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Case 2 - Unknown Owner

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 May 2022

Björn Hoops
Affiliation:
University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Ernst J. Marais
Affiliation:
University of Johannesburg
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Summary

Variation 2.1. Unknown owner (I)

As her mother’s sole heir Hannah obtains control over a piece of land from her late mother, who lived on the land all her life, for 70 years. The land has been passed on for (at least) five generations. It is unknown how her ancestors obtained access to the land. Hannah lives on the land for another 20 years. The registered owner (a private entrepreneur) is long dead. Nobody knows whether there are heirs and, if so, who and where they are. Hannah is wondering what formalities have to be observed in order for her presence not to be challenged and her right(s) with regard to the land to be recognised by others.

Variation 2.2. Unknown owner (II)

See Variation 2.1. Hannah’s family did not reside on the land for generations. Hannah’s mother obtained control of the land eight years before her death. Hannah has since used the land for 19 years. Hannah is wondering what formalities have to be observed in order for her presence not to be challenged and her right(s) with regard to the land to be recognised by others.

Variation 2.3. Unknown owner of unregistered land

See Variation 2.1. The land is unregistered and there is no evidence as to who the owner is. Hannah is wondering what formalities have to be observed in order for her presence not to be challenged and her right(s) with regard to the land to be recognised by others.

KEY ISSUES

VARIATION 2.1.

This case raises, in addition to the problems posed in Variation 1.1., the issues of whether very long periods of unlawful land use may result in an acquisition of the land, and of the significance of a lack of information on the person and whereabouts of the land’s owner.

VARIATION 2.2.

This variation differs from Variation 2.1. in that the length of the use is shorter and raises the question of whether this aspect of the case is relevant.

Type
Chapter
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Publisher: Intersentia
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Unknown Owner
  • Edited by Björn Hoops, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, Ernst J. Marais, University of Johannesburg
  • Book: The Acquisition of Immovables through Long-Term Use
  • Online publication: 26 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781839702419.006
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  • Unknown Owner
  • Edited by Björn Hoops, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, Ernst J. Marais, University of Johannesburg
  • Book: The Acquisition of Immovables through Long-Term Use
  • Online publication: 26 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781839702419.006
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Unknown Owner
  • Edited by Björn Hoops, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, Ernst J. Marais, University of Johannesburg
  • Book: The Acquisition of Immovables through Long-Term Use
  • Online publication: 26 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781839702419.006
Available formats
×