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The term adverse possession often paints a hostile picture of squatters occupying land that is not t
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The term adverse possession often paints a hostile picture of squatters occupying land that is not theirs. However this is quite rarely the case. Adverse possession may arise when someone is in occupation of land, which they believe to be theirs, or is unaware that a lease has ended, and there has been no legal action to try and rectify their innocent mistake. The scope for adverse possession comes from the Limitation Act of 1980 and has been more recently altered by the Land Registration Act 2002.
So the question is raised as to when it is that the time starts to run. It was identified in M'Donnell v M'Kinty1 that the time starts to run as soon as there has been a discontinuance or dispossession of the land by the adverse possessor. Discontinuance is when the true owner is said to have abandoned the land as opposed to dispossession where the intruder drives the true owner out of possession2. The years can be cumulative, so the successor can claim adverse possession even if he has only accrued half of the requisite years himself. It is important to note here that in order for a successor to benefit from
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