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Adverse Possession

Generally, where a person/s remains in possession of land for a period of time, usually 15 years or more then that person may have acquired ownership of the land albeit the fact they do not officially own that part of the land. This is referred to as Adverse Possession.

Adverse Possession prevents someone who has used land for a long period of time, believing it to his/her land, from being ejected by someone who discovers a technical defect relating to the original boundaries.

A typical example is where a fence is incorrectly placed inside the proper boundary of a property. The properties on either side of the boundary may have been sold numerous times before someone discovers the mistake. The owner of the land that has “lost” because of the mistake, cannot now force the owner of the land that has “gained” to move the fence back to the original boundary. Although nowadays with the improvements in surveying techniques this is a rare occurrence Adverse Possession can be identified in older properties being transferred. Melbourne Conveyancing Lawyers can assist you with the assistance of qualified Land Surveyors in identifying whether the land you are buying or selling may be subject to issues surrounding Adverse Possession. Call us today!