Barbie type doll

Adverse Possession and Barbie

16th August 2023

What does the Barbie Movie have to do with your Property? Well, that’s a good question. Join us as we discuss adverse possession.

Our team at Burtons quite like a trip to the movies and recently went to see Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling on the big screen.

So then, without much further ado, what can you learn from the Barbie Movie? Please be aware this article contains spoiler alerts.

Spoiler Alert

Ken took Barbie’s dreamhouse. What a conniving so and so he was. But, far from theft of land being fantasy (or nightmare depending on which side of the fence you are) it is possible to take someone’s home in the real world. Some call it squatters’ rights, we in the ‘biz call it ‘Adverse Possession’.

It takes a bit more effort than a trip in a car, boat, plane rocket then rollerblades (have we got that right, or should we reverse it?).

Adverse Possession

If the Property in questioned is registered at the Land Registry you have to take control of it for at least 10 years and treat it as your own, which generally means you have to ‘exclude the world at large’ i.e. put up fencing and prevent others from accessing the land without your say so.

Did you see any fences surrounding Barbies dreamhouse? No? Ken may have fallen short there.

Once you’ve done this you can apply to the Land Registry with evidence of your control, and they will write to the registered owner stating they have 60 days to object.

  • If they don’t object… you get the land.
  • If they do object, they have two years to remove you.
  • If they fail to remove you, you can make another application and the land automatically succeeds, provided your evidence was good enough in the first place.

It’s not quite that simple of course, and that’s why we can help explain next steps.

  • Have you occupied a piece of garden land for a very long time?
  • Are you in possession of a Property whereby the Title Deeds have been lost?
  • Did you inherit a property long ago, but a transfer wasn’t correctly done so it’s still in the name of your relative?

These are all situations where adverse possession can apply, and we can help.

It’s worth mentioning that the rules are different for unregistered Property, but as that’s getting rarer that’s another topic for another day!

Get in touch

If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation to Barbie or would like to discuss adverse possession in more detail, find our online contact form here. Once submitted, a member of our team will be in touch.