type of claim indicates that insuring the property for all the length of the possession does amount to an act of possession.
Even slight acts of ownership by the true owner over the property during the 12-year period will negate possession.
In one case here, the landowner only visited it on a number of occasions each year when he would park his car and stand on the road or in the gateway looking over the hedge or gate.
The judge in that case decided that because the owner’s legal title extended to the centre of the road they were in fact standing on their own land each time.
It is significant that the farmer using the land has erected a fence around it as this could indicate his intention to exclude others from use of the land including the rightful owner and therefore assist in a potential claim of adverse possession.
Protecting Against A Claim
If you have land which is being used by another person and is in their control, by having a lease/license in place and renewed from time to time for which you receive even a very small rent, you could ensure that the occupier is a tenant and tenants cannot claim adverse possession.
If someone is in occupation or use of a part of your land without your permission and without a lease/license in place you should serve an eviction notice. However, it is not sufficient to issue an eviction notice and take no further action, you should follow up on this.
If a squatter acknowledges the title of the true owner during the 12-year period, it stops the clock and the squatter will have to start a fresh period of occupation.
It is for the squatter to prove their claim and it is a matter for the court or the land registry to decide whether title has been established. Claims for adverse possession/squatter’s rights are complex and require individual and considered legal advice.