Can a neighbor claim adverse possession if the land changed owners frequently for the last 30 years and the new owners were not aware of the encroachment?

The current owners have been there for 15 or so years. The property is a part of a driveway outside of the easement boundaries. The original survey from the purchase of the property did not show the encroachment. The fact of encroachment was discovered recently due to some work done by the township.

Asked on September 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The neighbor has an adverse possession claim based on tacking.  Tacking means that successive owners add the time they have been in possession of the property to satisfy the statutory period for adverse possession.  In NJ, the statutory period for adverse possession of real estate under claim or color of title is thirty years.  If the property had been woodlands or uncultivated land, the statutory period for adverse possession in NJ would be sixty years.


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