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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 10539
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My Client granted a 21 year lease to the Local Authority

Customer Question

My Client granted a 21 year lease to the Local Authority which was used as a play area.It seems the Lease expired in 1998 but Council technically remained in possession as play area continued. In April 2009 the Council applied for and were granted a possessory title to the land. My Clients freehold paper title is unregistered. We contend that the Council cannot obtain an adverse possession against its Landlord. We have applied to the Land Registry for 1st registration of my Clients title and extinguishment of Councils possessory title. In any event there is less than 12 years between expiry of the Lease and the Councils application for possessory title. Please advise whether we would be successful in our application. Land Registry say there is a conflict and want us to file statement of truth and to justify why alteration could go ahead under Para 5 Schedule 4 LRA 2002 given terms of para 6.2 of the same schedule
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

1. Here you should be successful in your application. Be aware that whilst 12 years adverse possession is sufficient in a court action for adverse possession, the Land Registry generally, will not register a possessory title unless there has been 40 years possession. So, given the lease ran up to 1998, the Council can only have had 17 years possession, which will not be sufficient. However, be aware that you are vulnerable to a court application by the Council, if it can show it had both the necessary animus possidendi to adverse possess against you, as well that they fenced it off and had exclusive possession of it, not permitting your or anybody else to enter upon the land. Here the most difficult hurdle for the Council will be showing the necessary animus possidendi or intention to possess, as it is sometimes difficult for a corporate body to show the actual body, and not some official, has an intention to possess wrongly and against the interests of the owner.