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Adverse Possession

Adverse possession is a rule which grants ownership of a piece of land to a person who has possessed it for a specific time period. In this story, we'll discuss this concept in detail.
Charlie S Jun 30, 2019
There are many rules and regulations regarding acquisition of land by adverse possession. Till today, this has helped people own properties without buying them with their own money or making any kinds of investment. Here, we shall know more about this method of real estate possession.

When is Adverse Possession Possible?

In order to become an owner of a piece of land by this method, a person needs to actually possess it by physically using it.
The claimant must show something in court to prove that he has utilized the land. If as a user of the property that belongs to someone else, the person has paid taxes on it regularly, it might be considered by some courts. There is a statutory period which is the number of years for which the person needs to hold the land in order to claim ownership for it.
Hostile possession of land means the person claims its ownership and occupies it in opposition to the owner's true rights is one approach towards it. The application for permanent ownership of land can be rejected if the person does not have possession of the concerned land. The claimant needs to hold the land personally even if other people oppose it.
Understanding the meaning of exclusive possession of land is important for all those who wish to benefit from the laws related to adverse possession. One can prove exclusive possession of land easily if he has made any significant changes to the property such as building a fence, leveling the plot of land or any other construction work on the plot.
The claimant needs to establish his intention to possess the land during the time he was controlling the land. Most states allow possession of land to a person who has lived there for 10 to 12 years at a stretch.
Many places require people to be in possession of the land for 15 years. However, one must note that this requirement (number of years of possession) can change from one place to another. So, confirming about the same from local authorities and knowledgeable people would be a good idea.
Getting the property back is possible for the real owners from the person occupying it by approaching the local court with proof supporting their statements.
At some places, adverse possession may not be considered hundred percent legal as it involves getting the property without making payment for it. There have been instances when cases have been filed against people for making false or illegal claims over properties of other people.
Another thing to note here is that claims of possession cannot be made against council owned land. This is really a very complex process and may require much more time than expected. So, do not be in a hurry to get the desired results and be patient so that the entire process is completed smoothly.
The claimant or the owner must take help from real estate attorneys and realtors for clearing doubts. The Federal laws, rules and regulations related to it are subject to change anytime and hence one should keep an eye on the latest real estate news.