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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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How long do a trespasser have to be on an other persons land

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How long do a trespasser have to be on an other persons land before he can claim ownership.
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is the land registered or unregistered?

Is it residential or commercial or is it just a piece of land?

Did the trespasser ever have consent?

Has anyone ever objected?

It would help if you could tell me a little more about this please
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We had permision to put this man in a security caravan in 2008, it is an 18 acre site with full planing permission, it is registered, the planning is for domestic, commercial and industrial buildings, we have been trying to remove him since 2010, we have been advised that he may well make an adverse possession of some of the disused buildings that he is carrying out a car business from also with out concent.

thanks for your help.



If he occupies a piece of land (registered) for more than 10 years without consent or objection and not in secret, he can apply to the land registry to have it registered as his under the doctrine of adverse possession.

Once the owner (it must be the owner) objects, the clock stops.

The onus is on the trespasser to prove 10 years adverse possession.

If he occupied the land with consent then the occupation cannot be adverse and he acquires no rights.

If he has been in a security caravan on the land since 2008 and the landowner agreed for that to happen, the trespasser acquires no rights of occupation.

If however he then occupies another piece of land/building without consent he can possibly gain ownership by adverse possession.

If therefore he had the caravan on the site with consent would had no consent to use the buildings, he may get ownership of the buildings after 10 years adverse possession but not the rest of the site.

It would be for the owner to argue that the trespasser had permission to use the whole site and not just the land and that the occupation of the disused building was with consent and therefore could not be adverse possession.

Incidentally, since October 2012, adverse possession (squatting) in a residential property became a criminal offence.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Remus2004 and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You have answered the questions thank you, XXXXX XXXXX a good weekend.

No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile