Adverse Possession of Land


The Land Registry is a Government body recording property ownership in England and Wales.


You can liaise with the Registry direct to make an Adverse Possession claim. There is a Land Registry Fee to pay and forms to submit.


Your Conveyancer can also do this for you and due to their expertise they may be best placed.


There is no guarantee with any Land Registry application.


The Registry will likely serve notice on all relevant properties and perform a site visit.   Neighbours or interested parties may want to dispute the adverse possession claim or make their own representation.


There are Land Registry Practice Guides online and the Adverse Possession weblink is below. www.gov.uk/government/publications/adverse-possession-of-registered-land/practice-guide-4-adverse-possession-of-registered-land


You must fit the criteria set out in the Practice Guide which is basically:-

  • 10 years of adverse possession – after which the “squatter” can apply to be registered in place of the legal owner.

  • On application the Registry will serve notice on those persons interested in the land such as the legal owner, neighbouring properties, and the mortgage lender who has a charge secured on the property.

  • The application can be opposed by these interested parties.

  • Adverse possession requires factual possession and physical control of the land and intention to possess without legal owner’s consent.

  • Intention to possess means showing intention to possess in one’s own name and on one’s own behalf and to exclude the world at large including the legal owner

  • Evidence will be required.

  • Land Registry may require a physical inspection.

  • There is no guarantee of success with an Adverse Possession claim.  It is dependent upon Land Registry adjudication.


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