What is adverse possession?The doctrine of adverse possession, allows third parties claim to a right over land (to which they originally had no legal title to) which they have occupied continuously for over 12 years with the intention of excluding all others including the true owner (also commonly known as “Squatters Rights”). If a squatter enjoys adverse and exclusive possession of the land for over 12 years, which is inconsistent with the title of the true owner, then he or she may oust that owner and gain title.
The essence of the doctrine of adverse possession is that the legal owner has a right of action to recover the land from the person in occupation. If that the right of action was not exercised within the period of time allowed (12 years) then that right of action is barred by law and the rights/estate in favour of that person are extinguished. It is this extinguished estate or interest that the Squatter is applying to acquire.