What constitutes Squatters Rights?

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What constitutes Squatters Rights?

I have lived in my house for 6 years and my girlfriend (now fiancee) moved in 2 years ago. Then her son and daughter moved in with us. There was never a written agreement when I took possession of house. I have been paying $600 for rent but no proof because my landlord did not want a paper trail to lead to him. He is a friend of mine but now he wants to start charging me $1000 per month. I will have to leave if I can’t pay it. I have built a shed and a privacy fence in my 6 years here and have a frame built for a deck. Do I have squatters rights to this property?

Asked on February 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, you do not have any claim to this property as per adverse possession (more commonly known as "squatters rights").  A person may lose title to his/her land if a trespasser satisfies 5 legal elements in order to acquire land.  Among these requirements are that the property must be occupied for at least 10 years and that it must be done in an "hostile" manner (i.e. without the owner's permission).   Since you can't met all of the requirements, you have no ownership rights.


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