Real Estate Law
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Thanks for following up. Adverse possession is the process of claiming title to real estate by taking it and occupying it for a period of time. Adverse possession requires the following conditions to be met: i) actual possession of the property; ii) open and notorious use of the property; iii) exclusive use of the property; iv) hostile or adverse use of the property; and v) continuous use of the property. In South Carolina that continuous period is 10 years. But, South Carolina also requires color of title means a claim to title which on its face appears to support a person’s claim to title, but is fact defective and therefore fails in establishing title to the real estate. Examples would be: i) a deed whose execution was defective or is in question; ii) a claim arising from another person’s Last Will and Testament, or iii) two or more persons have received separate deeds to the same parcel of real estate. If a person adversely possesses a property with no “color of title” or no written instrument or court decree, then only the actual premises occupied (such as the home that was built and the surrounding area) could be adversely possessed while the improved area wouldn’t be included. The applicable SC statute is South Carolina Code Title 15: Civil Remedies & Procedures, Chapter 67: Recovery of Real Property, Article 3.
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