Adverse Possession

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Public policy encourages the use of real property rather than just letting it sit there. Therefore, there's a concept in the law called adverse possession, whereby someone can actually acquire ownership of land that otherwise does not belong to them by using it in a certain way. In order to gain ownership of property by adverse possession, the user must basically treat the land as the actual owner would have or should have and must use the land exclusively. Also, the adverse possessor must not hide his or her use of the land. Rather, the use must be done openly and notoriously and adverse to the actual owner. These requirements are partially intended to make at least everyone, including the actual owner, aware that the adverse possessor is using the land so that the true owner can fight for it if so desired. If the adverse possessor successfully uses the land for the actual number of years defined by law, he or she could acquire title to the property. If you are involved in a property dispute or have questions about adverse possession, please understand time is of the essence and seek the advice of an attorney as soon as possible so you can best protect your property rights

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