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Adverse possession

Solicitors in Essex & London


There are instances where people have used a piece of land for so long that they end up acquiring it by default. This is called adverse possession.

What is Adverse Possession?

Adverse possession is the act of occupying land and treating it as your own over a substantial period of time giving rise to rights of ownership.

Do I qualify for Adverse Possession?

There are three main conditions that need to be met to qualify adverse possession:

  • Factual possession
  • Necessary intention to possess the land
  • Possession without consent. 

Full details are set out in our Legal Hub article here: ‘How to Apply for Adverse Possession’.

Evidencing Adverse Possession

The key requirement of adverse possession is evidencing your occupation and use of the land for the required period. This can be done via a Statement of Truth signed by the occupier covering the following issues:

  • The date from when your period of adverse possession began
  • The circumstances of the piece of land when you started possession
  • The acts of ownership which started your period of adverse possession
  • The acts of ownership which you have performed on the land
  • Any outward indication that you owned/secured the land.

It will also be necessary to include a plan showing the extent of the area of land you have been occupying.

If the previous occupier is passing on the benefit of their period of occupation to you, you need to ensure that this is documented via an accurate Statement of Truth and that this is stored safely. The period of occupation needs to be continuous and if there is a break in the chain of occupation it can be fatal to an application.

How Pinney Talfourd can help

Pinney Talfourd’s residential property litigation department has vast experience in submitting and defending adverse possession applications, the Land Registry registration process, and hearings at the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

It is important to work with qualified professionals to ensure accurate information is provided and proper procedures are followed. Our solicitors have long-established relationships with local surveyors who will be able to accurately provide plans of contested areas of land. Find more information in our Legal Hub article here: ‘How to Apply for Adverse Possession’. Please contact us for further advice on making an adverse possession claim.

Find out more about our Adverse Possession services

If you require further legal advice relating to adverse possession please contact any of our residential property litigation solicitors to discuss your legal issues in more detail.

Our specialist team offer consultations at any of our offices in BrentwoodHornchurch and Upminster, and also at our office facilities based in Leigh-On-Sea and Canary Wharf, London. Alternatively, if more convenient for you, we are happy to meet you at your own premises.

Simply make an online enquiry or call your local office.

Our Residential Property Litigation accreditations include:

Legal 500 UK 2019
Legal 500 UK 2019

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