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Thread: Adverse Possession Requirements

  1. #1
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    Adverse Possession Requirements

    Our neighbor is trying to take a piece of our property via adverse possession. He told us when we moved in (3 years ago this October) where our actual property line was. He has mowed the grass on our side of that line for 14 years. He also has his propane tank on our property in the section in question. He claims the person who lived there before him mowed the grass in that section as well. Does he have a case to gain this property by adverse possession?

  2. #2
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Every state has different regulations on adverse possession. Check with a lawyer. Generally speaking though, in Ohio at least it is 21 years of continuous use.

    Check out this:

    http://www.ohiorelaw.com/2010/07/adv...n-in-ohio.html

    I have no idea about other states. Get a lawyer.

    Good luck.
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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ahh....

    Get a surveyor too Pull the permit for the propane tank if it exists. Check all the aerial images of your property using google earth to see how far back that tank was there.....fences....etc. The lawyer should be able to provide a two page letter establishing your claim to the land and attach the location improvement certificate from the surveyor and making a demand that the propane tank be removed. Also, tell them you plan to put a corrugated reflective metal fence facing their property with whatever material you can find in the local junk yard. Make a counter claim and demand payment for the propane tank being on your property and demand soil testing be done for contaminants which it will be clear they are liable for......oh and hire an attorney.....I'm not an attorney, I just play one on TV
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    Cyburbian Kingmak's avatar
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    Is his and the previous homeowners mowing the grass enough to make a case for adverse possession? We are located in MI

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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by lt31483 View post
    Is his and the previous homeowners mowing the grass enough to make a case for adverse possession? We are located in MI
    Here is a simple summary of he laws in MI - http://www.icle.org/modules/books/ch...s=4&from=store

    What you need to do it find a local attorney that is experienced with adverse possession law in MI. We can't help you further on this.

    Good luck from a northern Michigan native!
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

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  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
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    Yes call the attorney they'll give you some decent advice on how to move on.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  8. #8
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by lt31483 View post
    Our neighbor is trying to take a piece of our property via adverse possession. He told us when we moved in (3 years ago this October) where our actual property line was. He has mowed the grass on our side of that line for 14 years. He also has his propane tank on our property in the section in question. He claims the person who lived there before him mowed the grass in that section as well. Does he have a case to gain this property by adverse possession?
    Mowing the grass alone does not meet Michigan's standards for adverse possession. The propane tank is a step towards a serious claim. How long ago was it installed?

    Anywho, in Michigan for a 15 year period.... the possessor's use must be open; continuous; exclusive; adverse; and notorious to qualify. and they must meet all of those criteria. As others have suggested you should contact an attorney sooner rather than later.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  9. #9
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Mowing the grass alone does not meet Michigan's standards for adverse possession. The propane tank is a step towards a serious claim. How long ago was it installed?

    Anywho, in Michigan for a 15 year period.... the possessor's use must be open; continuous; exclusive; adverse; and notorious to qualify. and they must meet all of those criteria. As others have suggested you should contact an attorney sooner rather than later.
    I believe there is also a requirement that both property owners much have knowledge of the boundaries of the property line.


    Not only would I contact a lawyer, make sure it is one who understands land use law as these things can be shaky ground if not handled properly. I know of a general attorney who mostly did business law, but did not understand land use law.
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  10. #10
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    Do I have a case for adverse possession?

    Hi - I live in the Edgemont subdivision of the Town of Greenburgh, NY with a Scarsdale P.O. We had our house up for sale and were under contract of sale when we were informed by our neighbor ( adjoining our property behind our house) whose house was also under contract of sale that 1) their buyer had a survey done 2) the survey showed that all 4 adjoining properties had boundary line issues. 3) specifically, our property was on a wedge of land belonging to our neighbor.

    Now, our neighbor and us were totally unaware of this. We have lived in this house for 15 years and our neighbor has been in theirs for ~ 10years. The fence belonging to our neighbor has been in existence since 1963. We have had access to this "wedge" since we moved in in 2000 and so did the previous owner of our property. We have since landscaped and terraced the otherwise useless land which is mostly sitting on rock. In addition, we have maintained and serviced this the same as the rest of our property.

    The buyers of our neighbors property reneged on their contract of sale refusing to allow our neighbor to "give or sell us that piece of land" ~ 170 sq. ft. of unusable land - they also refused to allow our neighbor to get a signed boundary line agreement allowing us and future owners of our property to use that property citing liability issues.
    they also wanted us to file for and undertake the cost for a lot line change or a resubdivision of our neighbor's property.

    We have been told by our real estate attorney that we have a clear case to claim that wedge of land via adverse possession as we have met all the requirements through continuous possession, maintenance of land, etc.

    What are the laws in NY state regarding statute of limitations, and adverse possession claim requirements? Also what are our chances to getting the title quickly?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
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    Sounds like a case to me, but every state is different. I'd listen to your attorney.

    I would recommend if your neighbor still owns the property to just pay to have the lot line adjusted. It's quick and easy if everyone agrees and you know what the outcome will be. If you do the adverse possession thing you end up with court costs and more, plus you never know the actual outcome.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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