How Long Before I Can Claim Land As My Own?

Mail On Sunday – By Ross Clark

I have been trying to get adverse possession of a fenced-off piece of land at the bottom of my garden since I bought my house in 1981. The land was owned by a development company that was dissolved in 1991 and the title vested in the Treasurer’s solicitor. Do I have to wait 30 years?

Normally, a squatter must possess land for 12 years before claiming ownership under adverse possession.

Making a claim has been made more difficult since 2002  –  squatters have to inform the landowner of their intention to claim possession. But if you had already been squatting for the qualifying period before 2002  –  if you enclosed the land before 1990 and have occupied it ever since  –  this will not be necessary.

You will not be able to claim the land if you have ever rented it from the landowner. Find out more at the Land Registry website,