This is an extract of our Adverse Possession document, which we sell as part of our GDL Land Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Land Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Entirely compatible with Human Rights (Pye v UK) on both sides of the equation (i.e. on the loss of land and gain of land)
Built upon principle of relativity of title.
o None of us own land, the crown owns the land. We have only title to land: The person with the best title is entitled to immediate possession.
Reasons for adverse possession:
o 1) Originally used to settle ownership disputes - didn't always have title documents, the person in possession of the land would settle ownership disputes.
o 2) It quietens disputes - it brings them eventually to a close.
o 3) It helps legitimise reality. It brings legitimacy to the person who is using the land.
o 4) Encourages the economic use of a scarce resource
Sometimes this is clearly true (Lambeth Council has hundreds of dilapidated properties that are not used which people regularly move in to)
Sometimes this is clearly not true Pye v Graham it is closer to Land Theft
Claimant must prove two things:
o 1) Factual possession - in controlling/managing the land exclusively for themselves (fences, locks, etc)
Minimal acts of possession required in rural windswept area: Red House Farms v Catchpole
Thorpe v Frank (2019) - Meaning of "factual possession" is context driven. Look for acts that an owner might do. In this case, laying paving slabs was enough.
o 2) An intention to possess for one's own benefit (Slade J
in Powell v. McFarlane (1979)). NB not an intention to own.
If squatter acknowledges registered owner then there cannot be AP: Lambeth v Blackburn
Clowes Developments v. Walters (2005), in which the claimant's belief - even if mistaken - that the land was held under a licence meant that they simply could not have the relevant intention to possess.
Pye v Graham : 'necessary intent is an intent to possess not to own and an intention to exclude the paper owner only so far as is reasonably possible'
enclosing land by a fence may both constitute the act of possession and demonstrate the intention to possess (Moran), as might changing locks to a flat (Blackburn) or grazing animals within an enclosed field (Pye),
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