How long must I squat on land and live in the house in order to claim the property?

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How long must I squat on land and live in the house in order to claim the property?

Asked on January 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The statutory period for adverse possession varies from state to state.  In order to claim the property, adverse possession requires continuous, hostile, open, notorious and actual use of the property for the statutory period.

Continuous is continuous use of the property.  Hostile means in derogation of the true owner's rights.  Open and notorious means the true owner had notice of the adverse use of the property.  Actual means actual use of the property.

With regard to continuous use of the property for the statutory period, the time of continuous use can be added among different users of the property so that the total time satisfies the statutory period.  For example, if the statutory period is ten years, if one individual used the property for six years and then another individual used the property for an additional four years, this would satisfy the ten year statutory period.  This adding the periods of adverse use is called tacking.  Again, the statutory period for adverse possession varies from state to state.


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