A Man's House Was His Castle

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Leonard Ford sends along this BBC bit about England seizing vacant homes and turning them over to local councils who will then lease them out for up to seven years before kicking back to the owners. Sez one gov't spokeschap:

"Poorly maintained empty properties are magnets for vandals, drug users, squatters and even arsonists.

"Bringing empty homes back into use reduces opportunities for low level anti-social behaviour."

But wait, is he talking about derelict homes or castles belonging to the House of Hanover Windsor? Is there that much of a difference?

The BBC bit here.

And isn't it about time the Royal Family thanked the Sex Pistols for making them relevant again? I mean it, man–since that song hit the top of the UK charts nearly 30 years ago, it's been onward and upward for QE2 and her regression-to-the-mean brood of freeloaders. Who would have guessed in 1977 that it would have been the House of Lords what was on the chopping block?

NEXT: Bush Replaces Greenspan

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  1. except “houses with valid reasons for remaining empty.” Hoo, boy…this ought to be a good thread.

  2. Hey, at least houses w/ people living them aren’t covered, making London better than New London.

  3. I didn’t know Britain was part of New Orleans.

  4. “regression to the mean” – looking at the Royal Family, that’s a recipe for improvement!

  5. It’s a good thing our justices don’t cite foreign law for the basis of their decisions.

    Oh wait…

  6. Speaking of 1977, who could have guessed that in 2005 it would be Bob Geldof making political waves, while Johnny Lydon was reduced to a lovable scamp.

  7. I seem to be hearing “anti-social behaviour” a lot from British authorities. Sounds kinda bad for freedom of speech.

    Well, we have too many problems here for me to be worrying about the Brits.

  8. The S. P. may have started the resurgence of the Royals, but, at least from the western side of the “Big Puddle”, it appears Diana (her wedding, divorce, and death) accelerated the process.

  9. It’s tough to get keyed up about the property rights of someone who won’t lift a finger to keep his property from turing into a firetrap or a drug den.

    We tear ’em down in my city, and put a lien on the title for the cost of the demolition.

    Carpet-chewing freakout in

    Three…

    Two…

    One…

  10. Actually, actively defending your title to property has long been considered a condition of keeping that title. Particularly in Britain. It is a doctrine much less observed in the US. Florida does not recognize adverse possession at all.

    Abandoning property, even by just failing to occupy or otherwise leaving it vacant is considered failure to adequately defend title in many jurisdictions.

  11. Did I miss something? Florida does recognize adverse possession, as far as I know. There is (or was) even a statute. In fact–and I’m definitely stepping out on a limb here–I thought that the seven-year period for adverse possession here was shorter than in other states.

  12. Did I miss something? Florida does recognize adverse possession, as far as I know. There is (or was) even a statute. In fact–and I’m definitely stepping out on a limb here–I thought that the seven-year period for adverse possession here was shorter than in other states.

  13. If I continue double-posting, will I be able to take adverse possession of this blog?

  14. Pro Libertate

    I may have been misinformed and since you are the legal eagle and since my knowledge is restricted to the fundamentals learned by land surveyors I will most certainly defer.

    Come to think of it the way I recall now it may have been that Florida judges tend to be hostile to adverse possession claims and therefore set the bar rather high. Again even that may be wrong.

    Either way my point was more on the requirement to actively defend title and such a requirement is less often invoked in the US, but I understand that Britain sets a higher standard.

    Now all I need is an English solicitor to correct me. 🙂

  15. Sorry, Isaac, didn’t mean to call you out. I had one of those “Lord, am I that confused?” moments and needed public assurance 🙂

  16. No sweat, I just seem to recall someone telling me that the last time a FL judge ruled favorably in an adverse possession case was some time before WWI. I should have been more precise. Thanks for getting my mind on track.

    I really just brought the subject up to see if joe’s head would explode if someon came close to agreeing with him here. 🙂

    It’s tough to get keyed up about the property rights of someone who won’t lift a finger to keep his property from turing into a firetrap or a drug den.

    I would tend to view that as someone failing to actively defend his title. The only thing I would require the state to do was verify whether the interests of an incompetent (eg a minor child in a probate case who had not been properly informed of his inheritence and was not having his interests adequately protected by a guardian) were properly protected.

    This is completely different from “blighted” properties like Kelo and the folks in Lakewood, OH., or those who might be maintaining functioning businesses that don’t look sufficiently attractive on the low-rent side of town.

    Of course maybe a torchlight parade will assemble on my street tonight an the mob will demand the return of my secret decoder ring. 🙂

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