In this essay, I will examine
two main legal issues: adverse possession which is relevant to the strip of
land belonging to Goodneighbours and formalities of land contracts relevant to
the purchase of Westwing.

Adverse possession can
be defined as “the occupation of land to which another person has title, with
the intention of possessing it as one’s own”1.  There are three main requirements that a
squatter must fulfil in order to achieve adverse possession. There must be “corpus
possessionis” or factual possession, “animus possidendi” or intention to
possess and the possession must be adverse.2
According to Land Registration Act 2002 the minimum period that one needs to
occupy a part of land, in order to have a claim on it, is 10 years. In Donald’s
case, there are issues that are to be dealt with. Firstly, the fact that this
strip of land is on the border with Donald’s neighbours should be analysed.

There are some requirements : “that the land of the applicant is adjacent to that to which 
the claim relates that the exact boundary has not been determined and
that the land to which the application relates has been registered for more
than a year.”3  The last criterion is whether “the applicant reasonably
believed that the land … belonged to him”.4
In the case of Zarb v Parry  the
Court of Appeal  held that  the applicant’s belief was reasonable and his
claim succeeded.5
In the case of Donald, the fact that he was “disturbed to discover that the
strip of land belonged to the neighbors” and the fact that Vladimir never
mentioned it, should count for a “reasonable belief” that he owned the place.

It is almost certain that Donald will get the strip of land eventually.

Not only did he believe that it was his, but for ten consecutive years, he also
planted bushes along the entire length of the strip and he
chose plants that he believed would deter Michael’s cats from fouling the strip
of land.

1 Jonathan Law, A
Dictionary Of Law (8th edn, Oxford University Press 2015). 24

2 Mark P Thompson and
Martin George, Thompson’s Modern Land Law.  234-236

3 Martin Dixon, Modern
Land Law (10th edn, Routledge). 480

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.


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