My property line goes through my neighbors stairs. Do I own that land?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

My property line goes through my neighbors stairs. Do I own that land?

We let our previous neighbors build stairs that
partially went over the property line by about
4 feet. Our new neighbor of 2 years is now
claiming that they own the land under the
stairs, the entire strip on land running
perpendicular to the stairs, and also an
additional 10 feet into our land. They also
keep mentioning that the house is in litigation
even though we have not received a single
notice since she has been there. Does she
really own all that land? Thank you for your

Asked on May 25, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Rhode Island


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, she does not. Voluntarily giving someone permission to intrude on or make some use of your land does NOT give them any right to it. "Adverse possession," which is a mechanism for claiming another person's land, must be "adverse" or hostile, or against the property owner's interests--but if the property owner allowed you on their land, then that is by definition not adverse or hostile and so cannot convey any right to land. Permitted uses or occupancy does not cost a property owner his or her rights to his or her land.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption