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Adverse Possession Notes

Irish BCL Notes > Irish Land Law Notes

This is an extract of our Adverse Possession document, which we sell as part of our Irish Land Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Trinity College Dublin students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Irish Land Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:




In the case of land, the expiry of the limitation period for the bringing of an action will extinguish the owner's title to the land. JA Pye Oxford v England (EctHR) -

* extinguishment of title had been found incompatible by the court of human rights

* the Grand Chamber found that social and economic conditions may afford a reasonable basis for attributing greater weight to the fact of possession rather than registration.

* The reregistration is not an act of expropriation but a codification of the previous legal position.

* The legislation was well known to the applicant companies.

* The need for compensation following a limitation period would undermine the purpose of the limitation Parliamentary Conveyance Theory






At one time it was thought that whatever estate had been enjoyed by the dispossessed landowner was transferred to the squatter by the Statute. Rankin v McMurtry - Theory accepted in Ireland. Holmes J suggested as an alternative that the squatter should merely be regarded as holding anew the same interest in the land as had been extinguished. Parliamentary Conveyance theory provided a tidy solution where the dispossessed owner was a lessee - the squatter would become a lessee with all the covenants intact and the dispossessed lessee was freed from those obligations Tichborne v Weir (CA) - parliamentary conveyance theory rejected. Squatters could not be sued upon a covenant as the dispossessed lessee's title was destroyed rather than transferred. Perry v Woodfarm Homes (SC)

* Parliamentary Conveyance Theory rejected, except in respect of registered land.

* A squatter who has gained adverse possession against a lessee has obtained a right of possession subject to the terms of the lease.

* This is because the lease continues to exist independently of the lessee's title to it. Animus Possidendi



s.18 Statute of Limitations

* No right of action to recover land shall be deemed to accrue unless the land is in the possession (in this section referred to as adverse possession) of some person in whose favour the period of limitation can run.

* For the purposes of this section: A) possession of any land subject to a rentcharge by a person (other than the person entitled to the rentcharge) who does not pay the rentcharge shall be deemed to be in adverse possession shall be deemed to be in adverse possession of the rentcharge, B) receipt of the conventional rent under a lease by a person wrongfully claiming to be entitled to the land in reversion immediately expectant on the determination of the lease shall be deemed to be in adverse possession of the land. Leigh v Jack (CA)

* If the land is incapable of being used and enjoyed there cannot be discontinuance of possession by an absence of its use and enjoyment

* A squatter must use the land in manner inconsistent with the owner's

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