Adverse possession

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In Anglo-American property law, adverse possession is a legal mechanism for a trespasser (or squatter) to gain title to property, without the true owner's consent.

CHOSE mnemonic[edit | edit source]

To acquire property through the adverse possession procedure, the trespasser must show that her possession is

  1. Continuous;
  2. Hostile;
  3. Open and notorious; (e.g. Marengo Cave Co. v. Ross)
  4. for the Statutory period [usually 10 years]; and
  5. Exclusive.

Property taxes[edit | edit source]

Some U.S. states make payment of property taxes a pre-requisite for anyone wanting to claim adverse possession; these payments must last throughout the statutory period.

"Color of title"[edit | edit source]

"Color of title" means the adverse possessor assumes possession based on a document conveying title even though the aforesaid document may be challenged.

See also[edit | edit source]