Adverse possession is the process in which someone squatting or occupying land, which they are not entitled to, can become the legal owner of that land. If the occupier or squatter occupies the land continuously for a set number of years the land may become theirs. They must show, that for the requisite time period, that they have factual possession, intention to possess and are on the land without the true owner’s consent
The law in this area is not straightforward, there are two regimes currently running in tandem in England and Wales for unregistered and registered land as well as transitional provisions. From 1 December 1990, it became compulsory to register land in England and Wales when legal ownership was being transferred. The registration involves registering the deeds with HM Land Registry, who will hold the Title Register and a plan of the land with a unique title number. As land transactions occur, gradually, all land will become registered.