Adverse possession lawyers Melbourne and Ballarat

If you believe you own land because you’ve used it for years but don’t have the title to it you may be able to claim adverse possession. Claiming or defending adverse possession can be very stressful and there are many things that you’ll need to show to prove your side of the story.

Our experienced lawyers can help you prove or defend a claim of adverse possession and give you peace of mind.

What is adverse possession

If someone has lived on your property or had access to it for a long time they may be able to claim ownership of it even though their name isn’t on the title. This is called adverse possession.

If you have adverse possession, you may be able to argue that you can’t be removed from the property. One of the most common examples of adverse possession is if someone puts a fence up that isn’t correctly on the boundary of the property. The person who has more of the property on their side of the fence may be able to claim that the extra land is now theirs because of adverse possession.

How can I make a claim of adverse possession

If you want to make a claim of adverse possession you will need to engage a surveyor to check the boundaries of the property. This will involve checking where the current borders are compared to the title, subdivision or survey plan. Surveyors are professionals and must be licensed and registered with the Surveyors Registration Board of Victoria.

If the survey confirms that you may have a claim of adverse possession you then need to apply to the Land Titles Office and prove the following:

  • That you have exclusive possession of the property; and
  • You, either alone or with other people, have had exclusive possession for at least 15 years.

If your claim is proven then the Land Titles Office may give you rights over the property.

In some situations you may also be able to claim adverse possession over an easement, which may be a path or even a sewer. But you’ll need to show that you had exclusive possession over the easement for at least 30 years.

Why MNG Lawyers

Our experienced lawyers understand what you need to show to prove or defend a claim of adverse possession and can explain it to you in plain English. They will listen to your issues and help you put together your claim or defence and represent you in discussions with the Land Titles Office, other people or in court.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many ways that you could prove that you had exclusive possession of a property including if you have:

  • Fenced the land without any objection;
  • Changed the locks without any objection;
  • Made improvements to the land; or
  • Paid rates or other charges for the land.

Generally no. You can’t claim adverse possession over land owned by a public authority, owners corporation or Crown Land.

Get in touch today, always in confidence.

We’re here to help. It’s our top priority to ensure your needs and concerns are met every step of the way.
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