An offer to purchase the paper owner’s interest, even if made ‘subject to contract’, can be a sufficient acknowledgement of his title to defeat a claim for adverse possession. Upjohn LJ said: ‘If a man makes an offer to purchase freehold property, even though the offer be subject to contract, he is quite clearly saying that as between himself and the person to whom he makes the offer he realises that the latter has the better title, and that would seem to be the plainest possible form of acknowledgment.’ However, ‘it is not possible to lay down any general rule as to what constitutes an acknowledgment’. Whether any particular form of words amounts to an acknowledgement depends on the true construction of the document in all the surrounding circumstances.
 1 QB 367
England and Wales
Cited – Tower Hamlets v Barrett and Another CA 19-Jul-2005
The defendant tenants appealed an order for them to surrender possession of land which they claimed had been acquired by adverse possession. The buildings, including one which shared a party wall with the building owned by the defendants had been . .
Cited – Allen v Matthews CA 13-Mar-2007
The defendants appealed an order refusing title by adverse possession to registered land. They denied that the limitation period had been restarted by their solicitor’s letter acknowledging the title.
Held: The letter must be read as a whole. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 10 May 2022; Ref: scu.228933