Adverse possession – Florida

UPDATED: May 15, 2009

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Adverse possession – Florida

In-laws own Florida home for over 15 ys . Back portion of property has raised back lot w/upper cement patio which drops 10 ft. onto the neighbor’s. Property line has patio which continues down w/bushes and 6 ft. fence. It has been this way since the ownership. Neighbor claims line is 5 ft. over into in-laws property. After in-laws left to come back to Mich, neighbor cut down bushes, placed 6 ft. fence 5 ft. in in-laws property, including coming on to the property to place a 6 ft. fence 5 ft. in on the cement patio. What should they do?

Asked on May 15, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Adverse possession is the taking of title to real estate by possessing it for a certain period of time.  Title means ownership of real estate.  The person claiming title to real estate by adverse possession must have actual possession of it that is open, notorious, exclusive and adverse to the claims of other persons to the title.

In Florida  to claim real estate by adverse possession, a person must have possession for a period of seven (7) years and pay the assessed taxes.  Florida Code §95.16-.18.

This adverse possession statute is very strict.  Your in-laws should speak to an attorney in Florida to clarify any claim that they think they have.

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