Areas of Law / Property

The house next door burned down many years ago and we have looked after the plot for the last 11 years, paying a gardener to tend to it every fortnight. It’s owned by the local council I think, but could we now say it’s ours?

If the plot has been registered at the Land Registry you can make a claim for the land after 10 years’ occupation. But the registered owner will be notified and given the opportunity to object to your application and evict you. If the property is still unregistered you could attempt to claim the land after 12 years, but to succeed you must demonstrate that during that period you have had exclusive possession of the land, that you intended to possess it (rather than merely have use of it) and that you have done so without the true owner’s consent.

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