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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10397
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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How do I start to place a claim on a disused property that

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How do I start to place a claim on a disused property that has no possable living claiments. Untraced deeds and unregistered . That I have been guardian of as a neighbour for last 4 years .

Is this a commercial property or a residential property?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Residential . A house

Since October 2012 it has been illegal to squat in residential property hence you cannot claim adverse possession of a residential building.

It would be different if you had occupied the building 10 years ago and if it is registered at the land Registry 12 years ago if not registered at the land Registry but if you occupied it now with a view to obtaining it as your own under the doctrine of adverse possession then you commit a criminal offence and you cannot claim adverse possession in another 10/12 years as a result of an illegal occupation.

It is possible to claim adverse possession still but only in respect of long periods of occupation before October 2012 as you will read in this article

So practically there is little, if any chance that you could claim the property unless you can find out who owns it. If the owner has died with no known relatives, the property can be claimed by the Crown or the local authority statutory power to acquire to bring it back into use as a dwelling. Unfortunately, since 2012, the power of an individual to do that over a period of time has ended.

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