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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 28090
Experience:  JA Mentor
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I'm looking on filing an adverse possession. I purchased 1.5

Customer Question

I'm looking for info on filing an adverse possession. I purchased 1.5 acres from my parents almost 30 years ago and have been caring for another 1/2-1 acre since then, using it as my lawn. Parents deceased in 1999 and 2006, adjoining land needs to be sold. Possible resistance from other heirs.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Do you mean that you want to acquire title by adverse possession against people who share the title to the property with you? Does the owner of that adjoining property know that you've been caring for it? Did they ever give you permission to use the property?

What state is the property located in?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
PA. I purchased land many years ago adjacent to my parents who are deceased. I've lived here all my life and my parents granted an extension to my propert but never added it to the deed. In addition there is half an acre that I've always mowed and tended even when my parents were alive. It's now come down to three acres surrounding me to go for sale, benefiting 6 of us. I want to keep the half acre I've always cared for as part of my property. Everyone will not agree.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've lived here for 30 years.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my parents permission but they are deceased.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

From what you've said, you're unfortunately not going to be able to establish ownership by adverse possession. One of the primary requirements is that use of land be adverse to the owner. If your parents granted you permission to use the land, by definition, it cannot be adverse. You essentially had a license during their lifetime. After they passed away, you became a partial owner. One owner of real estate cannot gain title by adverse possession against joint owners unless you expressly told them this was your intention and then prohibited them from entering or using the property (the clock would start running when they were on notice of your intent to adversely possess them).

If your siblings want to sell the property, you can ask to buy them out for the fair market value. When it's impossible to agree, any one owner of real estate can file a Petition for Partition, asking the judge to order a sale. What happens is, if you're the only one who wants to buy it and can afford to do so, the judge will let you buy out the others. If more than one person has the means and the ability, then the land will be sold and the proceeds split between you. If the land is undeveloped, it can also be divided (in which case you'd probably get the part adjacent to your property).

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