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anonguest

Squatting To Ownership

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This is just one, of many, varied property related questions/puzzles that occassionally pass my mind or by way of conversations, etc. - and I mean to get round to posting here to canvas opinions and thoughts..........

Much is made of the issue of, apparently, large numbers of 'empty' and/or seemingly 'abandoned' properties all over the country - and thesupposed social injustice, etc, etc etc etc.

Putting aside the (rightly important!) moral issues, various objections, etc - purely as a hypothetical I recall reading/being told that there is/are various established law(s) that apparently grant legal ownership to a person IF they have taken over such a property and prove they have lived in it for a certain amount of time (dont remember how many years).

Today, on my way home, this issue was once again rekindled in my brain when I drove past such an apprently abandoned house that I last saw in such condition 3 years ago!

Obviously it would be better for one to get some background info first on the property - before 'investing' time and money into such a 'venture'. How long has it been like this? Does anyone (e.g neighbours) even know who owns it? How does one go about taking forceful possession without getting arrested (i.e get in and change the locks, etc)? AND does this 'idea' only apply to abandoned urban property (whether house or flat) - could it also apply to more rural land that have only some rudimentary (albeit derelict) dwellings on them.

Does one actually have to make the personal sacrifice to live in such properties? or can one just 'gamble' the money to pay to have utilities reconnected (e.g gas, water, electricity, etc) and use this documentation a a later date to claim ownership?

Just some Friday evening musings.........

Edited by anonguest

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I know one person personally who is now the legal owner of a ex-squat similar to your description. The house in question is a smallish 2-3 bed cottage with a bit of land in , very, rural mid-Wales. The building was in very poor condition when first squatted. IIRC the squat had to be continually occupied (unchallenged by previous owner) for a minimum of seven years. Interestingly it did not have to have been occupied by the same person for all that time, the person I know was the last of a long line of squatters there.

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I know one person personally who is now the legal owner of a ex-squat similar to your description. The house in question is a smallish 2-3 bed cottage with a bit of land in , very, rural mid-Wales. The building was in very poor condition when first squatted. IIRC the squat had to be continually occupied (unchallenged by previous owner) for a minimum of seven years. Interestingly it did not have to have been occupied by the same person for all that time, the person I know was the last of a long line of squatters there.

Hmmmmmm..... interesting.

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I wouldn't know personally though I imagine there would be a number of anarchist websites out there which would provide a step-by-step guide.

The Law has changed recently following one of London's councils losing a £1M+ house to a squatter who acquired title to the property by adverse possesion.

The law depends if the property is registered at the Land Registy or the title remains unregistered i.e proved by deed.

Most (residential) land is now registered.

If the Property is registered at the Land Registy it is almost impossible to acquire the title through adverse possesion as the Land Registy is now required to serve notice on the freeholder to see if they object to the "squatter" acquiring their land!!

If the title is unregistered then the old rules apply in that the title will be transferred to the squatter after 12 years of unhindered and exclusive use of the property.

In other words - it will almost be impossible now to acquire title to a house this way!

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This is just one, of many, varied property related questions/puzzles that occassionally pass my mind or by way of conversations, etc. - and I mean to get round to posting here to canvas opinions and thoughts..........

Much is made of the issue of, apparently, large numbers of 'empty' and/or seemingly 'abandoned' properties all over the country - and thesupposed social injustice, etc, etc etc etc.

Putting aside the (rightly important!) moral issues, various objections, etc - purely as a hypothetical I recall reading/being told that there is/are various established law(s) that apparently grant legal ownership to a person IF they have taken over such a property and prove they have lived in it for a certain amount of time (dont remember how many years).

Today, on my way home, this issue was once again rekindled in my brain when I drove past such an apprently abandoned house that I last saw in such condition 3 years ago!

Obviously it would be better for one to get some background info first on the property - before 'investing' time and money into such a 'venture'. How long has it been like this? Does anyone (e.g neighbours) even know who owns it? How does one go about taking forceful possession without getting arrested (i.e get in and change the locks, etc)? AND does this 'idea' only apply to abandoned urban property (whether house or flat) - could it also apply to more rural land that have only some rudimentary (albeit derelict) dwellings on them.

Does one actually have to make the personal sacrifice to live in such properties? or can one just 'gamble' the money to pay to have utilities reconnected (e.g gas, water, electricity, etc) and use this documentation a a later date to claim ownership?

Just some Friday evening musings.........

Google rights of ownership via Adverse Possession.

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I wouldn't know personally though I imagine there would be a number of anarchist websites out there which would provide a step-by-step guide.

:lol::lol::lol::lol: Surely "anarchism" is somewhat at odds with the notion of "legal" possession?

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it's equally impossible to enforce nearly 2 million empty properties with 80,000 police. :)

And it only takes one land registrar to say "no" to your application and you won't get registered as the proprietor.

