Adverse possession , sometimes colloquially described as " squatter's rights ", [a] is a legal principle under which a person who does not have legal title to a piece of property — usually land real property — may acquire legal ownership based on continuous possession or occupation of the property without the permission licence of its legal owner. In general, a property owner has the right to recover possession of their property from unauthorised possessors through legal action such as ejectment. However, in the English common law tradition, courts have long ruled that when someone occupies a piece of property without permission and the property's owner does not exercise their right to recover their property for a significant period of time, not only is the original owner prevented from exercising their right to exclude, but an entirely new title to the property "springs up" in the adverse possessor. In effect, the adverse possessor becomes the property's new owner. In the United States, for example, these time limits vary widely between individual states, ranging from as low as three years to as long as 40 years. Although the elements of an adverse possession action are different in every jurisdiction, a person claiming adverse possession is usually required to prove non-permissive use of the property that is actual, open and notorious, exclusive, adverse and continuous for the statutory period.
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Adverse possession legal definition of adverse possession
The rules relating to adverse possession changed on 13 October when the relevant provisions of the Land Registration Act " LRA " came into force. Over the last 12 years we have seen various parts of the new rules litigated in a number of high profile cases but it is important to consider the core elements of a claim to adverse possession:. What do I need to show in order to submit a claim for adverse possession? Since the LRA came into force there are now two separate regimes which deal with what an applicant is required to show to establish a claim for adverse possession.
Property Law: Adverse Possession in Kenya
Adverse possession is a doctrine under which a person in possession of land owned by someone else may acquire valid title to it, so long as certain common law requirements are met, and the adverse possessor is in possession for a sufficient period of time, as defined by a statute of limitations. The common law requirements have evolved over time and they vary between jurisdictions. Typically, for an adverse possessor to obtain title , his possession of the property must be:. A typical statute requires possession for 7 years, if under color of title , or 20 years if not.