A squatter can take possession by granting a lease

A squatter can be in possession of land even when not physically present on it by granting a lease of it. The squatter is in possession through the tenant.

In Cheung Yat Fuk v Tang Tak Hong ([2004] 2 HKLRD 86, CFA) C was the registered owner of agricultural land in the New Territories. T entered the land as a squatter in 1960 and remained there for seven years. Then he granted a lease of the land. The tenant remained there for 30 years. T then sought a declaration to the effect that C’s title had been extinguished by virtue of section 17 of the Limitation Ordinance. The CFA held that a squatter can be in possession by granting a lease and granted the declaration that was sought.

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