Adverse Posession – Do you know what you own?
The first step to take is to have a boundary survey (aka stake survey) performed on your property. By having a boundary performed, property corners will be clearly and visibly marked for all parties to see.
If the neighbor disagrees with the property corner location, they would be best advised to hire a different surveying company to verify the results
Do you have a claim for adverse possession?
As defined by Black’s Law Dictionary is a method of acquiring title to real property by possession for a statutory period under certain conditions, especially a non-permissive use of the land:
- Can only be determined by a judge/court
- Has to meet a minimum set of 5 requirements in order to qualify:
- ACTUAL POSSESSION – Erecting a fence, planting a hedge
- OPEN AND NOTORIOUS POSSESSION – Acts of possession, construction of buildings, visible use and occupation, a mailbox
- CONTINUOUS POSSESSION – Uninterrupted use of land – can be from grantor to grantee
- HOSTILE POSSESSION – If a fence extends to enclose lands belonging to another is believed to be the true boundary line, and one claims ownership to the fence, such possession will be adverse and hostile to owner.
- EXCLUSIVE POSSESSION – Refusal to permit the legal owners or his or her agents to enter the land.
- The adverse claimant is charged with the burden of proof.
- Unless a statute provides otherwise, adverse possession does not run against the United States or a state, county, or city and usually not against individuals with disabilities.
- One can claim “adverse possession” when the required components are complied with continuously and simultaneously for the period of ten years in the state of Missouri. Time period varies from state to state.
Disclaimer: Information provided should not be considered legal advice and all buyers, agents, and title companies should consult their attorneys for legal advice.