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Right of Ownership and Possession

There is a well-known saying that possession is nine-tenths of the law. This isn’t entirely true, although it is easier to claim ownership of land if you are in possession of that land already.

In legal terms this is known as adverse possession and there is a clear process that must be followed and claims evidenced in order to successfully apply for ownership of that land.

If you have been in possession of the land for a certain length of time, you may be entitled to take over the rightful ownership of it. The land may or may not be already registered with the Land Registry but a specialist solicitor can guide you through an adverse possession claim efficiently.

You must have been using (or in possession of) the land for at least twelve years for unregistered land and if the land is registered to someone else this period extends to ten years. You must also be able to demonstrate that you have enjoyed uninterrupted possession of the land and looked after it as you would if you owned it for the required minimum time period. We can take you through the entire process and provide you with a comprehensive list of what evidence will be required should you wish to make an adverse possession application.

If you need any help with this area of land law, please contact our specialist property team which is led by Michael Morgan. We can help clients to find resolution in the most complex of cases. Michael is a senior property /land law solicitor now specialising in dealing with land and property investigation, disputes and litigation. Contact Michael on 01204 377632 or at

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