Adverse possession after a previous adverse possession

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jdfi
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Adverse possession after a previous adverse possession

Post by jdfi » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:49 pm

Hello,

There is a property which I have been 'possessing' since late 2000. Prior to 1996 this property was unregistered land. In 1996, another person (now deceased) adversely possessed the property - by that I mean there is a "caution against first registration" in his name (this person died shortly after). I assume that this person possessed the land from 1984-1996.

When I come to make an application to the land registry, will I do this on the basis of the new procedure (for registered land, 10 years adverse possession, with the land registry giving the 1996 guy two years to object to my adverse possession application) or the old procedure (12 years adverse possession of unregistered land)?

Also, have any rights that the pre-1984 possessor may have had now been fully extinguished, or could he still come out of the woodwork to haunt me?

Thanks
Jean

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Re: Adverse possession after a previous adverse possession

Post by Conveyancer » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:18 pm

If a caution against first registration is registered that means the land is unregistered.
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jdfi
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Re: Adverse possession after a previous adverse possession

Post by jdfi » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:35 pm

Conveyancer wrote:If a caution against first registration is registered that means the land is unregistered.
Thank you for the kind reply. Guess I'll see what happens in December then.

Presumably if and when I get a caution in my name on the register then I would be entitled to sell it, and the pre-1984 owner has lost any rights they may have had? Or am I being very naive?

Roblewis
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Re: Adverse possession after a previous adverse possession

Post by Roblewis » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:09 am

It will be a little hard for the 1996 guy to object as even Royal Mail will not deliver to his current abode. My guess is that you will need to talk to your solicitor to establish the best method of reclaiming control of your land.

withreason
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Re: Adverse possession after a previous adverse possession

Post by withreason » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:44 am

jdfi wrote:Hello,

There is a property which I have been 'possessing' since late 2000. Prior to 1996 this property was unregistered land. In 1996, another person (now deceased) adversely possessed the property - by that I mean there is a "caution against first registration" in his name (this person died shortly after). I assume that this person possessed the land from 1984-1996.

When I come to make an application to the land registry, will I do this on the basis of the new procedure (for registered land, 10 years adverse possession, with the land registry giving the 1996 guy two years to object to my adverse possession application) or the old procedure (12 years adverse possession of unregistered land)?

Also, have any rights that the pre-1984 possessor may have had now been fully extinguished, or could he still come out of the woodwork to haunt me?

Thanks
Jean
From what I have read, it seems any previous adverse possessor has priority over later possessors. Do you know if anyone prior to 1984 possessed the land? After all this time I doubt anyone would come knocking on your door. If it was unregistered when possessed previously, then I don't think it matters if it has since been registered as you can use the previous person's period of possession, the paper title holder would be holding it in trust but they may not know that! I'm assuming by property you mean land? With unregistered land, I believe the paper title holder doesn't get the opportunity to object, after 12 years the possessor has a right to the land.
6.135 The legal position of an adverse possessor differs, as a result of the Land
Registration Act 2002, according to whether the title of the dispossessed owner
was registered or unregistered. From the outset, a squatter has a legal fee simple
in the land of which he or she is in adverse possession.100 The fee simple is
generated by that possession, and enables the squatter to eject anyone
attempting to take away possession of the land – except, of course, the proprietor
whom the squatter has dispossessed and whose title is therefore better than the
squatter’s throughout the limitation period.

6.136 Where the dispossessed proprietor’s title is unregistered, it is barred by the
operation of sections 15 and 17 of the Limitation Act 1980 after the squatter has
been in adverse possession for twelve years. At that point the squatter’s fee
simple becomes unchallengeable. The squatter still has the fee simple generated
by adverse possession; he or she does not take over the dispossessed owner’s
title.101
http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/do ... 7/1067.pdf

You would be advised by the land registry to use the services of a solicitor.

jdfi
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Re: Adverse possession after a previous adverse possession

Post by jdfi » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:05 am

withreason wrote:If it was unregistered when possessed previously, then I don't think it matters if it has since been registered as you can use the previous person's period of possession
Do you mean that I can add together their occupation period and mine, in order to get the 12 years?
withreason wrote: I'm assuming by property you mean land? With unregistered land, I believe the paper title holder doesn't get the opportunity to object, after 12 years the possessor has a right to the land.
A derelict house and some land, yes.

Thank you both for your responses.

withreason
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Re: Adverse possession after a previous adverse possession

Post by withreason » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:04 pm

jdfi wrote:
withreason wrote:If it was unregistered when possessed previously, then I don't think it matters if it has since been registered as you can use the previous person's period of possession
Do you mean that I can add together their occupation period and mine, in order to get the 12 years?
Yes you can, and as it was previously possessed there should be no problem in proving this. You might have had to take possession straight after the previous possessor.
4.4 Successive squatters

The squatter can pass on their interest in the land, for example to a purchaser or under a will or intestacy. The purchaser etc needs immediately to follow the original squatter into possession and hold for the remainder of the 12 years24.

24 LA 1980, Sch 1, para 8(2).

If a second squatter dispossesses the first, the second acquires the benefit of any time that had already run against the owner. However, the first squatter will retain the right to recover possession from the second, until the full limitation period has run from the date when they were dispossessed. So if B dispossesses A (the owner) in 1986 and is then dispossessed by C in 1994, A loses the right to recover possession from C in 1998 but B could still bring possession proceedings against C until 2006. One way a second squatter can show that they did not dispossess the first squatter is by obtaining a transfer of all the first squatter’s estate, right or interest in the land. However, such a transfer is not essential for the purposes of registration. Time stops running if a squatter abandons the land before the limitation period has expired. If a second squatter later takes possession time starts running afresh against the owner.
http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/professi ... ce-guide-5

pilman
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Re: Adverse possession after a previous adverse possession

Post by pilman » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:47 am

That quote from the Land Registry advice guide sums up your current situation.

The land is currently unregistered, which means that the person with the paper title became unable to seek repossession after the 12 year period when the first man went into adverse possession.

At that time the person in adverse possession appears to have registered a caution, but did not make an application to Land Registry to become the registered proprietor as the new owner in possession.

You stated that this person died before you began possession in 2000, so if he had made a will which appointed an executor, then his Estate can sue for repossession for 12 years after you took possession.

On the dates you mention that means a claim could be made up to the end of 2012, but that now seems extremely unlikely.

After your complete period of 12 years has passed, then all previous titles will be extinguished because the Limitation Act still applies to unregistered land.

In January 2013 you will be able to apply to Land Registry for first registration of the unregistered property making a statement of truth that you have been in adverse possession with the intention to possess for a period in excess of 12 years.

As there is a caution against first registration, the Land Registry will write to the address shown for the Cautioner, but will receive no reply as presumably that address is the one you now occupy.

Provided that there is evidence to support the fact of 12 years possession with the intention to possess, you will be registered with a Possessory Title, as no one else has a better title than you will have once the 12 years has passed.

Does that make things clearer for you?

jdfi
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Re: Adverse possession after a previous adverse possession

Post by jdfi » Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:49 pm

Many thanks to everyone. Think I understand what now needs to happen.

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