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And it only takes one land registrar to say "no" to your application and you won't get registered as the proprietor.

why on Earth would you want to be registered as the proprietor?

just squat. if evicted, find one of the other 1,999,999 empty houses. there'll probably be one with walking distance of your previous squat!

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why on Earth would you want to be registered as the proprietor?

just squat. if evicted, find one of the other 1,999,999 empty houses. there'll probably be one with walking distance of your previous squat!

It was the whole point of the thread.

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Arghhh, squatting.

Hearing that takes me back to happier carefree days.

I always get a nostalgia moment when I hear the word, squat.

Please, pass me the tissues, I'm getting emotional.

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You must be aware that squatter's rights don't just exist to houses. English (and Welsh) land law encouraged adverse possession because it allowed otherwise "lost" pieces of land to become owned again.

There are certain requirements eg in most cases the land must be enclosed and worked by yourself with no acknowledgement of title to anyone else. Whilst most people think of grabbing a derelict house, in many cases people just incorporate that odd bit off land at the bottom of the garden.

The 12 year law only applies to certain unregistered land, from memory the water board (soz old name) , prince of wales and the coal board are notable exceptions.

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The Law has changed recently following one of London's councils losing a £1M+ house to a squatter who acquired title to the property by adverse possesion.

The law depends if the property is registered at the Land Registy or the title remains unregistered i.e proved by deed.

Most (residential) land is now registered.

If the Property is registered at the Land Registy it is almost impossible to acquire the title through adverse possesion as the Land Registy is now required to serve notice on the freeholder to see if they object to the "squatter" acquiring their land!!

If the title is unregistered then the old rules apply in that the title will be transferred to the squatter after 12 years of unhindered and exclusive use of the property.

In other words - it will almost be impossible now to acquire title to a house this way!

It will work if the Freeholder can't be found. If they are registered as living at the squat, then you have a good chance.

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It will work if the Freeholder can't be found. If they are registered as living at the squat, then you have a good chance.

The dilemma is ... if you have been living in a squat for 12 years, then if you apply for adverse posession, the land registry will notify the freeholder who will then be obliged to evict you if they don't they will lose their land. On the other hand, if you don't try for adverse posession then you may be able to continue squatting for another 12 years or more.

The government also changed the law so that squatters can be evicted without going to court. The would-be occupier just has to obtain a notorised form stating that they require posession of the property. They can then send the heavies round to throw the squatter out of the property.

Edited by subspace

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The government also changed the law so that squatters can be evicted without going to court. The would-be occupier just has to obtain a notorised form stating that they require posession of the property. They can then send the heavies round to throw the squatter out of the property.

Ah.... that bit doesnt appeal to me!

Thats why I mentioned my thoughts about not even living in such a house permanently - just pay the costs of 'ownership', e.g electricity bill, phone bill, council tax, etc. to subsequently 'prove' my adverse possession. This way one would just pop in periodically/show your face to the neighbours and check all is still OK. That way IF the heavies had arrived I wouldnt be at the receiving end!

Last night, after driving past a mentioned previously noticed obviously long empty house, I had quaint images in my mind of me working up the cajones to sneak round there change the locks on the front door, turn up next day dressed reasonably smartly and cool as a cucumber telling any enquiring neighbour that I am the sole beneficiary of my long lost great aunties house - after being found by the executors, etc.

Then spend a little effort doing up the front garden, front of the house (so it doesnt look like an eyesore to the neighbours anymore), and start the clock ticking towards taking legal possession down the line.

Oh well. One can but dream.......... :D

Edited by anonguest

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The squatters 2 streets down from me got turfed out a couple of weeks ago sadly, I thought they would last a lot longer. So that council house can be empty for another 4 years.

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The squatters 2 streets down from me got turfed out a couple of weeks ago sadly, I thought they would last a lot longer. So that council house can be empty for another 4 years.

But that was a council house? So not really a good comparison with my devilishly fiendish scheme to mint a small fortune - as I am talking about privately owned properties.

That said, point taken about the waste that is inherent in council bureaucracy. :(

Edited by anonguest

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This is not a flippant post.

I'm lucky enough to have an Assured Tenancy with a HA. I've always said to myself that if for whatever reason I lost this security of tenure, I'd simply squat in one of the number of empty properties, and have been empty for years, that are in my immediate neighbourhood.

No qualms.

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But that was a council house? So not really a good comparison with my devilishly fiendish scheme to mint a small fortune - as I am talking about privately owned properties.

That said, point taken about the waste that is inherent in council bureaucracy. :(

I wonder if squatting land is do-able - live on it in a caravan? I heard tell of someone who did this, got ownership and built a caravan park there. Isn't this what travellers do?

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This is not a flippant post.

I'm lucky enough to have an Assured Tenancy with a HA. I've always said to myself that if for whatever reason I lost this security of tenure, I'd simply squat in one of the number of empty properties, and have been empty for years, that are in my immediate neighbourhood.

No qualms.

Plus one, so I was sad to see our recent squatters only last a couple of months. We are in Westminster though, other boroughs might not be so fast (ie Lambeth).

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