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  • Created by: Rachel
  • Created on: 12-04-14 13:52
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  • Adverse Possession
    • Once a property is purchased you are recognised as the legal owner.
      • Only way the legal estate will PASS into hands of another is by
        • selling property
        • giving property to another
        • leaving it in a will
        • mortgaging property
        • creating legal lease
        • BUT in certain circumstances a trespasser with no legal right to be on the property can lay claim to rights of possession over your land if they satisfy certain conditions
          • Limitation Act 1980
            • law has recognised rights of other to take over your property if you as the owner dent assert ownership over a long period of time and the squatter treats it as their own
              • s15(1) once 12 years have passed the squatter can argue that they have rights in the property as he has treated as if it was his own for over 12 years and the paper title owner hasn't objected
            • removed doctrine of implied licence
              • owner could argue land had a clear use in future
          • LRA 2002
            • Paper title owner is better protected from squatters
            • paper title owner must be notified before the squatter can register his rights & that the squatter is trying to gain rights in his land
            • owner will then try to take action to ensure the squatter is evicted
    • rights of ownership are acquired by taking possession of the land
      • must satisfy 3 requirements
        • 1. factual possession
        • 2. intention to possess
        • 3. sufficient length of time
    • Factual possession
      • must take PHYSICAL possession of the land
        • time starts from the date that the claimant took possession
        • must prove 4 features
          • 1. claimant must intent to EXCLUDE ALL OTHERS including paper title owner
            • Depends on tripe of property - if small - very clear evidence of physical control is needed
              • Fencing is good evidence of factual possession - but if area is large - may not be possible
            • Eg: Red House Farms (Thorndon) Ltd v Catchpole
            • Powell v McFarlane
              • Slade J held that the boy of 14 (Powell) who used land to graze animals on open land were equivocal and could be interepretated as tempoaray
                • not sufficient to support a claim for AP - don't show the boy intended to possess land for himself
          • 2. claimant must be in factual possession for an unbroken period of time
            • can be no break in the claim to AP rights over land
              • can't be left by
                • will
                • pass under intestacy
                • pass
                • pass with conveyance of legal title
              • If there is break - limitation period can't run
                • doesn't prevent limitation period from starting up again if squatter shows necessary intent
          • 3. factual possession must be openly exercised
            • must be possible for paper title owner to find out about presence of squatters
              • if squatters conceal themselves when paper title owner visits - time won't run
              • if paper title sees squatters in possession - expected to take action to evict them
                • if he doesn't - can't expect law to protect him
              • doesn't matter if paper title owner is unaware squatter has taken possession
              • must be clear owner visited property
          • 4. factual possession must be adverse to paper title owner
            • occupation of land with remission of owner isn't adverse
              • eg: lease/licence
              • If a claimant once had permission to possess land and can show position has now changed and possession is now adverse as the lawful permission has been with drawn can be adverse
              • Eg:Pye (Oxford) Ltd v Graham
    • intention to possess
      • squatter must prove at all times he had intention to treat land as his own and make this clear to world
        • must shown animus possidendi
        • irrelevant that squatters want to possess land for the present and didn't think about acquiring rights in property
        • Pye v Graham
          • HOL held that Grahams had necessary intention as they used the land as their own along with the rest of their farm property
        • Conduct indiciating intention to possess
          • Notices - KEEP OUT PRIVATE PROPERTY
            • BUT notice must be enforced and if notices are put up and people continue to enter and use land - won't be evidence of intention to possess
          • Fences & locked gates
            • Buckinghamshire County Council v Moran
          • Changing the locks
            • Lambeth LBC v Blackburn
        • Conduct NOT indicating no intention to possess
          • Trivial acts
            • eg: kids playing on land, occasional grazing of animals
              • Powell v McFarlane
              • Tedbild v Chamberlain
                • When children and animals were away from land it would be impossible to know they had an intention to possess property
          • Fencing w/o intention of keeping public out
            • Fruin v Fruin
              • fence's main purpose was to keep a senile member of family in
          • Age of claimant
            • younger the claimant, harder it is to show intention
            • Powell v McFarlane
          • Equivocal acts
            • which can be interpreted in at least 2 ways can't easily support an intention to possess
            • Powell v McFarlane
    • Sufficient length of time
      • squater can't acquire rights over land until he has occupied land for sufficient time

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