Squatters can benefit from illegal occupation

By Edward Gamble

Since September 2012, it has been a criminal offence to squat in a residential building under section 144(1) of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

Most property in England and Wales is registered at the Land Registry. Since 2003, a squatter who has been in adverse possession of registered property for 10 years or more can apply to the Land Registry to be registered as the owner under the Land Registration Act 2002.

One question is whether section 144(1) prevents time running for the purposes of applications to the Land Registry to claim adverse possession of residential buildings? …

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