What is Adverse Possession?

An individual who openly inhabits a property that he or she does not actually own and makes improvements over a certain period of time may be granted legal title under the doctrine of “adverse possession.” Technically, the waiting period reflects the statute of limitations for a trespassing lawsuit. Most states have adverse possession laws (often referred to as squatters’ rights”), with slightly varying provisions, but generally require the person inhabiting the property to follow certain guidelines.

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