If my neighbors have their fence on my land and have been keeping it up for over 12 years, is it their land now?

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If my neighbors have their fence on my land and have been keeping it up for over 12 years, is it their land now?

Asked on April 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In order for your neighbor to establish a claim for adverse possession over your property, adverse possession requires continuous, hostile, open, notorious, and actual use of the property for the statutory period.

In Michigan, the required statutory period is fifteen years.  Your neighbor has not satisfied that requirement and therefore you can still prevail if your neighbor asserts a claim of adverse possession over your property.

Continuous means continuous use of the property.  Hostile means the use of the property is in derogation of the true owner's rights.  Open and notorious means the true owner had notice of the party's use of the property.  Actual means actual use of the property.  The continuous, hostile, open, notorious and actual use of the property has to have occurred for the statutory period which in Michigan is fifteen years.

 At this point as mentioned above, the adverse possession claim is not valid because your neighbor has not complied with the fifteen year statutory period. 


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