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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7432
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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i have a parcel of land which I have occupied for 20 years

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i have a parcel of land which I have occupied for 20 years which I have not paid any rent
to the owner, we have tried to trace the owner on many occasions and even been to his last place where he lived, but unable to contact him, because I have occupied the land for so long am I now entitled to register this in my name

Thanks for your patience.

If you have enclosed the land and looked after it for that length of time you do appear to be eligible – from a time perspective - to make a claim for the land and you have to prove what is termed “adverse possession” to the Land Registry in order to have it registered in your name.

If the land in question is unregistered then you must have been using it continuously for 12 years in order to claim possession of it and be registered as the registered proprietor at the Land Registry

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. Notice of the application will be sent to the current registered proprietor of the land, who is obviously at liberty to object. It is therefore more difficult to claim adverse possession of land that is registered.

If you do not know whether the land is registered then you can check using the Land Registry's online service by downloading a copy of the register of the title (if any) for the property(it may be that the land forms part of one of the registered titles of the properties which it adjoins):-

If this does not illicit results then you should send a index map search to the Land Registry by using Form SIM (enclosing a map of the area), they will then tell you definitively if it is registered. You can also download that form from the LR website.

In the case of both applications you would have to submit form ADV1 to the Land Registry together with sworn statutory declarations regarding how long you have been using the land (from you and others who know of your use) and it may be something over which you should consider taking specific legal advice from a local solicitor to ensure that the application and supporting documentation is drafted correctly.

However, if the owner is traced and receives notice of the application then they are at liberty to defend it.

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Kind regards,

Thomas and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

"FAO Tom only " thank you for your reply, but could you tell me, if the land is registered but the land owner has died what would be the outcome

regard mike

Hi Mike,

It would not make a massive difference, the executors/personal representativs for the deceased woudl stand in their shoes and decide whether or not to defend.

Thanks for rating my answer.


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