Mount Carmel Investments Limited v Peter Thurlow Limited: CA 1988

The court considered a defence to an assertion of adverse possession, that the plaintiff had given notice of his intention to recover the land: ‘no one, either lawyer or non-lawyer, would think that a householder ceases to be in possession of his house simply by reason of receiving a demand that he should quit.
On the owner’s argument time starts to run afresh by making a demand for possession. That is in flat contradiction to the long-recognised position and the statutory scheme where a squatter is in possession of another’s land. Unless the squatter vacates or gives a written acknowledgment to the owner, the owner has to issue his writ within the prescribed time limit. Otherwise he is barred, because by section 15(1) he is barred from bringing any action to recover the land after the expiration of the 12-year period.’
‘We do not accept that, in a case where one person is in possession of property, and another is not, the mere sending and receipt of a letter by which delivery up of possession is demanded, can have the effect in law for limitation purposes that the recipient of the letter ceases to be in possession and the sender of the letter acquires possession.’
‘If recovery of land is time-barred by adverse possession the right to recover mesne profits is lost, just as is the right to recover rent’


Nicholl LJ


[1988] 1 WLR 1078, [1988] 3 All ER 129


Land Registration Act 1925 15(1) 75(1)


England and Wales


AppliedIn Re Jolly CA 1900
Mrs Jolly let a farm to her son who paid rent until 1881, but not thereafter, and her title to the farm was extinguished in 1893. She died in 1898. The question which arose was whether at her death any rent arrears remained due.
Held: The . .

Cited by:

CitedMarkfield Investments Ltd v Evans CA 9-Nov-2000
The claimants were paper owners of land occupied by the defendant. The claimant said the acquiescence had been interrupted by an abortive court action by the claimant’s predecessor in title.
Held: With regard to any particular action the . .
CitedCrown Estate Commissioners v Roberts and Another ChD 13-Jun-2008
The defendant claimed ownership as Lord Marcher of St Davids of historical rights in foreshores in Pembrokeshire. The claimants sought removal of his cautions against first registration.
Held: Lewison J explored the history of manorial . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Limitation

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.197882