Ex tenant gets squatter’s title

A tenant cannot normally claim a squatters’ title from occupying land under a lease because it occupies the land with the Landlord’s consent and pays rent. Doing all that is consistent with the Landlord still owning the land.

In Mitchell v Watkinson (2013) the cricket club’s lease was unwritten when the last of the landlord trustees died in 1974 and rent ceased to be collected off the club soon afterwards. As the lease was unwritten the 12 years’ rent free occupation needed to claim a freehold by adverse possession started then and as that 12 year period was completed before the provisions of the Land Registration Act 2002 came into force the club did not have to worry about the restrictions it placed on such claims being made against registered freehold ownerships such as the landlord’s here.