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Adverse possession and registered land (Dowse v Bradford MBC)

Published on: 24 July 2020
Published by: LexisPSL
  • Adverse possession and registered land (Dowse v Bradford MBC)
  • What are the practical implications of this case?
  • What was the background?
  • What did the court decide?
  • Case details

Article summary

Property analysis: The Land Registration Act 2002 (LRA 2002) radically changed the law of adverse possession in relation to registered land. Although it allows an applicant to apply to be registered as proprietor after only ten years’ adverse possession, the current registered proprietor can generally resist the application as long as the correct process set out in LRA 2002 is followed. One of the exceptions to this, however, is where the land in question was adjacent to land belonging to the applicant, the exact boundary line between the two had not been determined and the applicant had reasonably believed that the land had belonged to them. In this case, an attempt to rely on this exception to claim title to about two acres of land failed. The judge ruled that this exception only applies to cases where there is uncertainty about the position of the general boundary between two pieces of land. In doing so, he gave effect to the policy behind LRA 2002 to limit the circumstances in which a squatter can acquire title to registered land. Written by David Harris, professional development lawyer, at Browne Jacobson LLP. or take a trial to read the full analysis.

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