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Philadelphia Immigration Lawyer > > General > How to Get Title to Property You Use but Don’t Own: What Is Adverse Possession

How to Get Title to Property You Use but Don’t Own: What Is Adverse Possession

Have you been using your neighbors land for years? Do you live in a house you don’t have title to? Did you cross over and encroach on your neighbor’s property when building a fence? If so, you may have a claim for adverse possession.

Adverse possession is a doctrine that allows a person in possession of land titled or deeded to someone else to acquire valid title to it. In order to obtain title via adverse possession, the possessor must prove:

(1) Actual and exclusive: the possessor shows that they permanently occupy the property and treat the property as if they were the title owner of the property.

(2) Adverse and hostile: the possessor must show that they entered the property without the title owner’s permission and use the property without the owner’s permission.

(3) Visible or notorious: the use of the property must be obvious to a reasonable person, including the property owner, that someone else is using the property

(4) Continuous and uninterrupted: continuous possession of the land for twenty-one or ten years. However, as of 2019, one can get title after only ten years if the property is less than half an acre, a single family dwelling, and the property is recorded as a separate lot.

All four elements must occur simultaneously to have a claim for adverse possession.

At Ellenberg Law Group, our Philadelphia attorney has the skills and experience to get you title to the property. A proactive approach is important in adverse possession cases. Contact our law firm now to arrange your completely confidential initial legal consultation. With a legal office in Philadelphia, we provide legal services to businesses throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, including in Montgomery County, Chester County, and Bucks County.

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