Real Estate Law
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What you are referring to is called "adverse possession" and in WA, if someone is a trespasser but they maintain "exclusive hostile use and possession" of some amount of land for the statutorily prescribed amount of time, then they can claim legal ownership of it. In Washington the period of time for adverse possession must be at least seven (7) years. Washington Code Â§7.28.050-.090..
So if someone trespasses on land for over 7 years, they can file a quiet title lawsuit against the legal owner and have a judge issue an order declaring them to be the new legal owner.