While squatting isn’t technically illegal, it is considered trespassing and squatters don’t have any actual grounds to stay there.
Yet, DID YOU KNOW that there is the basic principle of Adverse Possession in Western Australian law? That law says if you squat on land long enough, as required by the law, you can claim legal title to the land on which you have squatted.
It is a very old doctrine of property law. "AN ADVERSE POSSESSION".
In WA, squatter’s rights can only be claimed if an individual has had possession of a property for 12 years or more.
When a squatter can prove adverse possession, it means they have a legal right to remain in the property. To prove adverse possession of a property, the squatter must have:
- Taken possession of the property for an uninterrupted period of 12 years;
- Treated the property as their own, i.e. made renovations or works to the property, paid the rates, etc.;
- Had the intention to execute the world at large/it was known to the “world at large”(telling everyone that they are the true owners) that it was their property, i.e. that they were the legal owner of the property;
- The legal owner must have abandoned the property.