When do you obtain squatter’s rights?

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When do you obtain squatter’s rights?

I currently live in the house that my father willed to me. He passed away 4 years ago. His house has been in this spot for 20 years. The land it sits on was bought by my sister and her husband and they let his house be placed here. Now they are looking to sell their house and asking if I can move out so they can sell. My question is whether or not I can claim that this land was my father’s since his house has been here for 20 years?

Asked on February 13, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot do this.
First and foremost, you cannot assert your father's rights, only your own. So the fact that your father placed the house there 20 years ago is irrelevant--you can only rely on your time occupying the property.
Second, "squatter's right," or adverse possession as it is more properly called, is based on "hostile possession"--without permission. You cannot use being allowed to be on property as a basis to take it away from the owners. If your sister and her husband allowed your father to build there, your father and now you occupied with permission, and so your permited occupancy will not let you take the land.


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