As members of an association where the primary focus of your sport concerns the land it is played on, the law of Adverse Possession could highlight rights and risks you didn’t know the club had.
Thursday 7th of September 2017 11:57
Adverse Possession in simple terms, is becoming the registered owner of land or property through continued use and occupation of it and is often referred to as ‘squatter’s rights’.
There are of course criteria which must be met before H. M. Land Registry will register someone as owner of a piece of land they have neither purchased nor inherited. The Land Registration Act 2002 sets out the criteria where the land in question is already registered.
If the registered proprietor of a piece of land discontinues their possession and the land in question is being adversely possessed, after 10 years, that person has a right to apply to be registered as the legal owner of the land. The original owner’s rights will be lost.
There may be a piece of land which springs to mind which the club uses but is not owner of. You may be able to claim ownership of that land where the criteria are satisfied. You should also consider whether there may be any valid adverse possession claims over club land. Neighbouring properties for example, may have extended the boundaries of their property without your consent and within the boundary of your course. If they have been using that land as their own for over 10 years, they may be able to claim ownership of it through adverse possession. You should ensure that someone is responsible for surveying and maintaining the perimeters of your land regularly to reduce this risk.