Because it’s not claiming adverse possession of a residential building. You can claim adverse possession of residential land and commercial land but not a residential building.
Whether you commit an offence or not depends on whether the owner of the land allowed you to enter the property or not but as I said earlier, if he did, you cannot claim adverse possession and if he didn’t, your possession became adverse in 2012.
In any event, you cannot claim adverse possession until you have been in unregistered property for 12 years or 10 years if the property is registered at the land Registry.
If you don’t occupy the property, and you are just “claiming it” then you cannot claim adverse possession because you have to have used it and treated as your own and clearly, you haven’t done that.
If you were invited in by the previous owner and completed the building work, you would be entitled to claim for the work against the previous owner’s estate but it wouldn’t entitle you to the property.
It isn’t possible to just find an abandoned piece of property and slap your name on it and expect it to become yours in 10 or 12 years time.
Bearing in mind that you have only been claiming this property for 7 years, how would you get round the 10 / 12 year timescale if the local authority compulsorily purchased it meanwhile.
I am aware of the contents of the circular which may get you out of it being a criminal offence but it would not give you adverse possession.
Let me ask some questions:
did the original owner invite you in?
If he didn’t, how did you get in?
In what way have you occupied the property and treated the property as your own such that you would claim adverse possession if you were not invited in? Please note it must be factual occupation, you cannot simply put a lock on it and say that it’s mine. Land registry criteria.
Did the owner of the property have a will or any living relatives anywhere on the planet even if the family tree needs to go back hundreds of years and then come forward to present day onto a different branch of the family tree?
When did the owner die or cease looking after/occupying the property?
I’m sorry, this is not looking good. I would like to say that you had a fantastic claim and I would be really pleased for you, anything to stop the local authority getting something for nothing, but I’m afraid that I can’t do that. I cannot see any circumstances regardless of what your answers to the above are, when you can just claim this abandoned property