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Questions on Squatter’s Rights Law

Squatters are people who live in abandoned, unoccupied, or disputed property or spaces they do not legally own. Some people consider squatter’s rights to be a form of adverse possession. Squatters only rarely meet the requirements for adverse possession, which according to the legal dictionary at legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com is “a method of gaining legal title to real property by the actual, open, hostile, and continuous possession of it to the exclusion of its true owner for the period prescribed by state law.” Listed below are a few questions on squatter’s rights.

I own a trailer that’s been sitting on a piece of property that belonged to my mother for the past 19 years. She recently passed away and my sisters who are on her property deed want to sell the entire property. Can I exercise squatter’s rights over the property?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. According to a Legal Expert on JustAnswer
“To claim "squatter's rights", you must show that you were utilizing the land in an open, hostile, notorious, and in contrary intent for the statutory continuous period from the landowner.”

To put it differently, this would mean you were squatting there against the wishes of the current property owner. Since it looks like you had permission to stay on the premises, you couldn’t claim squatter's rights.

In Alabama, do squatters have rights over the land?

A “squatter” or an individual in adverse possession needs to maintain continuous open possession for a minimum of ten years without the owner’s permission for squatter’s rights to apply in Alabama.

What are squatter’s rights in the state of Connecticut?

In Connecticut, the law recognizes the concept of “adverse possession” as a way of acquiring title to a property. Excerpts from the law are presented below:

Adverse possession is a method of acquiring title to real estate, accomplished by an open, visible, and exclusive possession uninterruptedly for a 15-year period (CGS § 52-575; Whitney v. Turmel 180 Conn. 147 (1980)). Connecticut also recognizes the right to acquire a right-of-way or other easement by continuous, uninterrupted use of someone else's land for 15 years (CGS § 47-37).

About a year and half ago my neighbor wanted to buy one of our lots that lay behind his home. Now he is taking care of it and planting things on it much to my dislike. Can he exercise squatter’s rights over this piece of land?

Based on the facts of your case, your neighbor has no rights over the property at this point of time. You have two options. One is that you could request him to stop taking care of the lot and take legal action if he doesn’t stop. Your second route would be to send him a certified letter that says that you give him permission to use the land exactly the way he is doing now but you do have the right to withdraw permission at any time you choose to. He will not be allowed to acquire adverse possession rights if you are allowing him to use the land with permission.

Squatter’s rights differ from state to state and from country to country. However, as a squatter or as a property owner, you should be aware of what a squatter’s rights are to understand the value of the property you hold or live on.
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