Has your neighbor taken adverse possession of your property? Are you trying to determine if you have met the requirements for an adverse possession claim? If so, you need the services of an experienced real estate law firm. Adverse possession occurs when a person or legal entity claims title to property based not on a purchase of deed, but on open and continuous occupancy of property that is owned by another party. A successful adverse possession claim requires that very specific elements be met. Dickson Law Group has 45 plus years of legal experience to help you understand the details of an adverse possession action.
Seattle 206-621-1110 – Tacoma 253-572-1000
Adverse Possession: What’s It All About?
- Adverse possession is the manner by which an individual acquires legal title to land through occupancy.
- In an adverse possession claim, the real property owner receives no compensation for the property, nor has the real owner received compensation for the property in the past.
- The possessor holds the property in a manner that conflicts, or is adverse, to the true owner’s rights and has adversely possessed the property for a statutorily mandated period of time. In Washington, the property must be occupied for more than ten years.
- Adverse possession can occur because of the actual owner’s failure to protect the land or property against the hostile actions of the adverse possessor. Hostile means that the adverse possessor defends his or her right to use the property.
- An adverse possessor must show he or she is exercising the same dominion over the land that the actual owner of similar property would exercise, for example, planting and harvesting crops.
- Possession of the property must be done in the open. Secret occupation of another’s property does not give the occupant any legal rights. This means that the actual owner must have knowledge of the adverse use of their property, or at a minimum, everyone else in the neighborhood knows of the occupancy.
- This type of open occupancy serves to notify the actual owner that the property will be lost unless recovery attempts are made before time has run out.
- Adverse possession can occur to an entire parcel of land or it may affect only a portion of the property.
Dickson Law Group Puts the Law to Work for You
The above list outlines just some of the legal considerations you need to take into account in an adverse possession claim. Should you find that your rightful property has been openly and continuously used by another party, you need to seek legal counsel to protect your property rights. To protect your property from encroachment through adverse possession, hire experienced legal professionals. At Dickson Law Group, our decades of experience in all areas of real estate law will serve you well, whether you are defending your property against adverse possession, or seeking to enforce your own claim.