Adverse Possession is defined as “A method of gaining legal title to real property by the actual, open, hostile, and continuous possession of it to the exclusion of its true owner for the period prescribed by state law”. Where a person or entity successfully trespasses and uses another’s property, the person or entity may be permitted to take claim over that property where the landowner fails to timely prevent the illegal use of the property.
As reflected by the definition, there are five main factors that are used to determine whether or not adverse possession has successfully occurred. They are as follows:
- Is the possession “Actual”?
- Is the Possession “Open”?
- Is the Possession “Hostile”?
- Is the Possession Continuous?
- Has the Possession excluded the landowner from use for the time period prescribed by the state law?
Each individual factor to Adverse Possession can be both complicated and crucial to your specific matter. If you believe you are the possible victim of Adverse Possession you should not hesitate to protect your legal rights.