Squatters and adverse possession
Twelve years or fifteen years would seem like a lifetime to actually squat and occupy someone else’s property to gain full legal proprietary rights. From a strict legal perspective the squatter would need to
- take physical possession (to the exclusion of the true owner)
- change the locks
- not pay rent
- maintain the property and the fences
- probably have to pay the rates
- insurance would be optional
- treat the property as if you were the true owner (living there as the occupier as opposed to collecting rent) and
- carry on the above for the prescribed period (12 years NSW / 15 years Victoria)
Not impossible but highly improbable in the middle of built up Melbourne or Sydney.
Recently the Sydney Morning Herald and The Guardian have published stories of a Redfern terrace being recently taken over by a squatter and an absentee Chinese owner who apparently left Australia and gone back to China in 2007. Time is ticking
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