SQUATTER’S RIGHTS

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Adverse Possession also known as the Squatter’s Rights is the use or occupation of land or building, without permission of its owner. In Kenya, such use must be continuous for at least 12 years from the date of settlement, where the owner failed to take action on the party claiming adverse possession.

For a Court of law to grant adverse possession, the party claiming adverse possession must;

Demonstrate that the owner of the property knew s/he had been settling on their property.

Demonstrate that they had no formal or informal agreement with the owner of the property in as much as the latter was in full knowledge of the former’s presence.

Adverse possession cannot succeed if the person asserting the claim is in possession with the permission of the owner, or in accordance with an agreement of sale or lease. Possession becomes adverse beginning of the date of expiration of a valid agreement between the occupier and owner of the property.

Periodical occupation or use of property and or through proxies does not merit adverse possession. The use of the property should not be in secret whereas members of the public like neighbors should positively confirm its occupation by the party claiming adverse possession.

No other party should be in adverse possession or claim use of the said property as of the date the right to own it accrues. The right to own the said land or property becomes possible to one party alone with the 12-year period in mind.

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