Squatters Rights. What do you think about this story?

In London England, a tramp who lived in a makeshift shack in the corner of a city park may be cash poor, but he is land rich. When developers tried to oust the man so they could build luxury apartments, it was discovered that the law books say that the tramp is the legal owner, because he has lived there for more than 12 years. The 90 sqaure foot plot is worth about million dollars, but Harry Hallowes who survives from hand outs and odd jobs, says he wants to stay where he is. When and if he write a will, he plans to leave everything to the Royal Family. (Coffee News)
I saw this article in the Coffee News

6 Responses to “Squatters Rights. What do you think about this story?”

  1. whitefangz1 Says:

    The key element to squatter’s rights laws is that the owner of the land KNOWS that the other party is making themselves at home on the property and does nothing to have them removed for whatever period of time is specified in the law. The basic idea behind the law is that if you couldn’t be bothered to kick the person out in the past 7 years or so then it’s a little late to do it now. By letting the person stay there you are essentially giving your consent. After 7 or 10 years it can be reasonably expected that they have established themselves on the property, perhaps built up a decent home for themselves, and it would be unfair to suddenly take it away after all that time. Keep in mind we are not talking about people sneaking in and gaining legal ownership overnight. This takes almost a decade of them living there with your knowledge.

    Note to Kathy: No, it would not likely affect public housing. People in public housing pay rent. If they stop paying rent, they are evicted long before any squatter’s rights would set in.

  2. gayle g Says:

    I’m not sure of the legality of this story – you said he was living in a city park? Didn’t it belong to the City before the guy lived there?
    Why did the City allow him to live in the park 12 years – and let alone build a shack. Aren’t there regulations against building something in a City owned park? Wow – that’s quite a story = why not sell it to the developers for half the price and get one of the luxury apartments they want to build – no more handouts or odd jobs.
    But, I do want to add, a very interesting story.

  3. Daisy M Says:

    Squatter’s rights are real. In my state if a person uses my land with my knowledge and I do not stop him or make a contract with him then after a certain period of time he has squatter’s rights. On the other hand if I own land miles away or if in a woods a squatter lives on my land and I have no knowledge of it, then he cannot claim squatter’s rights.

  4. Katy Can But Doesn't Says:

    That is absolutely ridiculous, I mean, does that include people living in public housing??!!??

    Squatter laws are ridiculous though, I worked in real estate and the laws to get a squatter out of your empty house can be just as hard if not harder and have more of a ‘grey area’ than when you are having a bad tenant removed through the courts.

  5. Knochen Schinken Says:

    We have similar squatters rights laws here in the US, although I think the duration varies quite a bit from one state to another (10 to 20 years). We inherited a lot of goofy precedents from the Brits. But we don’t have a lucky royal family to leave everything to, unless you count the Kennedy family or the Clintons.

  6. liberal48 Says:

    Squatter’s rights do not apply against land owned by the government in the US. I suspect the same is true in the UK.