Adverse Possession: How you can go from Trespasser to Property Owner (without the Stamp Duty!)

If you have been occupying land of which you are not the registered proprietor for at least 15 years (or in the case of an easement, 30 years), you may wish to engage us to prepare and file an Adverse Possession application on your behalf with Land Victoria seeking legal ownership over that land,

If you have been occupying land of which you are not the registered proprietor for at least 15 years (or in the case of an easement, 30 years), you may wish to engage us to prepare and file an Adverse Possession application on your behalf with Land Victoria seeking legal ownership over that land, perhaps with a view to defeating any other claims over it. Land Victoria requires a number of documents to be filed as evidence in support of an Adverse Possession application, including the following:

  • A completed Transfer of Land Act 1958 (Victoria) Form 60;
  • Statutory declarations from the applicant and by each prior adverse possessor (previous property owners who had occupied the subject land) for at least the last 15 years detailing, amongst other things, the exclusive and unbroken possession of the subject land;
  • A statutory declaration from at least 1 disinterested witness (usually a neighbour) establishing that they have known the land for at least 15 years and supporting the applicant’s evidence of the exclusive and unbroken possession of the subject land;
  • A letter from the relevant Council rating officer identifying the subject land and giving particulars as to who is recorded in municipal records as the rated owner/s;
  • Evidence from the applicant’s solicitor as to their diligent and thorough enquiries about the applicant’s entitlement to the subject land;
  • Evidence of the chain of previous and current property owners who have been exclusively and continually possessing the subject land for at least 15 years; and
  • Any additional evidence in the form of aerial photos of the property or a land survey of the subject land.

It is possible to successfully adversely possess an easement, such as carriageway or footpath, but the law prescribes a longer period of possession, being 30 years. There are certain types of land which cannot be claimed, which include:

  • Crown land, including government roads;
  • Land owned by the Public Transport Corporation or Victoria Rail Track;
  • Land owned by a water authority; • Land owned by the Roads Corporation, VicRoads, or any of their predecessors;
  • Land of which a Council is the registered proprietor; and • Any part of common property affected by an owners corporation by an owner of a lot affected by that owners corporation.

If you are the occupant of land to which you may have adverse possessory rights, please contact our property law team today on 9863 7621 or email your query for more information on Adverse Possession or a complimentary and frank consultation.

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