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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31729
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I have owned my property now for over 7 years. There is a small

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I have owned my property now for over 7 years. There is a small piece of land about 600 sq ft that belongs to no one next to my lot. It is not on my map or my neighbors map, it's a gap. I have always used it, kept a fence on it, I have gotten permits to fill it, and use it as part of my yard. How do I go about acquiring this land to attach to my lot? I'm in the state of NC. Thank you
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Real Estate litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.

The law of adverse possession gives you the ability to acquire ownership of the property that you don't actually own/have a deed to.

Under North Carolina law, you must occupy/claim the property as yours and use the property as your own for at least 20 years (the 20 year period can be attained by your possession and the possession by your predecessors in title).

Here's a good link that outlines this issue:

Thus, your 7 years of occupation could be tacked on to your predecessor in title to meet the 20 year requirement. You would have to obtain affidavits/testimony from these people (or some other evidence) to prove that they occupied the property as well.

If you can establish this, you would have to file a petition in court and ask the court to confirm title to this property in your name.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The person who owned the property before me is deceased.


I thought it was 7 years possession?


There is no actual owner of this property. It is a gap in the property maps. No one has a title to it.

The time period is 7 years 'under color of title' - - which means you have a deed to the property in question. If you don't have a deed, the time period is 20 years.

If no one claims ownership or title to the property, you can claim title, but you will have to put together proof of 20 years of occupation. If no one rebuts your claim. you could likely pull this off since there's no one that's going to object.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

How do I prove 20 years of occupation? the former owner is deceased, his daughter inherited some of his other property. Someone suggested she signs over to me a quit claim deed, although she does not own the property.


So, how do I claim title? and how do I present 20 years occupation? The former owner did own it more than 13 years.


Is there a form to claim title?

Yes, I believe no one will object.

Unless the daughter inherited the subject property, a deed from her is likely of no value. However, if she will give you an affidavit that says he did own/occupy the subject property AND if there's no one on the other side to object, then you could likely gain title via a court order.

There's no form. Instead, you would actually have to file a lawsuit and get a court order conferring title to you. It's likely that you'll need the assistance of a local attorney to do this.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is there any way to do this myself?

I live in a remote area without access to any good lawyers

I can get an affidavit from the daughter.



You can do this on your own, but there are no forms out there. You may be able to contact the NC Bar Association and ask for help drafting your petition or to possibly locate a pro bono or legal aid attorney in your area to assist you.

If you can get help drafting the petition, then you should be able to file this on your own.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

since there is no owner of this property, what is the petition I need to write called?

You would file a "petition to quiet and confirm title", which would be based on your claim if adverse possession.
Roger and 4 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. Can you please have my question locked.

Hi - I can't lock your question, but you can click the "Help" button below as ask customer service to do that for you.

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