Real Estate Law
Ask a Real Estate Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
yes but the easement holder would be paying the property taxes for the entire parent parcel not just the easement area.
The Following Must Be Proven
Actual – You actually acted in the manner of an owner of the property.
Open & Notorious – You engage in acts of possession consistent with the property at issue in a manner which was capable of being seen. (This does not mean that you must have been observed in your acts of ownership but, had the actual owner or members of the public been in a position to see you, your acts must have been observeable). You need not use the property in a manner that exceeds that which would be expected of the actual owner – that is, it may be possible to claim adverse possession of a vacation property on the basis of use only during the vacation season, or to claim adverse possession of a vacant parcel of land by engaging in typical acts of maintenance for the parcel.
Exclusive – The adverse possessor does not occupy the land concurrent with the true owner or share possession in common with the public. One does not have to exclude others from the land in order to claim “exclusive” use, but during the statutory period the person claiming title by adverse possession must have been the only person to treat the land in the manner of an owner.
Hostile – Hostility exists where a person possesses the land of another intending to hold to a particular recognizable boundary regardless of the true boundary line. That is, possession is “hostile” to the title owner’s interest in the property. If possession was not hostile, it may still be possible to advance a claim of ownership under a theory of “acquiescence”. You cannot claim “adverse possession” if you are engaged in the permissive use of somebody else’s land.
Under Cover of Claim or Right – Either when the person claiming the property makes the claim based upon constructive possession under color of title (e.g., there is an error in the legal description in their deed leading them to believe they own part of a neighboring property), or makes the claim based upon actual use and possession of the area of land at issue for the statutory period
Continuous & Uninterrupted – All elements of adverse possession must be met at all times through the statutory period in order for a claim to be successful. It may be possible to claim adverse possession even if there is a transfer of ownership through the principle of “tacking” – for example, a former owner’s twelve years of adverse possession can be “tacked” to the present owner’s eight years, for a cumulative twenty years of adverse possession.
The Statutory Period – The statutory period, or “statute of limitations”, is the amount of time the claimant must hold the land in order to successfully claim “adverse possession”.
Defenses to a claim of adverse possession are:
While the following list is far from exhaustive, these defenses are very often brought in adverse possession actions:
Permissive Use – If the actual owner has granted the claimant permission to use the property, the claim of “adverse possession” cannot be deemed “hostile” and thus fails.
Public Lands – Government-owned land may be exempt from adverse possession.
Insufficient Acts – Although it is conceded that the claimant engaged in some use of the property, it is alleged that these acts were not sufficient to amount to acts suggesting a claim of ownership.
Non-Exclusive Use – Although it is conceded that the claimant engaged in some use of the property, it is alleged that others (usually the property owner) also used the property in a manner consistent with that of the landowner.
Insufficient Time – Even if various elements of adverse possession were met, it is alleged that the adverse possession did not last for the full statutory period, or that the adverse possession was interrupted by a period of non-use.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).