Purbrick v Hackney London Borough Council: ChD 26 Jun 2003

The property fell into disrepair. The claimant began to use it for storage, carrying out some refurbishment. He now claimed to own the property by adverse possession.
Held: Littledale was not to be followed unless the facts were strictly on all fours. He had done all that was possible to occupy and retain possession of the premises. He was not required to demonstrate that he had intended to claim ownership of the building but only that he intended to exclude the world. That he had done. ‘ . . . it is to some extent implicit in the present law of adverse possession that an owner of property who makes no use of it whatever should be expected to keep an eye on the property to ensure that adverse possession rights are not being clocked up. A period of 12 years is a long period during which to neglect a property completely.’


Mr Justice Neuberger


Gazette 10-Jul-2003, [2004] 1 P and CR 553


England and Wales


CitedLittledale v Liverpool College CA 1900
The mere storage of items in a property was insufficient to demonstrate the necessary intention to dispossess the rightful owner. It was a mere exercise of the rights under an easement. Enclosure of land is not necessarily decisive. Lord Lindley MR . .

Cited by:

CitedTopplan Estates Ltd v David Townley CA 27-Oct-2004
The registered proprietor of land appealed a finding that the defendant had established adverse possession of their land. The claimant had occupied it as part of his farm. Originally there had been a grazing tenancy. The tenancy was terminated, and . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Limitation

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.184716