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Adverse Possession of Land

adverse possession of land

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

You can apply to the Registry direct to make an Adverse Possession claim. There is an application Fee to pay and various forms to submit. It is advisable to read the online guidance written by the Registry in their Practice Guide. This sets out what you need to be successful.

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

You can check if the disputed land is registered and who owns it online via the Registry website.

There are many Land Registry Practice Guides online and the Adverse Possession weblink is below.

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.

  • A land registry compliant plan will be required, showing the extent of the land in question. it is best to have an expert draft this, such as a surveyor, to ensure it is accurate and you do not receive Land Registry requisitions or queries.

  • 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.

HMLR delays



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