Pensioner Colin Curtis lost the rights to his mother’s house this month, despite a change in the law in September 2012 which made squatting a criminal offence.
Mr Curtis made a claim to take back control of the house from a Mr. Best who claimed adverse possession, having occupied the house since 1997. The house had been empty after Mr Curtis’ mother died, and Mr Curtis had moved out.
Judge Elizabeth Cooke denied Mr Curtis’ claim as he was not the registered administrator of his mother’s estate and thus had no right to claim.
Sadly, as a result, Mr. Curtis will not only lose his inheritance, but may well have to pay Mr Best’s legal costs, amounting to £37,000, as well as his own. To do this he may well have so sell his own house.
For Land Registry guidance on Adverse Possession, click here.
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