What are my chances of winning under adverse possession?

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What are my chances of winning under adverse possession?

I have been using a parcel of land in my back yard for over 20 years. I bought my house in 1990. I cleared the back yard which encroached into the woods which was owned by my adjacent neighbor. She sold her property in 2004. it was rental property. During the 20 year period I have cut down brush and trees, replanted lawn, built an outside fire pit, erected a swing set for my children in 1991, sand box in 1993, underground sprinklers in 2008 and 12 x 12 shed in 2012. All within 20 year period while maintaining and landscaping the area on my neighbors property, all with out consent, open and continues.

Asked on January 8, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Although it is not possible to predict the outcome of a particular case, you do have a strong case for adverse possession because you have satisfied the following requirements:
Continuous possession of the property for 20 years; you were the exclusive possessor and actually entered the property; your possession was seen (it was open and notorious); your possession was appropriate to the type, size and use of the land (the shed, underground sprinklers, etc.); shed, fire pit, swing set, sandbox, etc. gave the owner reasonable notice and a reasonable opportunity to eject you; your possession was adverse to the owner's claim.
MA has a special land registration system in which a question of title can be brought to a land court which evaluates and investigates the merits of the claim.  d on its findings, the court can issue a new certificate of title.  
However, this could also be used as a defense by the true owner because property registered  through the land court cannot be adversely possessed.


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