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Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10497
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My dads uncle and his wife moved into my dads house in Co.

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My dad's uncle and his wife moved into my dad's house in Co. Clare in the mid 1980s after retiring from abroad. My dad did not fight this. His uncle died and then the wife died last year. The lady's cousin has sent a solicitor's letter looking for the deeds to my dad's house (as part of her cousin's estate) and we are not sure about what to do. We always assumed that the uncle and his wife would be able to claim adverse possession, but my dad did not want to fight to evict the old people from the house. He has since moved back to Ireland and has done up the house for his own possession. Would this Scottish lady have a case to pursue here? What should we do? My dad is devestated and I am unsure what to do.
1. At the outset, this Scottish lady will not be able to claim adverse possession as she is not living in the house, firstly, and secondly, will not be able rights which were not asserted by your father's aunt and uncle during their lifetime. Essentially, when making an adverse possession claim, there must be what is known in law as an animus possidendi, or intent to possess adverse to the ownership of the true owner. Here your father's uncle and wife never asserted an ownership contrary to your father's true legal ownership. So, someone descended from your father's uncle & his wife cannot come along now and seek to assert what was previously not asserted.
2. So you should view this Scottish lady as the shyster and chancer she is and not give in to assertions of ownership never made when the people themselves were alive. Once no account should you deliver up the deeds to the property to this lady. A stiff letter should be written to this lady telling her to get lost! You should also realise that your notion of the law of adverse possession does not accord with the law.
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