Where land has been occupied without the consent of the owner for long periods of time, the occupant may acquire an interest in the land and ultimately be able to become the owner in their own right. This area of law is often relevant to issues of where a boundary should lie.
The land concerned may be a small part of a garden or it could be a much larger area. Prior to the 13th October 2003 it was necessary to show 'adverse possession' for a period of 12 years or more. However since that date in the case of land which has its title registered at the Land Registry the period of adverse possession is 10 years ending on the date that an application is made to the Land Registry for a title to the property. It is necessary for the application to be supported by evidence of occupation without consent and notice of the application must be given to the "true" landowner and any others having a legal interest in it. This is so that the true owner can object (if they wish to) to the application. The matter will then be dealt with under the Land Registry's processes.
We can assist in advising you if you think you have acquired an interest in land by virtue of your occupation over many years or if you think land you own might be at risk of an adverse possession claim.