How do you make a claim for adverse possession?

UPDATED: Sep 7, 2011

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How do you make a claim for adverse possession?

A summary judgement has been made for the forced sale of the property on which I’ve resided for 16 years. I have a quitclaim deed with my name under the title administrator of the estate. Since I have been in physical possession of the property and made improvements and paid property taxes wouldn’t I be able to claim the property under adverse possession? How would I do that?

Asked on September 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The elements for adverse possession are the open, continuous, exclusive, hostile and uninterrupted use of someone else's property for a period of more than five (5) years where the person claiming adverse possession has paid the proeprty taxes on the property for that time period.

Some states hold that one cannot obtain adverse possession from another co-owner of the property claimed to be adversely possessed because one co-owner cannot legally keep another co-owner off of the property that is owned in tandum.

If your dispute is with the estate of another former co-owner who has passed away, you may have a difficult time proving your claim of adverse possession. However, if you paid more than your fair share of the property, you can claim an equitable lien for such improvements greater than the share you would be responsible for.

Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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