adverse possession

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Adverse Possession

In law, the process by which one lays claim and takes title to a piece of real estate without paying for it, by holding it for a specified period of time. For example, a person living on a property without its owner's knowledge or consent for a certain number of years may become the owner of that property through adverse possession. This concept effectively puts a limit on the number of years after an action in which one can undertake litigation claiming a property.

There are a number of requirements before one can claim adverse possession on real estate. For example, one must openly possess the real estate and make no attempt to hide it. One shows this by living there in good faith, paying property taxes and/or making improvements on the land. See also: Abandonment, Clear Title.

adverse possession

Sometimes called squatter's rights;method of acquiring title to real estate when the true owner has neglected to assert his or her own rights for a specified period of time.

Commonly arises in the context of boundary line disputes.The next most common occurrence is
when there is some technical defect in the title which can't be cured with a corrective deed
because the person who must sign has disappeared, is dead, or refuses to sign. If one actually
occupies property without permission, in an open and notorious manner, that is exclusive and
hostile,and the true owner takes no action to dispossess the claimant,then the actual owner will
be forever barred from asserting any rights to the property. The requirement of hostility does
not mean there must be animosity between the parties, but simply that the adverse possessor
claims ownership of the property, and therefore is legally hostile to any other claimants. The
lack of permission refers to the absence of a lease or other such agreement granting possession
but not necessarily title.The required time period, called the holding period, may vary from 10 to
20 years.

By law,one cannot adversely possess against the government.

Example:  Seth and Rose are next-door neighbors and the best of friends. Seth erects a fence
on what he believes to be their boundary line. For the next 10 years (or 20, depending on the
jurisdiction) he mows the lawn up to the fence. Rose believes the fence marks the boundary
between their two properties, but she is mistaken. Rose then sells her property to Greg, who
orders a survey. The survey reveals that 20 feet of Emma's land is on Seth's side of the fence. In
a lawsuit over the property line, Seth will usually claim that Greg's surveyor is mistaken and
will also claim that even if the survey is correct, Seth has gained title to the 20 feet by virtue of
adverse possession. It was Emma's responsibility to know the true location of her property lines.
If she did not assert her rights during the 10- or 20-year time period, she, and all others coming
after her, lose those rights.

References in periodicals archive ?
As a result of some special assessment defaults, the city acquired title to various properties by foreclosure or conveyance in lieu of foreclosure.
Justice Leland DeGrasse of Supreme Court, New York County, ruled on tenants' motion to dismiss Rima's complaint by finding in favor of the tenants on the grounds that when the plaintiff, Rima, acquired title to the apartment buildings, it did so subject to all of the terms and conditions of the leases then in effect.
The acquired title is published monthly for a controlled circulation of 12,000 Canadian insurance professionals.
was formed in 1990 to develop real estate in the New York metropolitan area, and to assist banks, lenders, developers and other groups who acquired title to cooperative and condominium apartments with workouts and the restructuring of loans.
has acquired Title One of Waupaca, with branches in Wautoma, New London and Shawano in east central Wisconsin.
said the acquired title "has been our worthy competitor for over two decades, and we have a profound respect for its quality and comprehensiveness.
The plaintiffs were shareholders in a cooperative housing corporation which acquired title to 520 West 50th Street, New York City in June, 1988.
HOUSTON -- Stewart Title of Pinellas has acquired Title First Inc.
During the past 18 months, PMG has successfully acquired title to 28 additional multi-family buildings with an aggregate asset value in excess of $70 million.
The acquired title is described as the leading trade magazine covering the mortgage origination business.
While we currently have no immediate plans, other financial holding company organizations have acquired title companies, insurance agencies, mortgage banking companies, created wholly-owned trust companies, underwritten mutual funds and bond financing, and created and managed service companies that offer consulting or out-source services to other banks.
Launched by CFO in 1991, the acquired title is published 11 times a year with a controlled circulation of 46,000 corporate treasurers and chief financial officers.