. picking the lock is sort of don't damage anything, so you can't be arrested for breaking and entering, but the moment you get in, you gotta fit your own locks. That determines your 'move in' date.

If you can't pick a lock, then you may find you have to break a window. Now that is breaking and entering. So to cover yourself you have to make full repairs to any item you damage as soon as possible.

In France it's a lot easier than this but the 12 year period remains the same.
Eire is very similar process to UK.
Check the rules and regs for your own country and you might have fun looking for places you think you might be able to claim.

You'll soon become aware of many empty houses. It's a bit like never noticing blue cars on the road until you start looking for them..

posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 06:18 PM
reply to post by Master_Wii

I have not seen a single shred of evidence that you can "claim" any land, any where in the world for that matter.

England apparently has the most liberal squating laws.. kinda sounds like our absurd Tenant laws here in Ohio, where as Scotland the owner can pretty much do anything he wants to you.. so long as its "within lines of the law"..

But in no location, anywhere in the world, do squatters who find unused property "own" it..

They can simply exist there until the building is being used.

Unless you live in England.. where you can squatt all you want.

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