Adverse Possession Success Rate

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“An adverse possession concept can sometimes allow a trespasser to obtain legal title to real estate just by occupying it. Today, you’ll learn about this doctrine in today’s blog about the Adverse Possession Success Rate. And also will learn about how it impacts you as a property owner. You should know these things.”

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Adverse Possession Success Rate

Precisely What Is Adverse Possession?

A person can acquire ownership of someone else’s property through adverse possession, acquiring possession of the property, or residing on it for an extended period. Land is typically the type of property that comes under adverse possession.

Upon successful adverse possession through specific conditions and requirements, the owner does not need to compensate or grant permission to squatter.

 

Adverse Possession: An Overview

What does adverse possession meaning? The adverse possession of property occurs when one party takes possession of another’s property. Such a situation can occur with or without the property owner’s knowledge.

A person who intentionally occupies another person’s land to live on it and take it over is a trespasser or squatter who intentionally encroaches on that land. In other cases, adverse possession can be unintentional. For example, a homeowner may build a fence to separate their yard and fail to realize they have crossed over and infringed on their neighbor’s property line.

The adverse possessor and the disseisor can claim that property if they prove adverse possession. The claimant need not pay the owner if they prove adverse possession.

 

The Requirements for Proving Adverse Possession

Depending on the jurisdiction, the requirements for proving adverse possession tend to vary. In many states, proof of paid taxes and a deed are necessary to prove adverse possession. Landowners of record have a specific period during which they can invalidate a claim.

The claimant will have difficulty proving adverse possession if. For example, the landlord paints or pays for maintenance on the home in question in the 19th year when the state threshold is 20 years. Therefore, landowners should ensure that any use of an owned property is subject to signed agreements to avoid adverse possession.

It is necessary for a claimant to demonstrate the following requirements to succeed in claiming adverse possession of land:

 

Continuous use:

To satisfy this condition, the adverse possessor must show that they have possessed the property continuously and uninterruptedly for years.

 

Hostile and adverse occupation of the property:

Despite not using force to take the land, the disseisor must show no existing agreement, lease, or rent agreement binding on the landowner.

 

Open and notorious possession:

If the owner is unaware of the occupation, the person seeking adverse possession must openly, notoriously, and occupy the property.

 

Actual possession:

Depending on the state law, active possession may include maintaining the land and remitting taxes to maintain the property for the predetermined statutory period.

 

Exclusive use:

Only the disseisor may use the property, excluding anyone else from doing so.

 

Effects of Adverse Possession

The transfer of legal title does not occur through adverse possession alone. In other words, the trespasser gains a vested ownership interest in the area that they possess. An individual may initiate a quiet title action after meeting the statutory requirements for adverse possession.

 

Effects of Adverse Possession

 

Quiet title actions are lawsuits brought in a court with property dispute jurisdiction. The trespasser can obtain legal title to the property or real estate by obtaining quiet title.

 

Adverse Possession Claims May Face More Difficulties

Even though the Land Registration Act 2002 (LRA) came into force on 13 October 2003, squatters face additional obstacles and complications when establishing adverse possession.

LRA provides further protections for the landowner in such applications when they serve any counter-notice opposing any application. Adverse possession applies not only to these types of claims but also to the LRA, which protects counter-notices.

 

Conditions

As a result of the counter-notice, the squatter could only rely on one of three conditions. And if they could not do so, they would have to withdraw their application.

These are the three conditions:

  1. Squatters cannot escape registering the land in their name, which would be unconscionable.
  2. In some cases, the squatter has a legal right to the land, such as if it was left to them by a will.
  3. A squatter owns land adjacent to the land to which the application relates. The exact boundary line between them has not been determined previously. The squatter reasonably believed that the land belonged to them for at least ten years, ending on the date of the application.

 

Successful Adverse Possession Benefits

An adverse possession claim, commonly known as “squatter’s rights,” is a adverse possession lawyer that enables a tenant to claim ownership after occupying a property for some time without permission. Adverse possession claims can yield several benefits, even though it may seem counterintuitive:

  • Ownership and title clarification
  • Ensures that property titles are clear of ambiguities.
  • Legally recognizes long-term users and maintainers of properties.
  • It reduces the likelihood of disputes over property boundaries and ownership.
  • Enhances land productivity
  • Utilizes vacant or neglected properties actively and beneficially.
  • Promotes the preservation of unused and disrepair property.
  • Advantages for the economy
  • The tax base increases by having properties owned by individuals or entities with a history of paying property taxes.
  • Property values in the area can increase as a result of improvements.
  • Assists in reducing litigation
  • A clear legal framework and a time limit are necessary to minimize potential legal disputes for adverse possession claims.
  • Property owners have a solid incentive to resolve potential adverse possession situations before they escalate into a legal matter.
  • Benefits for the community and society
  • A revitalization of abandoned or neglected properties can benefit the community as a whole.
  • Ensures community members can participate in neighborhood maintenance and well-being actively.
  • Equity and justice
  • Recognizes the rights of individuals who have openly and continuously cared for a property, even if they did not initially have a legal claim.
  • Establishes legal rights to a property even if the owner does not have formal documentation.
  • Promotes property owner vigilance
  • It motivates property owners to monitor their land and address any unauthorized use immediately.
  • Provides landowners with the opportunity to manage and care for their properties actively.
  • Environmental benefits and conservation
  • Individuals or groups may sometimes use the adverse possession of natural habitats or culturally significant lands to protect and conserve them.
  • This can help restore environmentally degraded lands.

 

Here Are A Few Tips for Preventing Adverse Possession Claims

If someone brings a claim against you for adverse possession, there are some things you can do to defend yourself.

