What are the laws regarding adverse possession?

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2011

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What are the laws regarding adverse possession?

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Asked on August 24, 2011 Tennessee


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Adverse possession is a common law doctrine codified by statute in all states of this country. To obtain adverse possession of real property the person making the claim must openly, continuously, hostile under claim of right, and to the exclusion of all others use another's property for at least five years as if they themselves own it.

Another requirement is that the property taxes must be paid on the property during the five year time period by the claimant.

Defenses to any claim of adverse possession is that the use of the property was permissive or not hostile. An adverse possession claim is not a favored claim these days in this country. 

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