Squatters' Rights

Posted: 9th May 2011

terraced housingUnder UK law, anyone who is allowed unopposed occupation of a piece of land for more than twelve years (10 years for registered land if appropriate procedures are followed) can acquire legal title to the land. Although numerous safeguards were introduced in the Land Registration Act 2002, which introduced a system of notices before the title could be transferred, this continues to be the case.
The UK's approach to 'squatters' rights' (known in legal circles as adverse possession) has been ruled to be lawful according to a ruling by the European Court.
If you allow people to make use of land you own without taking measures to protect your rights you run the danger of giving them permanent legal rights over your land or even losing legal title to it. Contact us for advice.