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Abolish adverse possession

1 Comment 5th August 2010

Abolish adverse possession and replace this with having to provide proof that property was acquired by purchase or gift when seeking to register land. Adverse possession is an irregularity in the law which does not favour the actual owner of land. While the laws relating to it have been updated in 2003, it is still possible to make claims under the old rules; furthermore the new laws allow adverse possession where somebody has reasonable belief that the land was theirs, e.g. because builders erected a fence in the wrong place. Well, if that is the case then why not have the builders sort this out and pay for the mess they created? If you buy stolen goods they still belong to the original owner, but with adverse possession somebody can legally take your property without paying or compensating you for it.

Why does this matter?

Uphold the right to enjoy one's property without anybody being able to take it from you without buying or compensating you for its loss.

The Land Registry would require fewer staff, and so would its adjudicator. The only people who would lose out if adverse possession were to be abolished are the lawyers and of course the people who prefer to take others' property without paying for it.

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One Response to Abolish adverse possession

  1. Tobias Holbrook says:

    Lousy idea. If you can’t be bothered to sort it out for 10 years, you don’t deserve the property.

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