Adverse possession

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Oct 27, 2017
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So this is when you knowingly move into in an abandoned property and take legal ownership of the title. Usually for a set amount of time (10 years is the usual amount).

I'm seriously thinking about doing this in the town I'm in the now. I can tell there's an abandoned house around me. About ten miles down the road but in good condition.

We got any lawyers here on era? What's the proper protocol? I just move in and change the locks? I need to see if anyone owns it first like a bank or something?
 
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Westbahnhof

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
4,698
Austria
...what. This can't really be a thing, can it?
What counts as "abandoned"?

Sounds like a good way to get into heaps of trouble, in any case.
 

Br3wnor

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
2,014
Laws depend on the state but mostly it’s something that happens more on Bar exam hypos than an actual way of getting ownership of property that isn’t yours. If the place is foreclosed on you’re most likely gonna get evicted way before the statutory time for AP kicks in.
 

Dan Thunder

Member
Nov 2, 2017
2,595
If it's a residential building i.e. a house then that's illegal in the UK and the police will simply come and arrest you.
 

teruterubozu

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,014
It may work if you are a previous legal tenant, i.e. a squatter. But moving into abandoned property will likely get you charged with trespassing.
 

danowat

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,149
If it's a residential building i.e. a house then that's illegal in the UK and the police will simply come and arrest you.
It's not quite that simple, as long as you don't damage the property, it's a civil matter, the police can only support in the case of a legitimate eviction.

That said, it's still a shitty thing to do.
 
OP
OP
BladeoftheImmortal
Oct 27, 2017
5,471
I've been here for about 5 months now and this house has an abandoned car in the driveway with the lights on the front porch on day and night. Like no one has been in or out of this place for a very long time. Seems like a waste.
 

Dan Thunder

Member
Nov 2, 2017
2,595
It's not quite that simple, as long as you don't damage the property, it's a civil matter, the police can only support in the case of a legitimate eviction.

That said, it's still a shitty thing to do.
Are you thinking of non-residential building's as the police can arrest you if you squat in a residential property without permission? Assuming you weren't living there previously that is.
 

Cilidra

Member
Oct 25, 2017
577
Ottawa
I've been here for about 5 months now and this house has an abandoned car in the driveway with the lights on the front porch on day and night. Like no one has been in or out of this place for a very long time. Seems like a waste.
Well sounds like someone is paying for electricity. So your claim would likely would never be received even if the owner is not occupying the building.
 

SteveWinwood

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,648
USA USA USA
yeah dude just move in and change the locks it will go great

how some people on this forum manage to still be alive amazes me
 
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collige

Member
Oct 31, 2017
4,273
(wrong thread)

Edit: Since I'm already here, I'm gonna say that if I've been seeing someone for five months, I would have to be a crazy weirdo to start fantasizing about what our marriage is gonna be like in a decade. OP is doing that for someone else's house.

Why would you even want to squat when you are presumably not homeless?
 
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ZackieChan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,408
You're gonna have a hard time hitting all those elements of adverse possession.
Jesus, we learned this the first week of law school. Blew our minds that this was a thing. But it's not as easy as you might think. You can't just hide in there. You need to be open about it and pay the taxes and shit.
But it's easier in Alabama than in other states, it seems.
 

LL_Decitrig

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,865
Sunderland
you really trying to steal a house
That's the basic idea. You take possession of an abandoned, insecure property, take on responsibility for its upkeep, and hold it against legal challenge for a while, and it becomes yours by default.

This is a good legal principle. The alternative would be to permit owners to neglect their responsibilities indefinitely.
 

gdt

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,327
I've been here for about 5 months now and this house has an abandoned car in the driveway with the lights on the front porch on day and night. Like no one has been in or out of this place for a very long time. Seems like a waste.
Sorry dude gotta get your own place.

Where do you live now? Are you homeless?
 

Bumrush

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,466
Are you just going to hope no one notices you're living there, not paying taxes, for 10 years?
 

BossAttack

Member
Oct 27, 2017
15,266
Laws depend on the state but mostly it’s something that happens more on Bar exam hypos than an actual way of getting ownership of property that isn’t yours. If the place is foreclosed on you’re most likely gonna get evicted way before the statutory time for AP kicks in.
Yep.

All it takes to stop your taking is the owner to tell you to fuck off within the statutory period for adverse possession. You also have to actually use the property, meaning live on a piece of property. You can't fuck off every three months or use it as some off and on vacation home.
 

