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 ?
A warning," a thug called Craig growls at Robbie as he tells him to get out of the flat because he's caught him cheekily enjoying squatters' rights with his own girlfriend.
Those inside the building reacted with fury to the police presence claiming their squatters' rights were being ignored.
Alas it has come to a pretty pass, When I cannot see my flowers for grass, Beware chickweed, ivy and dandelion, Your squatters' rights will soon be gone.
People have become wise to squatters' rights and it's becoming a big issue.
Adverse possession - or squatters' rights - is still a possibility although the law has changed in recent years and the Land Registry now needs to notify you before squatters gain rights.
Squatters' rights - which is effectively what we are talking about here - were always something of an anomaly in modern-day society, and it was only a matter of time before some Government or other reined them in.
They have claimed they have established squatters' rights by camping inside the pipes being laid and that it would take a court possession order to remove them.
But squatters' rights, or adverse possession as it is known in law, can happen in all sorts of property ownership situations, including boundary disputes.
The Occupy Cardiff group, have claimed squatters' rights and vowed to stay in the old Inland Revenue building on the city's Westgate Street "indefinitely".
There should be no such thing as squatters' rights.
The gangs then change the locks and move in 'tenants' who claim squatters' rights.
The 21-year-old came to the capital when he was told that squatters' rights are so strong it is "almost impossible" to force you out.