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Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38252
Experience:  17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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Is adverse possession true...I have been in my home years

Customer Question

Is adverse possession true...I have been in my home for 20 years and there are lots of trees that line the back property..I have a pool and deck and had no idea that I was on the property of the neighbor behind me till the house was sold and the new owners took down all the trees leaving it wide open at that point her survey stated that I was on her property..Now we are having problems...either I have to take down everything which will be very costly and I have had a certain lifestyle with my family for over 17 years having the pool and deck . I recently found out through this that my deck was not filed for by the contractor who put it up so therefore therefor there is no C of O for it. I have tried to speak with the neighbor about purchasing the land from her and I am being "asked" to pay ridiculous amounts of money, plus all fees, Surveyor, Legal fees (both hers and mine) required to replace trees for privacy (after she took everything down in the 1st place) and this is becoming a nightmare not to mention a costly issue. Do I have any rights under the adverse possesion law. 1 Attorney said no problem if this was 10 years ago, but I dont have a leg to stand on now, another attorney said because I was maintaining this for more than 10 years ago I in fact have a right to the property. This property is in Rockland County, New York if that helps. Please help me and what type lawyer is best suited to deal with this situations..Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.


Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

In New York the period of time for adverse possession must be at least ten (10) years. New York Real Prop. A&P.L. §501-551


What that means is that if you have encroached on the neighbor's land for at least 10 years, then you can claim legal ownership of that disputed portion simply by trespassing for that long. You would have to get a local real estate attorney to file a "quiet title" action and have a survey performed showing the disputed portion shaded in. Then assuming you can prove you have been there for at least 10 years, the judge will issue an order stating that you are now the legal owner of any area you have used and maintained for that 10 year statutorily prescribed period.