When do you obtain squatter’s rights?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

When do you obtain squatter’s rights?

I currently live in the house that my father willed to me. He passed away 4 years ago. His house has been in this spot for 20 years. The land it sits on was bought by my sister and her husband and they let his house be placed here. Now they are looking to sell their house and asking if I can move out so they can sell. My question is whether or not I can claim that this land was my father’s since his house has been here for 20 years?

Asked on February 13, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot do this.
First and foremost, you cannot assert your father's rights, only your own. So the fact that your father placed the house there 20 years ago is irrelevant--you can only rely on your time occupying the property.
Second, "squatter's right," or adverse possession as it is more properly called, is based on "hostile possession"--without permission. You cannot use being allowed to be on property as a basis to take it away from the owners. If your sister and her husband allowed your father to build there, your father and now you occupied with permission, and so your permited occupancy will not let you take the land.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption