This is attorney Bill answering your question on the laws of adverse possession in Texas.
The law is that you need to be in possession that is adverse without consent to the true owner for a period of ten years. This means you must have actually used and cultivated the land.
Sec. 16.026. ADVERSE POSSESSION: 10-YEAR LIMITATIONS PERIOD. (a) A person must bring suit not later than 10 years after the day the cause of action accrues to recover real property held in peaceable and adverse possession by another who cultivates, uses, or enjoys the property.
(b) Without a title instrument, peaceable and adverse possession is limited in this section to 160 acres, including improvements, unless the number of acres actually enclosed exceeds 160. If the number of enclosed acres exceeds 160 acres, peaceable and adverse possession extends to the real property actually enclosed.
(c) Peaceable possession of real property held under a duly registered deed or other memorandum of title that fixes the boundaries of the possessor's claim extends to the boundaries specified in the instrument."
The other means of a declaration of ownership and title can be granted is under color of title after three years if there has been a successive chain of property transfers of the declared land, known as color of title.
Sec. 16.024. ADVERSE POSSESSION: THREE-YEAR LIMITATIONS PERIOD. A person must bring suit to recover real property held by another in peaceable and adverse possession under title or color of title not later than three years after the day the cause of action accrues.
The petition is filed in the County District court for a declaration of ownership rights by adverse possession.
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