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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 35258
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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How to establish a prescriptive easement in Georgia,

Customer Question

how long to establish a prescriptive easement in Georgia
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: georgia
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: yes, the other party build the fence over 20 years ago and it's been on my side all that time. Now he wants to claim it as his land.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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In Georgia the period of time for adverse possession must be at least seven (7) years for improved land and twenty (20) years for wild land. Georgia Code §44-5-175; 44-9-1.

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A prescriptive easement is an "easement by use" and would fall under the same adverse possession guidelines.

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But if he is claiming ownership of the land, it is not a prescriptive easement, it is an actual adverse possession claim that he would have to file a formal "quiet title" lawsuit against you in court to pursue.

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So unfortunately if the fence has been there over 20 years, he would have legal grounds to claim ownership of the land that he has been trespassing on.

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience,even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He built the fence. A recent survey found the he has more land on my side of the fence that he built over 20 years ago. We have been using the property as our land for almost 10 years on improved property and now he wants to move the fence more into our side.
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

Ok, I understand now... so the comments I made just flip flop over to you... You would be the one who has the right to claim legal ownership of that land you have been using because you can use the legal doctrine of "tacking" to add on any prior usage of a previous owner on to yours to meet that 20 year requirement.

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So he can't move the fence over to the true property line if you file a quiet title suit against him and get a judge to issue an order that you are now the legal owner of the disputed area.

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Now whether it is worth the $3-5K or so it will cost to hire an attorney to pursue this in court, only you can make that determination.

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thanks

Barrister

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