 

Charge any person who occupies your land a fee for their usage.

If you help that downtrodden person in twelve (12) years, they may come around and say that the land is theirs. You do not have to charge market rates for use or occupation. You can charge occupiers a nominal rent if you wish to be kind. They acknowledge your title by paying a fee for the use and occupation of the land. You don’t have to write long letters about what you feel is your right.

As part of the Wills case, Mrs. Wills wrote letters complaining about her ex-husband failing to account to her. She was able to use these letters against her. It is your responsibility to take steps to ensure the occupier continues to acknowledge your title by paying you.

 

Keep the receipts for paying property taxes.

By paying the property taxes, you demonstrate to the world that you own the land. If the occupier on your receipt is not you, attend the tax office. You can update the tax roll to reflect that you are the correct owner with a relatively simple application if you have the necessary documents.

 

Keep your land active to discourage squatters.

One of the best ways to prevent squatters from entering your property is to erect and maintain a fence. Disrepair attracts attention. The property will be less likely to attract squatters if the property is regularly bounded, painted, or lived upon.

The majority of squatters are not aggressive. If the squatter uses violence to take or maintain possession of the land, then adverse possession will not grant them title. Install a caretaker if you are not ready to occupy the land yet rather than leaving it vacant if you aren’t ready yet.

Don’t just use word-of-mouth when dealing with caretakers. Use a money transfer system that lets you keep receipts. Please keep your original receipts safe and make copies of them.

 

Take immediate action against squatters.

After failing the above, do not hesitate to remove anyone who still occupies your property. If you procrastinate, you don’t help the squatter. The more time the squatter stays on the land, the bolder they become about claiming it.

Consult with a lawyer. While removing the squatter may take some time and effort, it is not as difficult as it was to earn enough money to buy the land. The process is straightforward and involves the court system.

The bailiff will remove the squatter as soon as the process concludes. If the squatter threatens you, you must not confront them personally. Report the threats immediately to the police. Make sure you receive a receipt. The receipt can serve as evidence during the eviction process.

 

Do Adverse Possessions Have Limits?

The possibility of adverse possession does not always exist. Taking adverse possession of government-owned land is not possible, for instance. Before going to court, check the local laws regarding adverse possession. Regardless of whether you are defending or initiating the quiet title action.

 

What Is The Process Of Bringing An Adverse Possession Claim To Court?

If you are disputing the legal ownership of a property or a part of a property, you may have to file adverse possession claims in court.

It is necessary, for example, for the homeowners to clarify who owns the land upon which the garage stands before they can sell their house if a title insurance company refuses to issue insurance because a neighbor’s garage remains standing on the property when a house is on the market.

There may be some possibility of working something out between the property owner and the other parties involved. A property owner may sue the trespasser in court if they are unaware or well-meaning (even if they weren’t aware or well-meaning).

Adverse possession allows trespassers to claim ownership over the real estate by suing to “quiet title.”

 

How Does Adverse Possession Differ From Homesteading?

There are many similarities between adverse possessions and traditional homesteading programs. These free land programs permit new owners to use and improve government-owned land (or land without a clear owner).

Nevertheless, if homesteaders do not use their land productively, they will lose it. A similar result can occur with adverse possession in that unproductive land can be turned into something productive.

However, it is essential to note that the homesteading process involves a formal transfer between the two parties along with terms agreed to by both parties. Adverse possessors, on the other hand, are free to take a piece of land and claim it as their own. Homesteading differs from this.

 

How Long Is The Statutory Period Of Adverse Possession?

Generally, Section 65 of the Limitation Act of 1963 stipulates a period of limitation of 12 years for possession of immovable property, whether it is private or public. According to the apex court, the latest judgment does not apply to illegal occupancy of government property. As a result, if the government owns the unit and has been illegally occupied, the occupant does not become the owner.

There are certain situations when the limitation period is suspended and not considered when calculating the statutory period. In addition to situations where a claimant is suing the property owner, or where the owner is of unsound mind or ‘minor,’ or when the owner is serving in the armed forces, this can happen.

 

How do we claim adverse possession in the state of Texas?

How to claim successful adverse possession cases in Texas:

1. Survey of the property by a licensed surveyor; 2. The applicant’s statement and other witnesses attesting to the possession and intention to possess are required.

3. A property appraisal is a good idea.

 

What Is The Process For Filing A Suit For Adverse Possession?

Adverse possession claims must include the following information:

  • On the date he took possession of the property,
  • A description of the nature of possession,
  • A factum of possession was known to the other party,
  • Tenure of possession and ownership
  • Possession of the actual owner.

 

Preventing adverse possession

No Trespassing Signs and Physical Boundaries

Signs that indicate that the property belongs to the owner, such as “no trespassing,” may be more effective in securing legal recourse. Fences or barricades can be used to indicate that the property is private.

 

Property Inspections

The property owner should inspect their property regularly to ensure it is being used with their permission.

 

Real Estate Lawyer

Contact a lawyer as soon as possible if you suspect trespassing on your property or that it is at risk of being adversely possessed. You will receive legal advice from a lawyer and be able to file a civil lawsuit or court order to remove the trespasser. Call a Real Property Lawyer for help with successful adverse possession cases.

 

Conclusions

Landowners may experience stress as a result of adverse possession. What does this mean?? Is someone just going to squat on it and steal it? Don’t be afraid!

While adverse possession is a reality, many ways exist to prevent it. You can reduce the risk by understanding it and taking steps to protect your property and prevent it from occurring.

Hedy Ghavidel

HEDY GHAVIDEL Managing Attorney  Roseville Office  1-866-471-6981  info@attorneysre.com Bio...

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