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Adverse infringement

A good opportunity for tenants to become owners? A Hong Kong man recently pointed out that the rental unit will expire in two months, but the owner has disappeared completely. He has tried to contact him repeatedly to no avail. He wonders if he should move out or continue to live. Some netizens suggested that he continue to live, or he could apply for “adverse occupation” after 12 years, which greatly surprised the victim and asked about relevant conditions, including whether he should continue to pay rent. In the past, a resident of To Kwa Wan successfully filed a lawsuit against the High Court for adverse possession of a unit due to the loss of information from the owner for 50 years.

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A male netizen posted a post on the online discussion forum “Lian Deng” a few days ago (20th), saying that after selling the building, he rented a 3-bedroom unit on the MTR. He revealed that the lease is still two months away, but the owner “didn’t see it”. He had asked the estate agent for help, but the other party said “it’s nothing to do with the drain”, so he contacted the owner on his own.

The victim called the owner dozens of times but could not get through, and sent WhatsApp messages 2 or 3 times a month to no avail. He described the last time the other party’s WhatsApp was online a few months ago, which made him doubt whether the owner had immigrated or even contracted the new crown pneumonia. passed away.

The owner revealed that the lease agreement was stamped, that the deposit had been paid when renting the building, that no rates were required during the rental period, and that the water and electricity bills were registered in his name. Regarding the owner’s sudden “disappearance”, he admitted that he didn’t know what to do, so he sent a message to ask netizens for their opinions:

“The lease expires, and the owner doesn’t see it. Do it right? 1. Continue to live, and the rent will continue to exceed; 2. Move out, and then ask for his deposit.”

Netizens: apply for adverse infringement after 12 years

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After seeing the post, many netizens believed that the owner did not need to pay rent after the lease expired, and then waited for the owner to appear. Some even thought that if the owner did not appear in the next 12 years, the owner could apply to the court for “adverse occupation”. Intrinsic success has the opportunity to change from a tenant to an owner. Some people reminded the victims to keep the water and electricity bills and other evidence during the “occupation” period, and to continue to try to contact the owners. Some netizens pointed out that the threshold for “adverse infringement” is very high, and suggested that he consult a lawyer.

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Owner sued for not paying rent

When some netizens suggested that “adverse occupation” was possible, the victim asked how to meet the conditions, including whether to continue to pay rent, but at the same time, he was worried that the landlord would “turn his head” if he did not pay the rent.

“What’s the gameplay? What’s the point? I want to continue to pay the rent? Do you have any plans? There are tens of thousands of rooms, and it’s not my turn to stay with the children? I will continue to hold tight, if the channel appears, will it sue me? I am shocked and turn around.”

What is “adverse trespass”?

According to the Limitation Ordinance (Cap. 347), when private land is occupied by others, the owner is required to bring an action to recover the land within 12 years from the date when the relevant right of action arises. On the other hand, when the occupier has occupied the land for 12 years or more, he may apply to the court for an order establishing his adverse possession.

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A person applying to the court for adverse possession, or citing adverse possession as a defence in the course of proceedings (for example, in the face of the owner’s application to the court for an eviction order), has the burden of proof to prove He is in substantial possession of the land and has intent to possess it, meaning that he intends to exclude the owner and all others. Adverse possession of land must meet the above two elements, and it must be continuous and uninterrupted for 12 years, in order to meet the proof requirements for adverse possession.

High threshold and high rent, disguised recognition of the original title

However, the court ruled that the threshold for the occupier to own the property is quite high. For example, the occupier may not do anything to recognize the original owner during the occupation period (such as paying rent in any way, seeking his consent to repair or remodel the land or house, etc.). The occupier can only obtain the title of the land through adverse possession if the holder has never made a request or substantive action to repossess the property to the occupier.

The owner broke the news for 50 years and the tenant successfully reversed the occupation

There have been cases of successful adverse occupation in the past. In 2017, the occupier of a unit filed a petition with the High Court claiming that the urban renewal authority listed Nos. 68A to 70C of To Kwa Wan Road as a redevelopment project. After the owner moved to Myanmar 50 years ago, there was no news, so he applied to the court for adverse occupation of the unit.

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Although the URA’s plan subsequently fell through, the occupier continued to pursue the relevant proceedings, and the judge accepted the occupier’s argument in the absence of the owner of the hearing that he had occupied the unit for more than the period specified in the Limitation Ordinance. In the 12 years stipulated, it was ruled that he had successfully invaded the unit adversely, and an order was issued to declare that the original owner had lost the title. At that time, the lawyer representing the plaintiff pointed out in court that the plaintiff’s father had been a driver for the defendant. The defendant purchased the unit in 1962 for 32,000 yuan, moved to Myanmar two years later, and handed the unit together with the deed documents to the plaintiff’s father for safekeeping. The plaintiff’s father was subsequently unable to contact the defendant.

In addition, in 2013, a couple who had been operating a store on the ground floor of the Ka Ming Factory Building on Castle Peak Road for nearly half a century claimed that they had occupied the place for more than 20 years and no one had collected rent from them and had been evicted, and filed an application with the High Court to reverse the case. In the end, the owner successfully obtained the title of the store with an area of ​​more than 100 square feet.

The vacant mansion has been renovated and lived in for 20 years, and he is sitting as an owner by a law[with cold knowledge of law]the details are here:[next page]

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Written by: Su Liyi

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