Adverse Possession

Definition - What does Adverse Possession mean?

Adverse Possession is a method used to achieve title to real property by a possession of statutory period under several conditions i.e., a proof of non permitted use that is open, actual, notorious, adverse, continuous and exclusive for statutory period. One acquires the title of another's real property without settlement by holding the property in a way that disagrees with the rights of its true owner for a specific period. The situations in which the adverse possession is raised, determines the kind of title attained by disseisor which might be the mineral rights, another interest or fees title in the real property. The origins are common law precepts and legal actions and thus the details of the actions related to adverse possession differ by jurisdiction.

Petropedia explains Adverse Possession

For Adverse Possession, the common requirements of law have evolved over time, the articulation of which varies from one jurisdiction to another. The requirements are as follows:

  • It should be continuous.
  • It should be hostile to the interests of property's true owner.
  • It must be notorious and open so as to put true owner on notice that the trespasser is in a possession.
  • It should be actual so as to make the true owner have cause of action for the trespass on which he/she is required to act within statute of limitations.
  • It should be exclusive so that there is no confusion on who acquires the title once time has run.
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