Veale Wasbrough Vizards

UK 200 2013 position: 98

Adverse possession of residential property is still possible

By David Bird

Squatting in residential premises has been a criminal offence as from 1 September 2012. However, this month, the case of Best v The Chief Land Registrar & Anor [2014] EWHC 1370 (Admin) has considered this in relation to the law of adverse possession.

Mr Best applied for registration as proprietor of a house in East London. He claimed he had possession of the property since the late 1990s and had refurbished it over a long period, having moved in in January 2012.

The Land Registry rejected his application on the basis that an application could not rely on any period of occupation constituting a criminal offence. Therefore, Mr Best did not have the required continuous possession up to the date of his application…

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