Subpar Scrub

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,359
Are you just going to hope no one notices you're living there, not paying taxes, for 10 years?
Actually in most adverse possession cases, at least in Aus, the squatters are paying taxes, rates, mowing the lawns, upkeeping the house... usually for 15-20 years or more. You have to show that you intend to fully utilise the property and conduct yourself in a way that reflects intention to become the owner. These cases are rare though.

Most of the time, nobody knows who owns the house. Can be that someone died with the property fully paid off and the ownership was then lost in a weird will or contractual issue, rendering it completely vacant. This is particularly rare because iirc, houses in my state that aren’t given to family in a will are automatically seized by the government I think.
 

Bumrush

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,466
Actually in most adverse possession cases, at least in Aus, the squatters are paying taxes, rates, mowing the lawns, upkeeping the house... usually for 15-20 years or more. You have to show that you intend to fully utilise the property and conduct yourself in a way that reflects intention to become the owner. These cases are rare though.
This is fucking bonkers LOL...thanks for the clarification
 

FeliciaFelix

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,322
Laws depend on the state but mostly it’s something that happens more on Bar exam hypos than an actual way of getting ownership of property that isn’t yours. If the place is foreclosed on you’re most likely gonna get evicted way before the statutory time for AP kicks in.
This. I had a bar exam question all about it. It exists in both common law and civil law jurisdictions so I got the joy of studying in English and Spanish.

In most civil law jurisdictions it's usually 30 years in the case of bad faith possession (you knew that house wasnt yours) and 10 years or so if you bought but it turned out to not be legit. It must be notorious that you claimed it (all the neighborhood knows).

In common law jurisdictions, same rules sort of apply but states like Florida add stuff like paying taxes and building a fence.

In other words, bad faith possession takes up to 30 years plus other requirements to take hold. You'll never make it, OP. But consult a lawyer in your state and bring him some lols.
 

bossmonkey

Avenger
Nov 9, 2017
797
Welcome to how to piss off the neighborhood, get an eviction on your credit, and possibly get arrested for B&E, the thread. C'mon OP if you want the house act like an adult, find out who owns it, see if they're using it, and if not make a low-ball offer on it.
 

Keldroc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,505
Nothing at all. If they want it, they can have the squatter evicted.
Squatters usually rely on the city and/or police simply not doing anything about it, because these cases are often low priority to everyone except the property owner and people who live in the area. Small groups of drug dealers and their "customers" taking up residence in abandoned houses or houses temporarily empty due to fumigation are a regular occurrence in Los Angeles. One group a mile or so from here is routinely complained about and reported on, but authorities have done pretty much nothing. It's also a problem for real estate agents in areas with large homeless populations. They'll just move into the staged home as it's empty except when agents are showing it for a couple of hours per week. The cops will come and clear it out, but the squatters will just walk around the block and by the time they get back the cops are gone and they go right back in the house.
 

LL_Decitrig

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,865
Sunderland
Welcome to how to piss off the neighborhood, get an eviction on your credit, and possibly get arrested for B&E, the thread. C'mon OP if you want the house act like an adult, find out who owns it, see if they're using it, and if not make a low-ball offer on it.
This is far more likely to succeed. But nobody writes articles or tweets about people who gain lawful possession and move in.
 

The Albatross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,716
I can't imagine how someone could live normally under these circumstances. Like, as someone who is not the legal resident of a property and the city has no record of someone living there, how would you get utilities like water, electricity, or gas/oil, let alone things like internet? ANd then, if you're getting those things like say city water, you have to pay for them or else you're going delinquent on bills.

Let's say after 10 years you become the legal owner of this property, in the off chance that the property remains unchanged, the city would go looking for back taxes on you as you hadn't been paying property taxes for 10 years on a property that you're claiming legal ownership of.

Also, not as many properties as "abandoned" as you think. There's an "abandoned" house behind my house, but ... it's not really abandoned. The old owner died about 2 years ago and the property is owned by the company that he used to work for, he lived there in exchange for being the grounds keeper for a much larger property which is a non-profit. The location of the house is a good deal away (miles) from where people would associate the place he worked for, so most people would passively think this is just some abandoned house in the woods. This house is behind my house, it's abandoned, the roof is falling in, noone has lived in it for a year, but if someone broke in and started rummaging around or living there, I'm calling the police, and I wouldn't just *not* notice... neighbors notice things, and the old people in my neighborhood notice *everything*.
 
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