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Law of Adverse Possession

Adverse possession occurs when a person lives on or uses property for a set amount of time that doesn't belong to them. Another word for this action is better known as squatter's rights. If a person moves into an unoccupied house and maintains the home for usually 10-15 years, the person may be able to own the house or property. For example, if a neighbor built a fence through your property and maintained the fence and property for several years, and you knew the fence was through your property but did nothing, they could claim the property as their own. Each state has a set number of years that apply to adverse possession and may differ from other states. To learn more about adverse possession, take a look at the questions below that have been answered by Experts.

In New York, if you let a neighbor use part of your land for years, can he have claim to your land?

In the state of New York, if a person uses another person's property in an open and exclusive manner for 10 years or more, they can make a claim of adverse possession. However, a person cannot make this claim if the property owner has given the second person permission to use the property. In order to make a claim of adverse possession, the person would have to use the property without the property owner's consent, similar to a squatter. The person would have to treat the property as their own and act as the owners of the property. So, in this situation, the person couldn't claim the property as theirs because you have given them permission to use your property.

If someone owns land in Mississippi and has the Deed to that land, what would constitute someone being able to use the adverse possession law on the property?

A person must use the property for 10 years in order to claim adverse possession in Mississippi. In order for a person to claim adverse possession, the person would have to use the land without the consent of the landowner. The land usage would have to occur in an open manner as if the person owns the land and treats it as theirs. You may want to consult with an attorney about your rights as the landowner. Each state has its own version of the adverse possession law.

I've lived in my home for 35 years and now the neighbor does a survey which shows my shed is 2.8 feet on his land. Can I claim adverse possession or will I have to move the shed?

In order to use adverse possession, you would have to know that your shed has been on the neighbor's property for the last 35 years. However, you were not aware of this until the neighbor had the survey. Because of this, you probably won't be able to claim adverse possession. You may be able to work out an agreement with the neighbor to keep the shed on his property while you live in your home. If you cannot come to an agreement, the other option would be go to court and spend both time and money on a legal battle to obtain the property.

In Vermont, if a person claims adverse possession on an abandoned house, can they go to jail if the owner returns?

Usually what would happen in a situation like this is; if the owner shows up, they would ask you to leave. If you didn't, they could have you arrested for criminal trespass. However, you probably wouldn't go to jail if the owner is not present. If he/she isn't around, they wouldn't be aware of your presence. In order to claim adverse possession, you would have to live on the property for no less than 15 years.

Many people are unfamiliar with adverse possession until it is too late. The usual way a person is introduced to adverse possession is when a neighbor or individual claims ownership of the first person's property. If you are facing adverse possession issues with someone or have questions regarding adverse possession, you should ask an Expert for assistance in helping you find answers to your individual situation.

Ask a Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 8603
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
4460311
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Recent Adverse Possession Questions

  • My neighbor is harassing my Father, but has since turned our

    My neighbor is harassing my Father, but has since turned our own complaints against us in a letter. In other words, he threatened my father and then claimed my Father had threatened him. Then he said God Bless. My Father and I own the family house and have been trying to fix up the side bordering our neighbor. We've had the police called on us and allegations of adverse possession from the neighbor, while my Father struggled to keep his heart and blood pressure even. My Father has, since our home improvement attempts began, been in the hospital 3 times, each time for stress induced chest pains. We are not wealthy and don't have much to give, but if it's to keep my Father healthy, I'd pay to keep this man away from us. We live in Tacoma, WA if that helps. Thanks.
  • WHAT IF IM TAKING A PROPERTY BY ADVERSE POSSESSION AND I

    WHAT IF I'M TAKING A PROPERTY BY ADVERSE POSSESSION AND I NEED TO KNOW THE STEPS TO TAKE LEGALLY
  • There is a house on my block that has been foreclosed on for

    There is a house on my block that has been foreclosed on for approx. 5yrs. We have to call code enforcement several times summer because the grass becomes chest high. Vandals have already stolen the outside air conditioning unit for copper and I believe even got under the house to pull electrical wire for the cooper. Anyway, the house is just sitting there getting to be more and more an eye sore for the neighbor hood. I was reading up on Adverse Possession laws and it seems like in ky one must move into the home acting as though it is theirs, making the improvements needed, and doing so for 15 yrs. my question is. how does one initially gain access to the home without getting arrested for B&E. is there a form I need to obtain from the local court house or what? I do know that there is much more involved but was just wondering how to start the process.

    Thanks
    Dwayne
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