Adverse Posession of Unregistered Land

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    If you do an index map search of a piece of land and it comes back indicating it is not registered there is no need to check the boundaries of adjoining land. It must though be remembered that Land Registry plans of amost all registered land are subject to the general boundaries rule and do not show exact boundaries.


      An application to be registered as the owner with a possessory title when the land in your possession is unregistered will require an application fee, as well as a fee for the survey that will be undertaken on behalf of Land Registry by Ordnance Survey.

      When the value of the land is stated to be less than £6,000 there is then no requirement for evidence of identity, which is why an application can be undertaken by any individual capable of downloading and completing the necessary forms from the LR web-site.

      Knowing that a surveyor will need to visit the site, that is when the appearance of the land should be such that it appears to be an area of land in your exclusive occupation.
      It is not esential that land has to be fenced off, although that is the most common way of showing exclusive possession with the intention to possess.

      Those are the two requirements to prove that adverse possession for over 12 years has extinguished the legal title of the paper owner, because Section 17 Limitation Act 1980 has that effect.

      After 12 years Section 15 Limitation Act stops the legal owner from starting court proceedings to recover their land, which is why the applicant able to show more than 12 years exclusive possession has a better title that will be recognised by Land Registry, as long as the Surveyor's report concludes that the appearance of the land is such that the application should be completed.

      What has to me mentioned is that even if the application was not accepted by Land Registry that does not require the current use of the land to cease.
      It just means there is no paper title in the name of the person currently using the land, although that person has a better title than anyone other than the owner with the paper deed that confirms his, or her, or its ownership.

      So make the land appear to be yours before the Surveyor comes to view the land is the best advice you can be given.


        Worst case, the application alerts the real owner. At this point you can make them an offer for it.


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