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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 23063
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I have a question about squatter's rights. My mother-in-law

Customer Question

I have a question about squatter's rights.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: My mother-in-law owns a lifestyle block and an additional paddock out back. For several years a neighbour has been using the paddock to graze his horses. No contract for use has been signed, and no rent has been charged. The neighbour has maintained the fences for his horses and he has kept the paddock clean. My mother-in-law will likely sell her property to fund her retirement, and I am concerned that she might lose the back paddock.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: We are in New Zealand. Nothing has been filed.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I think that about covers it.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 2 months ago.

Hi

I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 2 months ago.

Fortunately for your mother-in-law there is no law which creates squatters rights in New Zealand. The term adverse possession is sometimes used, but if someone has just started using part of the property over the last few years, that does not give them any right to the property. If there is no lease in place, and the property is sold, the neighbour will need to negotiate an arrangement with the new owner, or stop using your mother-in-law's property.