Adverse Possession

This is the possession of property without any right whatsoever. Legal title can eventually be acquired to another person’s property by taking it over and using it as ones own. We have often heard it said that “possession is nine-tenths of the law”. To acquire ownership in this way, the holder of the legal title must abandon the property and someone who has no right whatsoever to the property must use it exclusively as his or her own.

The period required for establishing a right to the legal title based on adverse possession is twelve years. The person in possession is known as a Squatter. One Squatter can pass on continuous possession to another Squatter. An example of this would be where a farmer has used a neighbour’s field with his own land as his own for say nine years and then he transfers his own farm to his son. Then if his son continues to use the field for a further three years, he will be entitled to apply for legal title based on twelve years adverse possession..

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