Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jose Aranzazu
Adverse Possessions
Fin 180,
Dr, Andrew Hansz

Many property owners can lose parts of there land without even knowing. One way they can lose it is by people bringing in adverse possession. What is an adverse possession “it is sometimes called squatters rights, is when someone occupies property for a statutory period of time, typically 7 to 20 years without the owners permission and gains a legally enforceable ownership interest in the property (Diaz pg182). Owners can have people living on their property and don’t even know it. If you see someone on your property make sure you removed them as soon as possible because the more time you allow them to stay, the more chances you have in losing part of your property. Losing parts of your land can be a pain in the butt, but property owners need to be smarter and know the laws that can be use in defense of adverse possession. Also some restrictions can also be place on the property.

In this case anything that is stationed for a long period of time and not removed, then adverse possession can be use and obtain part ownership of the property. A similar story happens to an owner that decided to take action when it was already too late. “He had a large backyard and his property was being surveyed. He notices that the neighbor’s doghouse was in the back corner in on his yard and he requested him to remove it immediately. The neighbor told him no because the doghouse has been there for a long period of time and he wasn’t going to removed it. So the owner took him to court and the neighbor was able to show proof that the doghouse has been in the same place for more than seven years. So under the adverse possession law the judge awarded the neighbor actual ownership of the land near the doghouse” (Diaz pg183).

If owners want to be smart, then they can fence their property or closed out the property and put a notice sign that all trespassers are evicted. Then no one will be able to claim land by adverse possession. There are some laws that can be use in defense to adverse possession. Some common defense can be use against adverse possession to help eliminate that problem.

Some common defenses to Adverse Possession that can help the owner win his case and regain property back are Permissive use, Public lands, and Insufficient time. Permissive use can be use if the “owner has granted the claimant to use the property then adverse possession can not be use” (expertlaw). A public land refers to “any land that is government owned is exempt from adverse possession” (expertlaw). Insufficient time refers when “adverse possession did not last for the full statutory period or it was interrupted by a time that was not use” (expertlaw). These are some of the laws that will help owners in court when someone is trying to claim parts of their land. In some cases if property owners lose part of their land they can put restrictions on the property. “Owners can control how a property is used in the future” (Diaz).

Owners need to be aware of what is going on around their property and if they see anything unusual that dose not look right do something to help them selves right a way. Most of the time people do not even know that laws like adverse possession exist. At the same time there are some laws that will help us, but who knows if they really will. Make sure you’re always watching your property and that no one is using it because like they say “if you don’t watch it and use it, you will loose it” (Diaz pg183).


Diaz, Julian, and J. Andrew Hanz. Real Estate Analysis Environments and Activities. Dubuque: Kendall Hunt Pub, 2010.

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