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Celebrity Couple Problem.

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Adverse Possession Seminar Celebrity Couple Problem Question In order to accurately asses the legal standing of the parties involved in this scenario we must look at the principles of adverse possession and their effect on the facts of this particular case. Adverse possession can be defined, as any possession that has been taken that is not consistent to the title of the true owner.1 Adverse possession can lead to the legal title of the true owner being voided and passed to the squatter where they will acquire a legal title through being in possession. There are a number of factors, which have to be satisfied in relation to a legitimate claim for adverse possession and theses will be discussed in relation to the facts of the case in hand. The squatter must establish possession over a period of 12 years; this possession must be continuous over that period. The couple in question purchased and moved into the house in 1990.


In our scenario the elderly couple are clearly not in occupation of the pool house, pool, or the tennis court. The fact they are termed as "disused" would lead you to believe they have not been taken care of in terms of up keep and or regular use. However there is an exception that the true owner must have the physical/ mental ability to posses the land and to find out whether or the land is being possessed. Here it is stated that the true owners are old, housebound and their property is a large country estate. One could therefore argue that due to their physical limitation they were unable to occupy their land or find out if their property was being adversely possessed. The counter argument to this would be a large country estate usually would have a significant number of staff eg. Grounds men/gardeners who would be able to carry out the necessary work or ascertain if squatters were present. There must be an intention to "exclude the owner as well as other people" Powel v McFarlane (1977.)


(Here the celebrity couple may wish to reiterate their argument of future intentions and preparation of the land. Wallis Catton Bay Holiday Camp v Shell-Mex and BP Ltd (1975.)Farming of land deemed to be sufficient. Secondly the act of excluding the owner as well as other people may be seen as unfulfilled. The access to this field was at no point cut off. The fact the field is bordered on one edge by a public road with a "discontinuous hedge," means it is/was not, at any point, exclusive of the true owner or any other person who wishes to wander through a gap In the hedge and therefore no right can be acquired. It would be for the judge to decide upon the points of contention raised in the arguments above and to take into consideration the abilities, action and intention of each of the parties whether or not adverse possession would be granted in each of the two cases. 1 The law of real Property D Bell pp337

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