Q&As

Can a declaration of ownership of a piece of land or adverse possession in the alternative be pleaded together?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 30/10/2017

The following Property Disputes Q&A produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a declaration of ownership of a piece of land or adverse possession in the alternative be pleaded together?

Can a declaration of ownership of a piece of land or adverse possession in the alternative be pleaded together?

One of the primary remedies sought by a party wishing to assert ownership of a piece of land is declaratory relief. This is usually brought by way of a claim issued pursuant to the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996. The court has the power to declare that land is beneficially owned by a party, or owned by more than one party in specified shares. This is often a remedy sought where, for example, a property is lived in by a cohabiting couple but is registered in the sole name of one of them. Following the breakdown of the relationship, the other party may wish to assert that the legal owner holds the property on trust for both parties by way of what is known as a common intention constructive trust. Further, predominantly in the commercial rather than domestic sphere, a party who has contributed funds to a property or enterprise held in the name of another may claim an interest in that asset based upon the proportion of their contribution by way of a resulting trust.

Adverse possession is

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