Abandoned Properties - Anyone Ever Done Adverse Possession? - Posted by Sparky

Posted by JoeKaiser on August 09, 2000 at 11:56:41:

Adverse possession is by definition a quiet title action. You don’t just magically end up on title, you sue for it.

Adverse possession is available because it solves lots of practical problems. There are situations where it absolutely makes sense. However, it is not the investment stragegy that they used to make it out to be. Tread lightly and know the risks before you undertake this sort of thing.

Also, there are lots of twists. We have something called “tacking” where you can use someone else’s time with the property and call it your own. That means the time frame problem is often not a problem at all.


Abandoned Properties - Anyone Ever Done Adverse Possession? - Posted by Sparky

Posted by Sparky on August 07, 2000 at 13:32:23:

I was just reading up on acquiring properties via adverse possession. Anyone here ever done this before? I know it comes with some big risks. Please share your experience.

Re: Abandoned Properties - Anyone Ever Done Adverse Possession? - Posted by Irwin

Posted by Irwin on August 08, 2000 at 07:34:02:

You probably won’t find many situations where AP will work for you, so you can’t figure on it as an overall strategy. However, it is an “arrow” in your quiver, so be aware of the technical requirements in your state. This means consulting an attorney before using it.

Re: Abandoned Properties - Anyone Ever Done Adverse Possession? - Posted by Ben (NJ)

Posted by Ben (NJ) on August 07, 2000 at 19:48:18:

I have heard that John Beck discusses this as a method of acquiring property but I don’t understand why. The theory of adverse posession I studied in law school
effectively meant trespassing on someone else’s property and then planting yourself there for about 20 years until the law granted you possession. I can think of alot easier ways to get property than that. If I am missing an angle here please enlighten me.

Re: Adverse Possession - Posted by Sparky

Posted by Sparky on August 07, 2000 at 20:08:40:

It’s actually 7 years. The advantage is that if you find an abandoned property and cannot locate the owner, you can break-in, fix up the property, rent it out, and have the tax bill forwarded to you. You have no mortgage on the property and if you can do this for 7 years, you get the property. The disadvantage is that if the owner shows up before the end of the 7 years, he can reclaim the property and you lose. I thought it was an interesting concept and wanted to see how often other investors have done this.

Re: Adverse Possession - Posted by BR

Posted by BR on August 07, 2000 at 20:19:29:

The time frame varies from state to state. I’m with you Ben, you’d have to be a real loser to use that as an investment strategy. I can see this in a property dispute between two adjoining landowners but not an investment strategy. The one possibility is where you have information about the owner that leads you to believe he will not be returning, but still you can locate him and get the deed if he has no interest. Adverse possession is a long shot at best and could get YOU shot.

Re: Adverse Possession - Posted by Marbs

Posted by Marbs on August 07, 2000 at 22:19:50:

Hi Sparky,

BR is correct, the time-frame for adverse possession varies from one state to the next, and, frankly, seven years is by far the shortest I’ve ever heard. It’s established by statute, so I’d suggest checking it out at a law library or having a local attorney check it out for you (if you haven’t done so already). And I agree with both Ben and BR that it is a loser of an investment strategy.


Time varies from state to state some are 21 years plus… - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on August 08, 2000 at 22:02:20:

the adverse possession must be hostile, open, and nototious. Unimproved land for example must be fenced
again for 21 years. Your adverse posession must also be exclusive to you alone. I’ve never done it the 21 years is the big killer that I see. Additionally I expect that title insurance would also require a tight Quiet Title action in orcer to convey marketable title.
David Krulac