Very Rare Query on Residence/ Lamd Registry

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    Very Rare Query on Residence/ Lamd Registry

    If a person has been living in a property for over 10 years and the landlord has gone missing/ tenant rent never paid/ no letters or request ever made (despite the land registry having their name on it)

    Can the tenant have a claim for the land registry to be transferred to their name?

    What law governs this?

    This is the situation my friend's friend is in - the only information i have is stated aboved - i offer to investigate this for them

    A query you dont get often!

    Not if they have permission to live there.


      The only process I know of on this is adverse possession, but I believe it is if possession is without the owner's consent (ie. squatters).

      As debts cannot be recovered after 6 years, iirc, rent owned older than that is basically written off, but I would think landlord may demand unpaid rent for the last 6 years.

      Let's see what legal experts have to say.


        You are referring to the law of adverse possession (squatters rights), which for reference is mostly contained in Land Registration Act 2002 Schedule 6. The key here though is that a tenant cannot be an adverse possessor (squatter) as (pointed out above) as a tenant you have consent to be in the property. Otherwise after 10 years you could make an application for transfer of title, but even then the Land Registry will contact the owner and any other interested party (mortgagee, other legal or equitable owners, etc) and they will have 65 days to object.

        Your friend is better off keeping things the way they are and enjoying the cheap housing for what it is. Also, presuming the tenant has actually made genuine attempts to pay the rent or contact the owner about maintenance, repairs etc - then given that length of time the LL will no doubt be in breach of statutory and contractual duties regarding maintenance, repairs, safety, etc. If the tenant is paying any of these costs, then they should keep all receipts and in the event of the LL turning up and demanding 6 yrs back rent, offset these costs against the amount of rent (as damages) plus an amount that recognises the tenants costs of administration and finally plus interest - which for damages is a standard court rate (4% I believe). No doubt the rent if set 10 years ago is very cheap by todays standards so even a 6 yr demand might not be too bad. Alternatively advise the tenant to pay his rent into a nominated account and pay all LL expenses out of that (stop paying in after 6 years!).
        caveat emptor
        If it sounds like I know what I am talking about........I don't.


          What about the things the landlord should be doing? Annual CP12 just as an instance.

          It would be wise for this tenant to use some of the rent money he is not paying to arrange a comprehensive maintenance insurance programme on the property, again that can be charged to the landlord when he turns up. (if)
          I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg


            It is not entirely clear how the arrangement started. Was a tenancy agreed with some rent being paid and then it went all quiet?


              Originally posted by bandontherun
              In general a person who enters a property as a tenant is always a tenant regardless of whether rent is being collected/paid.
              Agreed, but we need to establish whether the occupant in fact entered as a tenant.


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