If you been paying taxes on a house for years, is it yours after a time?

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If you been paying taxes on a house for years, is it yours after a time?

I been paying taxes in a home that was willed to my uncle and he is out of state but I’ve paid the taxes on it for at least 20 years.

Asked on January 2, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No: making tax payments for another person does NOT give you any right to or claim to the home. You have voluntarily chosen to make these payments; your free choice to make payments for another does not give you ownership over the property. 
To get property in your state without buying or being given it or inheriting it, you have to follow ALL the requirements of "advese possesion," which are:
1) You took possession of the property *against the will* of the owner and without his permission;
2) you *actually* occupied or used the property--you have to be there, doing something with it, not just paying bills, etc.;
3) what you did was "open and notorious"--it would be obvious to anyone coming by that you were using the property (it can't be a subtle or hidden use; it must be visible and obvious);
4) only you used the property--no others, too; and
5) You did all the above for at least 10 years.
IF you met all the requirements above, you may be able to claim the property by filing a legal action in court. But paying taxes is not part of the equation and adds nothing.


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