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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7430
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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How many years is it before you can claim land that you have

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How many years is it before you can claim land that you have had uninterrupted use of.
Half my back garden is registered to somebody else under a separate title deed number.
The original owner of the land got it by nefarious means and and when made bankrupt, the official receiver sold it. I bought the house in May 2001 and the land changed hands in May 2003. I thought it was 10 years before I could claim it back, but have been told it is 12 years.

It is now 12 years between my purchase from the original owner to now, but only 10 years since the land changed hands.

Can anybody please advise me.

Kindest regards

Martin Simpson

Thanks for your patience.

If you have maintained the land uninterrupted for a period of time then if you wished to claim it you would do so by issuing a claim for adverse possession.

The time period for which you must have occupied the land is different depending on whether the land has a registered or unregistered title. Registered titles are those for which there are registered official copies at the Land Registry. Unregistered titles are those for which the only evidence of title is the “deeds” (ie. previous conveyances, assents etc) and typically relate to land which has not been mortgage or sole in the last 25 years.

If the land in question is unregistered then you must have been using it continuously for 12 years in order to be eligible to issue claim for adverse possession of it.

If the land is registered then you need only have been using it continuously for 10 years in order to apply for adverse possession at the Land Registry.

If the land changed hands in 2003 then it will be registered and if you have occupied it for this length of time then you meet the time requirement to issue a claim.

However, even though the time requirement is reduced (by the Land Registration Act 2002) the act actually made it more difficult to claim.

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Kind regards,

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