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Lawmoe, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2415
Experience:  Lawyer with 19 years of litigation experience in state and federal court systems.
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Is there a squatters rights law in maryland?

Customer Question

A neighbor of mine has lived in a home provided by the church for 36 years. Her husband (the minister) passed away recently and the church is now requiring rent from her or threatening eviction. Is there a squatters rights law or any other law that may help her retain the property?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lawmoe replied 10 years ago.

No. There are no squatters rights. Even if there were, it would not apply in the scenario you describe. Squatters rights are a form of adverse possession. In adverse possession you must occupy land in a manner that is contimuous, open and hostile to the owners interest for many years. In the scenario that you describe, there is nothing hostile about the occupancy. The chuurch agreed to the occupancy. The church can also then agree to terminate the occupancy or seek rent for the occupancy. That would be within its rights as the owner of the property.

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Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Please check again for the state of Maryland. My mother-in-law was involved in a similar incident and almost lost her property due to squatters rights. In that case my mother-in law allowed her father-in-law and his wife to move into her home so that she could buy a new home. Her in-laws gave her $300 and paid her the mortgate payment monthly. When her father-in-law died my mother-in-law wanted the wife out. The wife got an attorney, so my mother-in-law had to get an attorney as well. I don't remember the exact particulars, but it turns out that had the wife been there a little longer, lets say 15 years without paying rent, the property would have been hers to keep. Please look again into Maryland law. I wouldn't be so insistent had this not occured to my in-laws. Hope you can understand the question with so my in-laws involved.
Expert:  Lawmoe replied 10 years ago.

I checked. There is no such action and it would not apply to the facts provided where the person was allowed to stay by the land owner by agreement.

A squatter or trespasser is someone who enters the premises without the permission of the legal occupant or the owner. This situation comes up primarily when a legal tenant shares the premises by subletting to another tenant. Then the original tenant either leaves voluntarily or is evicted. The subletting tenant, while having had a claim in the legal tenant, has no such claim on the owner of the property.

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Yes, I accept and will pay the $30.00. Howeever, I do not feel well served. Will not use your service again.
Expert:  Lawmoe replied 10 years ago.

What else are you seeking? I have indicated the law as it exists. If you have further questions or if you do not understand the answer, I will be happy to assist further.

I find it astounding that you can leave negative feedback on a thorough and accurate answer simply because you do not like the result. If you do not like the answer I would prefer you go elsewhere and do not accept.