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Acknowledgement of title

A person claiming adverse possession who acknowledges the paper owner's title will set time running again. This can mean that he has not run up 12 years adverse possession prior to the coming into force of the Land Registration Act 2002 (13 October 2003); or if the application is made under the provisions of that Act that he has not acquired ten years adverse possession prior to the date of the application.

This page explains the position in relation to acknowledgement. It considers ss 29 and 30 of the Limitation Act 1980 and a number of recent cases including the House of Lords decision in Ofulue v Bossert.


Limitation Act, sections 29 and 30

Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act 1980 provides that the accrual of time in relation to adverse possession starts afresh in the event of an acknowledgment of the paper owner's title "by the person in possession of the land". Section 30(1) requires such an acknowledgment to be "in writing and signed by the person making it".
    "29(1) Subsections (2) and (3) below apply where any right of action 'to recover land'has accrued.

    (2) If the person in possession of the land 'in question acknowledges the title of the person to whom the right has accrued'
      (a) the right shall be treated as having accrued on and not before the date of acknowledgment.'

    30 (1) To be effective for the purposes of section 29 of this Act, an acknowledgement must be in writing and signed by the person making it.

    (2) For the purposes of section 29, any acknowledgement'
      (a) may be made by the agent of the person to whom it is required to be made under that section; and
      (b) shall be made to the person, or to an agent of the person, whose title or claim is being acknowledged '"


Acknowledgement? The basic rule

"For a document to constitute an acknowledgment of title all that is required is that, as between himself and the owner of the paper title, the person in possession acknowledges that the paper title owner has better title to the land. Whether or not such a particular writing amounts to an acknowledgment depends on the true construction of the document in all the surrounding circumstances: Edginton v Clark [1964] 1 QB 367 (CA)." (Allen v Matthews [2007] EWCA Civ 216, see para 75 of the ju ... THIS IS AN EXTRACT OF THE FULL TEXT. TO GET THE FULL TEXT, SEE BELOW

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