When a squatter acknowledges the title of the formal paper title owner

Sections 23 and 24 of the Limitation Ordinance (Cap 347) provide that a squatter’s written acknowledgement of the title of the person entitled to bring possession proceedings will start the limitation period running again.

Browne v Perry ([1991] 1 WLR 1297, PC) was an appeal to the Privy Council from the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal of Antigua and Bermuda. B and P owned adjoining parcels of land. B, by mistake, built a house on P’s land in 1972.  In 1983 she orally acknowledged P’s title to the land. She nevertheless succeeded in her adverse possession defence to P’s action for possession. The acknowledgement had to be in writing if it was to start time running again for the purposes of a limitation defence.

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