Adverse Possession

Land Law – Assignment No 1.

Advise Alfred.

  The area of law which Alfred’s situation concerns is adverse possession. Adverse possession can be defined as “occupation of land in a manner intentionally inconsistent with the rights of the person entitled to it and without his permission[1]”.

The doctrine of adverse possession under Paragraph 1 (1) Schedule 6 of the Land Registration Act 2002 provides Alfred with the necessary catalyst he requires to commence a claim for the strip of land. However he must provide evidence to support that he was in adverse possession for over 10 years.

Adverse possession is a question of fact and is not always an easy matter to decide.

Buckinghamshire County Council v Moran (1989)[2] provides that Alfred must provide that both factual possession and a requisite intention to possess are evident in his situation if he is to acquire title to the land through adverse possession.

Factual possession provides that Alfred must establish an appropriate degree of physical control over Brenda’s land, in order to be regarded in adverse possession of it.[3] In order to establish whether or not an appropriate degree of physical control has been exercised over the land, the courts will apply an objective test, which relates to the nature and quality of the land in question.[4] In applying this objective test in Seddon v Smith (1877)[5]; Cockburn CJ recognized that ‘Enclosure is the strongest possible evidence of adverse possession’ i.e. that fencing is always good evidence of possession. It could be considered therefore that the fence which had been in place dividing the boundaries between Brenda’s and Alfred’s house, is there to exclude others (including Brenda) from trespassing on the land in question. However, it’s important to advise Alfred that in Wata-Ofei v. Danquah[6], it was stressed that acts required to take possession of the land will vary depending upon the land in question. Therefore I would not encourage Alfred to...