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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55595
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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There used to be a homeowners greenbelt behind our yard that

Customer Question

There used to be a homeowners greenbelt behind our yard that was not walkable nor maintained. It was later sold to someone at the other end of the block as he built a shop partly on it. He has no access the the small area. We have maintained the property by cutting down wild blackberry bushes each year so they wouldn't come into our bushes. For many years we have had a wire fence between our fence and our neighbors fence. We got tired of clearing back blackberries every year & decided to cut them down, rake and poison them. We are planning to fence the area and keep it free of berries. As we have been doing this for 35 years, I'm told we are entitled to do this. Correct?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon Joanne. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you. It will take me just a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
What you're referring to is the law of adverse possession. Adverse possession is the process of claiming title to real estate by taking it and occupying it for a period of time. Adverse possession requires the following conditions to be met: i) actual possession of the property; ii) open and notorious use of the property; iii) exclusive use of the property; iv) hostile or adverse use of the property; and v) continuous use of the property. In Washington, the duration of such possession is seven (7) years. The person claiming title by adverse possession must pay taxes and assessments on real estate during the time of adverse possession under Washington Code §7.28.050-.090. In your situation, the only issue would be the tax issue. But, it's likely there are no taxes connected with this and thus you could be excused from this requirement. You can certainly make claim to ownership, but to get clear title so you could sell it, you would need to file a suit to quiet title. Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!