How doI go about filing for adverse possession of a property?

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How doI go about filing for adverse possession of a property?

I have been living in a property for more than 3 years. There is no bank or mortgage holder. The owner was deported and can’t return to the U.S. and has subsequently abandoned the home. I have been paying the taxes and I’ve been fixing all of the problems with the roof, plumbing, etc. In AZ, 2years of such care allows a person to claim adverse possession . Where can I find an example of a legal form to follow and what court should I file the claim in? Is there a format for writing such a suit? Is there an example of someone else’s claim that I can follow.

Asked on September 2, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I would STRONGLY suggest that you do not attempt to do this without the help of an attorney experienced in this area of the law.  Although I have seen the statute to which you refer regarding the two year issue, it is not clear as to when the 2 years started to run.  When did the owner "abandon" the home?  Was there a presumption of abandonment?  Maybe you should have the court should declare it abandoned in the same proceeding that you claim adverse possession so that you are fully protected.  And to make sure that the right to challenge the possession runs.  I am just looking out for your best interest in the matter.  If there was a lease with the owners name on it I could see an argument that there was no intent to abandon. Seek legal help.  Good luck.


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