Adverse possession Q&A


Generally, a party with title to an estate in land can recover possession of the estate from a subsequent ‘squatter’. Title, however, may be lost as a result of adverse possession by squatters for a sufficient and continuous period of time.
The question answered here requires students to consider whether there has been a sufficient period of adverse possession to satisfy the requirements of the registered title system and, in the alternative, the unregistered system, on facts which involve not one but two consecutive squatters.

The answer applies the law on matters such as:

  • whether possession by squatters can be established, and when
  • when the possession is or is not adverse
  • what might interrupt a period of possession
  • what are the effects of adverse possession under the different statutory regimes (in outline)
  • whether a change in squatter interrupts the continuity of adverse possession against the paper owner, or whether the new squatter’s possession can just be added to that of the former

Furthermore, since the second squatter has dispossessed the first squatter (as opposed to possession having been consensually transferred), we consider the effects of adverse possession on the title of the first squatter as well as on that of the paper owner.

Lecturer: Gianni Vuolo

Duration: 32 minutes (approx)

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