Adverse possession help – deceased predecessors

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    Adverse possession help – deceased predecessors

    Good Evening,

    I am currently in the process of buying a house which has a piece of land/garden adjacent which has been enclosed, maintained and been what I would consider “factual possession” of the previous house owners for 15+ years. The problem being the previous inhabitant passed away a couple of years ago and I am buying the house from one of their children who inherited the house and had someone maintain the garden/land but and lives elsewhere.
    The questions I have are:

    Is it possible to claim adverse possession in based on the previous owner’s adverse possession of the land?

    If so would statements from Neighbors, Aerial photography and a statement from the current owner (the person who inherited it)) be sufficient to make a case for adverse possession or would I have to maintain it for 10 years to make my case (the land is registered)?

    Any help would be very much appreciated!

    Thanks in Advance

    How much you should be concerned about this has to depend on how large/important the area in question is. Really, the sellers ought to be providing the best possible title to what they are selling and it should be down to them to make an application to the Land Registry. Other considerations may of course come into it, not least the delay likely to be involved and the possibility that they will decide to sell elsewhere. If they decline to make the application you really ought to be paying a price which reflects the value with the less than perfect title and the expense you have to incur in making the application. Whilst in theory the value with the less than perfect title should be less than the value with a perfect title, in practice there may be no difference. Basically it all comes down to seeing what can be agreed.

    To answer your questions, you certainly can make a claim based on the previous owners' occupation. When making a claim the more evidence you supply the better. The Land Registry like to see statutory declarations from disinterested parties.

    Your conveyancer should be able to give you full advice.


      (the land is registered)
      If you mean that the land that has been used as additional garden is registered, then an application to be shown as registered owner of that extra land with possessory title will require a notice served on the current registered owner.

      That would then allow that registered owner the opportunity to seek a repossession order if he/she/it felt it best to secure possession of that land.

      The alternative would be to continue using this land as part of the garden and do nothing more.

      It will still require a claim for re-possession to be made, but if the use of the land is not brought to the attention of a legal owner that may be the better way to retain use of the land, even if not in your legal ownership.

      You need to weigh up the pros and cons of making a claim to Land Registry to be registered as owner, before deciding to seek statements of truth from all the people able to make such statements based on personal knowledge of the previous use made by the deceased house-owner.


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