Adverse possession is a legal guideline when someone obtains the title of another person’s property or land. Elements of Adverse possession and their Rules differ by jurisdiction but usually, somebody can claim adverse possession after they’ve taken up residence on or have uninterrupted ownership of a piece of property for a definite amount of time.
In this blog, we help you learn more about what is adverse possession, the legal norms for that classification, and how it could affect you as a property owner.
Definition and Examples
Adverse possession endows possession of land to someone apart from the owner if that person inhabits it for longer than the order of limits for that jurisdiction. Adverse Possession is a strange law where someone occupies property without permission. And then acquires a legal right to that property once a set amount of time has passed.
What are the requirements for Adverse Possession?
The requirements for asserting an adverse possession claim vary from state to state, but there are two main reasons why these requirements exist. The first reason is to give the rightful owner of the property a chance to stop the adverse possessor from taking over through a number of different methods. The second justification is that adverse possession allows for the property to be put to good use instead of sitting unoccupied and undeveloped.
1. Open and Public. Adverse possessors must be using the property in an open and notorious way. This means that the user cannot be hidden from view. This would give the true owner the opportunity to see the use and stop it. If the adverse possessor’s use is happening in secret, the owner may not learn of it until it’s too late to assert their own rights.
2. Time Period. All states have a time limit in which the adverse possessor must use the land before it officially becomes theirs. In New York, the law requires that land must be used for a minimum of ten years before the adverse possessor gains title to the property.
3. Hostility Claim. The claim of someone who uses adverse possession must be against the owner’s use of the land. This means that the adverse possessor may not make an adverse possession claim if the owner gave them permission to use the land.
4. Continuous Possession. In order to qualify for adverse possession in New York, the trespasser must have had exclusive and continuous possession of the land for at least ten years. This means that they cannot have left the land for any significant periods of time during that ten years.
In what way does Adverse possession Works?
Adverse possession is when a non-owner/trespasser/squatter inhabits real property deprived of consent. The owner must attempt to do away with them during the ruling of limitations period; otherwise, the person obligating the possession could possibly take legal ownership.
However, for there to be adverse possession, each of the following criteria must be met
1. Exclusive and continuous: The possessor has to have persisted on the property uninterruptedly, without others inhabiting it as well.
2. Actual possession: The person must tangibly inhabit the property, not just mention that they want to control it.
3. Hostile possession: The possessor, by inhabiting the property, is trespassing on the original owner’s rights without consent.
4. Open and notorious possession: The possessor is not nagging onto the property. They are amenably living there in a way an owner would, and their occupation should be evident to any outside observer.
Elements of Adverse possession
Adverse possession can take place in a couple of ways.
First, adverse possession could be granted to someone who purposely occupies property that doesn’t belong to them. Such as a trespasser or a squatter, who lives there for a long period of time. This may take place in the case of an absentee owner not checking on the property. If enough time passes per the state’s law, the title is transferred to the trespasser.
The sum of time necessary to inhabit a property before initiating the adverse possession process differs by state and local law, usually taking more than a few years.
Somebody could meet the requirements for adverse possession in as little as two years in Maricopa County, Arizona, even though it’s more likely to see longer periods, for instance, 10 years in New York.
In another mundane example of adverse possession, somebody such as a neighbor intrudes on a rightful owner’s property. For example, a neighbor may construct a garage or build a fence that crosses a property line. This at times is done unintentionally, but it could result in adverse possession. It’ll happen if the infringement occurred for long enough.
You can also go through the Laws of Adverse Possession of New York, to know more.
Adverse possession can result in a legal headache for a property owner, but there are means to escape it. The best constraint for illegal inhabitants is to keep consistent tabs on a property. Ensure that there is a lock on everything and is fence-proof.
If the owner grants written permission to trespass on their property, then it would not be adverse possession. Still, be careful that permitting a neighbor to build on and/or encroaching on your land. They could cause problems if and when you try to sell.
Should you find yourself in a situation in which someone is on the verge of qualifying for adverse possession, hire an attorney to assist you in filing a lawsuit to remove the party and/or reclaim the property. Additionally, refer experts from Elite Properties who can assist you in making the right decision. We are a cash buying company that suggests we provide fast closings. Call us at 718-977-5462 today.