The concept of squatting or adverse possession has been present in the law for centuries. Adverse possession is defined as the occupation of land or property without the permission of the owner, and the occupant subsequently gaining legal title through continuous and uninterrupted use of the property. what are squatters rightslaws are complex and can be confusing. So, in this article, we will explore the basic principles of adverse possession and shed light on some of the common misconceptions surrounding it.
Adverse possession law is based on the principle of ‘use it or lose it.’ As per the law, if someone occupies a property and continuously uses it without the owner’s objection for a specified period, they can obtain ownership of the land or property. The period of adverse possession varies between different states, but it is generally around 10-20 years. This means that if the occupier stays on the property for the specified number of years without interference from the owner, they can take legal possession of the property.
One common misconception about adverse possession is that the occupier must pay property tax or perform other property-related tasks for the specified period. However, this is not the case. Adverse possession law is based purely on possession and use of the land, not on the payment of taxes or other property-related duties.
Another common misconception is that the law only applies to vacant or abandoned land or property. While many cases of adverse possession involve unused or uninhabited land, it can also apply to land that is temporarily unused or where the owner is absent for an extended period. Furthermore, adverse possession does not apply to all kinds of land. For instance, it does not apply to public property, registered land, or land owned by the government.
One critical aspect of adverse possession is the use of the property by the occupier. The law recognizes that the occupant cannot just squat on the property without making use of it. Therefore, the occupier must show evidence that they have been using the property for the specified period. The use of the property includes activities such as planting, gardening, construction of structures or buildings, and other similar uses.
It is important to note that adverse possession does not allow for forced entry or violent takeover of property. The occupier must enter the land or property in a peaceful and non-violent manner. This means that if someone occupies the property without the owner’s permission by breaking a window or lock, then that person cannot claim adverse possession.
In conclusion, adverse possession or squatting laws can be complex, but the basic principles remain the same. The law is based on the idea that if a person occupies a property and uses it for a specified number of years without interference or objection from the owner, they can obtain legal possession of the property. However, adverse possession applies only to certain types of land and requires the use of the property by the occupier. As a result, one should tread with caution when dealing with squatting or adverse possession issues and should seek professional legal advice before taking any action.