Could adverse possession help you obtain property?

by | Feb 9, 2018 | Real Estate

When dealing with land and real estate, complications can easily show themselves. You may not have had the ability to purchase property on your own, and you may have been struggling to find a place to live. However, when you came across a seemingly unused piece of land, you may have felt that it would cause no harm to use the land yourself, as long as you did not create any issues.

As years went by without any problems, you may have felt that this land truly belonged to you. Of course, you likely understood that you had no legal claim to the property itself. However, you could have options for potentially keeping the land under adverse possession laws.

What is adverse possession?

Adverse possession may seem like an unbelievable area of law, but it truly exists and could prove useful. Essentially, adverse possession could allow a person who trespassed on a piece of property to take over that property under certain conditions. The hope for this law generally relates to allowing the property to be put to good use rather than it simply sitting and going to waste.

What are adverse possession conditions?

If you hope to gain the title to a piece of property through adverse possession, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must have used the land without gaining permission from the land owner.
  • You must have openly and obviously used the property.
  • Under Texas law, you must have used the property for a continual 10-year period.
  • You must have a presence on the land and use it as if you owned it.

Additionally, you must have attempted to make good use of the property and improve it over the years. As mentioned, adverse possession works to avoid waste, and if you made the area worse or did not care for it, you will likely not obtain title to the land.

Can a landowner challenge adverse possession?

Though it may seem like adverse possession would allow you to take over land easily, that may not be the case. A landowner has 25 years in which he or she could challenge an adverse possession claim and regain the land.

Where can you learn more about adverse possession?

If you feel that adverse possession could suit your circumstances, you may wish to find out more information on this avenue. Obtaining reliable information from local legal resources could help you better understand how this option could potentially work for you.