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Protecting yourself from adverse possession claims

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Real Estate |

Adverse possession might seem like a confusing term, but it is actually quite simple. Imagine someone starts using a part of your land without asking you first and continues to do so for a long time. If they eventually claim that piece of land as their own, that is adverse possession in action.

It is important to know how to protect your property from these claims.

Regular inspection

One way to protect yourself from adverse possession claims is to keep a close eye on your property. Take regular walks around the boundaries and see if everything looks as it should. Watch for encampments, construction equipment, gardening tools or anything else that indicates someone is using your land without your permission.

Clear demarcation

Having clear and recognizable boundary lines eliminates confusion and establishes your land rights. Just like lines on a sports field show where you can play, markers on your property show where your land starts and ends. Fences, signs or even painted lines can help make it indisputable where your property begins and where it stops.

Accurate record-keeping

It is not just about what you see, but also about what you document. Take clear notes as to how your land is being used. If someone has your permission to use a portion of your property, keep records of your agreement and add photo documentation. If they do not, keep track of when and where the illegal activity takes place. This way, if anyone ever tries to claim your land as their own, you have the evidence to prove them wrong.

Legal action

Sometimes, even with all of the above precautions, your land may still be used by people who have no legal claim. If someone tries to claim adverse possession of your land, do not panic. Seek legal advice and take the necessary steps to protect your rights. It might mean going to court, but it is worth it to keep what is rightfully yours.

By keeping an eye on your land and being ready to act if needed, you can make sure you stay in control of your property.