Adverse possession: land in Tung Chung

Fan Chi Ping v Lei Wing Long ([2012] HKEC 1098, CFI) was a simple adverse possession case. The plaintiff was born in 1945. At that time his parents farmed land in Tung Chung including the land that was the subject matter of this application. The plaintiff’s grandfather had cultivated the land since the late 19th century (an 1883 mortgage of the land in favour of one Fan Ah Chiu may provide the explanation for this). In any event, the plaintiff was easily able to show that he had been in possession for the necessary 20 year period. A land search revealed a 1904 mortgage in favour of the second defendants but they had never asked the plaintiff for any payment nor did they have any record of the mortgage. The court made declarations that the plaintiff had a good possessory title and that the 1904 mortgage was incapable of subsistence or was unenforceable by virtue of the Limitation Ordinance.

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