In Summary
  • For adverse possession to succeed, it must be continuous, open, hostile, and an interrupted for a period in excess of twelve (12) years.
  • Development whilst in occupation ordinarily demonstrates intentions to possess (animus possidendi).
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Hi Eric,

I write on behalf of a friend and neighbour.

There is this situation between stepbrothers whereby one of them by the name (W.K) registered himself by deceit, as the proprietor of a parcel of land on which the other (G.K) lives (i.e. born and raised).

W.K has never lived on nor developed the said parcel. It’s way over 12 years since the purported registration & issuance of title to W.K. Whereas G.K has carried out extensive development of the same.

Now, the question is, Can G.K succeed if he moved the court by invoking the doctrine of Adverse Possession. Looking forward to your assistance.

Thanking you in advance.

Albert K. Towett


Dear Albert

Land is such an emotive issue in Kenya, being the single most important source of production and livelihood.

There are many people who have employed deceit to gain possession of land, but others who through legally recognised means, obtain similar outcome, and this informs this response.

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