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We bought a house and land in Missouri a few years ago, there

We bought a house and...

We bought a house and land in Missouri a few years ago, there is another house at the front of our property. The residents have lived there more than 10 yrs. And now say they have rights of adverse possession. No quiet title has been filed . Their house seems to also encroach upon our property. What can we do? They recently started putting up a fence, we allowed it on one corner but told them to stop on the other.

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Answered in 10 minutes by:
6/11/2013
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38,661
Experience: 17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
Verified
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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To be perfectly honest with you, if they have lived there and used the property for over 10 years openly, then if they filed a quiet title lawsuit to claim the property by adverse possession, they will likely be able to claim anything that they can prove they have used for over 10 years. As you likely already know, in Missouri the period of time for adverse possession must be at least ten (10) years under Missouri Code 516.010-.030.
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If they are already using the term "adverse possession" then you can bet that they looked up the law on it and realize that they can legally claim it.
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So at this point, your only option to reclaim the land would be to file suit against them for trespass to property and ejectment. But if they countersue you under an adverse possession claim, they will likely win.
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I am sorry to have to provide you with potentially bad news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers, even when an answer is not favorable to the customer.

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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


By our telling them to stop with their fence installation and their doing so doesn't that show they know we are exercising our rights as owner's? Would a cease and desist order help us? They did not know the term "adverse possession" but knew there was some kind of law.

By our telling them to stop with their fence installation and their doing so doesn't that show they know we are exercising our rights as owner's? Would a cease and desist order help us?
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Yes, if you can threaten them by telling them that if they don't remove the fence from your property, you will have to file criminal trespassing charges against them, that might scare them enough to do so. You could have a local attorney send them a cease and desist order and that might convince them it wasn't worth the fight. They also might not have the money to hire an attorney for the fight.
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If they didn't know the term "adverse possession" then that is good because they would either have to research it themselves or pay an attorney to tell them (or come here to JA). But if they have met the statutory time requirement, then they could legally claim the land whether you took actions now to eject them or not.
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But if you can get them off your property for a few months, then that would likely be enough to break the chain of possession and occupation so any later adverse possession claim could be defeated.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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.

If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

.

I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38,661
Experience: 17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
Verified
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Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38,661
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Experience: 17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years

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