If 4 people own 80 acres of land and 1 person has decided to live on the land, does that person have to get permission from the 3 other owners prior to moving onto it?

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If 4 people own 80 acres of land and 1 person has decided to live on the land, does that person have to get permission from the 3 other owners prior to moving onto it?

Or can the person claim squatters rights and claim all 80 acres? Should we have a document for him to claim all 80 acre? Should we have a legal document to indicate all 4 people still own the land?

Asked on May 19, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) Any owner can move into/onto or otherwise use land of which he is an owner, as long as he does not bar other owners from use/access.

2) An owner cannot get "squatter's rights" against other owners (better referred to as "adverse possession") because his usage is permitted--he's not a "squatter" and his use/possession is not adverse to (i.e. not hostile to) the use of the others.

3) If the 4 owners cannot agree as to the use or disposition of the land, one or more of them could bring a judicial action (a lawsuit) for "partition"--basically, for a court order chopping up the land or ordering its sale and the distribution of the proceeds thereof. This is a complex action, so it would be advised to retain an attorney to help you.


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