How Do Claiming Adverse Possession Of The Land That Hasn’t Been Registered

August 6, 2021    propertylawyersperthwide
How Do Claiming Adverse Possession Of The Land That Hasn’t Been Registered

Under squatter laws, a property developer was recently awarded a family home in Sydney by the Supreme Court of New South Wales. Here we discuss how you can claim adverse possession of land in Western Australia.

What Is Meant By Adverse Possession?

It is an ancient legal doctrine where a person or individual trespasses on land that another individual owns. The person who trespasses is termed ‘adverse possessor.’ They may claim the title of the land to their names if they satisfy the specific law and statutory requirements.

When adverse possession is established on land, the rights of the authorized proprietor get terminated. It means that the adverse possessor has an interest in the piece of land that will defeat all the subsequent strata titles.

How Can You Claim Adverse Possession In Western Australia?

In the state of Western Australia, if an individual occupies a piece of land owned by another person for more than 12 years against the authorized proprietor’s wish on the Certificate of Title, the person or the adverse possessor will be eligible to apply to the Commissioner of Titles to get the land transferred to their names. For professional guidance, you can get in touch with a qualified adverse possession claims lawyer.

If you want your claim to become successful, you should meet the following criteria.

Actual Possession

If you are the adverse possessor, you should take the actual possession. It means that you have to occupy the land physically and act as the one who owns this property.

Continued And Uninterrupted Possession

Secondly, you should have uninterrupted and continued possession. It means that you have to live on the possessed land continuously. Occasional occupancy of the land combined with several inactivity periods will not satisfy this specific criterion. However, you can accumulate time through different yet consistent adverse occupiers to equate to the minimum limitation period of 12 years. But in that case, the most recent possessor will only be eligible to apply for the title.

Hostile And Exclusive Possession

Possession should also be exclusive and hostile. It means that the possession by the adverse occupier is without the legal owner’s permission and thus excluding the lawful owner from using the property.

Open And Notorious Possession

In the final stage, the adverse occupier should have notorious and open possession that requires visible and obvious use of the piece of land. Here we discuss the example as mentioned above of the property developer in Sydney in detail. The person was granted ownership rights for a piece of land by the Supreme Court of New South Wales because of the following reasons.

  • The registered proprietor had died a long way back, and as there was no will, the property was left abandoned.
  • The property developer entered the property and started spending costs on renovation works like changing locks and other repair works. All these improvement works had cost him a tremendous amount of money.
  • After some weeks of his first entry into the property, he signed a property lease as its landlord and paid all the necessary outgoings, like water, land tax, and council rates.
  • Then, after many years, under the vital ‘squatter’ laws, he had applied under the specific section of the relevant act to erase the original title of the deceased registered proprietor.
  • Though the deceased proprietor’s plaintiffs had tried to stop the action, their claim was unsuccessful. The reason is that the person had been able to meet the relevant criteria to claim adverse possession that was enough to make the Justice satisfied.

What Is The Difference Between Private And Government Land?

You will need to have an exclusive and uninterrupted possession for 12 years until an exception occurs for private land. Moreover, an individual cannot take Crown land using adverse possession. If you need help, you can look for the best adverse possession lawyers.

Exceptions Do Occur

If the registered proprietor has a particular disability form or the absence of any form of disability cannot be proven when the commencement of the possession, the minimum required period for adverse possession will be 30 years.

What Can The Landowners Do To Prevent Adverse Possession?

The example we had discussed here is a little harsh. The adverse possessor did take possession of the property pretty boldly. However, adverse possession can also occur in gentler ways, and landowners may take specific steps to reduce risks. For the proper guidance, experienced and qualified property dispute lawyers in Perth will be the best option for you.

However, we discuss some steps that landowners generally follow to protect their registered lands from getting adversely possessed.

  • First of all, they can come and inspect their lands regularly. They will want to make sure whether any incursions have occurred on the land or not. Besides visiting and inspection, they also maintain proper records of those inspections.
  • If you start living on their land, they will create an investigation on when it first happened. For detailed information, they establish contacts with the previous owners and discuss with neighbouring property and landowners. They do it to bring out valuable information. Sometimes, they choose to see historical aerial photographs, though they offer limited assistance most of the time as they depict the situation of a specific day and time.
  • If the landowner finds that you have entered their land, they may take legal steps to remove you. They may write to you or issue relevant possession proceedings with the help of their property lawyer.
  • If there occurs any dispute regarding the boundary of the properties, they will seek to get a report from the boundary surveyor.

Final Words

For both adverse possessors and landowners, hiring a property lawyer will be the practical step to take. Property Lawyers In Perth is a top-ranked law firm whom you can ask for associations with a qualified property lawyer.

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