Brighter And some

The legal loophole that gives you a free property

by Kate Watt, Marketing Manager 16 May 2024

When it comes to property they say possession is nine tenths of the law. But can you really get a free house if you squat in a vacant property?

The answer is “sort of”, according to a recent report by ABC News.

It cites a convoluted case of a tenant who remained renting a house for 50 years after the landlord died. When the tenant died, a developer noticed the house vacant and after a quick reno and lock change, he shrewdly flipped it back out to rent for a further 17 years.

When the original owner’s family realised they’d been dudded of a potential inheritance, they took the developer to court.

At this point, the law proved to be a proverbial ass for the family, who held they had a right to boot out the developer but they hadn’t done so within the statutory time limit of 12 years.

So the developer won the house title and sold it for a cool $1.4 million.

The moral of the story? In very rare cases you could luck yourself a free home, but the chances of someone failing to notice a house sitting vacant in a modern Australian city is perhaps nil.

Still, it’s nice to know where you stand should you find yourself a freebie.

Looking for a legitimate path to home ownership? Contact us for a chat and view our current listings for sale.