What is adverse possession?
Adverse possession is a legal method of obtaining ownership property through the use of another person’s property without permission. It is often also referred to as squatter’s rights and is commonly misunderstood as being an easy way to claim ownership to someone else’s property.
CLAIM FOR ADVERSE POSSESSION?
What is required to obtain ownership of a property through adverse possession?
In order to obtain ownership, the person bringing the claim must establish that the land in question has been used continuously for 10 years in Missouri and 15 years in Kansas. Additionally, the use of the property must be open and without the permission of the owner of the property. This could be the result of a mistaken belief of ownership or someone using the property with a complete disregard for another’s ownership. The most common form of adverse possession is when a fence is mistakenly built over a property line and it is discovered many years later. These claims may also arise from a person using a driveway that is on another person’s land or residing in a vacant family home for many years.
How does a person obtain ownership of a property through adverse possession?
A person makes a claim for adverse possession by filing a quiet title suit. A quiet title suit is a legal action asking the court to declare the person bring the suit the owner of the property. In the alternative, adverse possession may also be used as a defense to a suit filed by the other party seeking either to quiet title or remove the other person from the property. At the completion of the litigation and if the claimant is successful, the property is declared owned by the person making the claim. This ownership is then no different than if the property was purchased and transferred via a deed to the buyer.