Adverse Possession Is A Method

3698 WordsJul 10, 201515 Pages
Adverse possession is a method by which a trespasser gains legal title to a property by occupying it for some time period. This kind of ownership may not be necessarily intentional, it can occur as a mistake where a deed may be faulty. Both personal and real property can be acquired by adverse possession. However, ownership of property for public use for instance school property or a highway cannot be lost through adverse possession. The history of adverse possession can be traced back to the 12th century. During this time, a squatter could prove his right to ownership of property by the act of possession. Gradually, the law has been seen to favour the squatters as opposed to the land owners. The law required that the squatter had proof that he had dispossessed the property exclusively for 60 years in order to bar a landlord’s actions. There were further developments in the Statute of Limitations restricting other rights of the landlord in 1639. A landlord’s title would expire after a squatter had dispossessed a property for 20 years exclusively. Further amendments reduced the required time period from 20 to 12 years of exclusive dispossession. The earliest codification in English law of adverse possession was the Statute of Westminster in 1275 which limited actions towards recovery of land by barring the real owners from establishing claims that were dated. Land records in early England were poor and illiteracy was high, therefore, possession was the best evidence of
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