Intention to possess so far as the law allows

In England (unlike Hong Kong it seems) a squatter can still have an intention to possess even though he gives evidence to acknowledge that if called on to do so he would have paid rent and that during the limitation period he could have been evicted (and even expected to be evicted). There is no need to prove an intention to possess for the duration of the limitation period.

In Lambeth v Blackburn ([2001] EWCA Civ 912, CA (Eng)) B broke the padlock on a flat owned by Lambeth Council and replaced it with his own yale lock. He improved the flat over the years and used it as his home. There was clear possession but was there intention to possess? In giving evidence, B had acknowledged that: he thought his occupation was going to be temporary because the Council would evict him; that he would have paid rent if demanded; and that he would have been obliged to co-operate or negotiate with them if they had required him to do so. None of these admissions, however, led to th conclusion that he had no intention to possess. The admissions were perfectly compatible with the requirements of an intention to possess explained in Powell v McFarlane  and Buckinghamshire County Council v Moran.


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