Someone in possession of or residing in another person’s land may be granted title under the legal principle of adverse possession. However, the requirements for this vary across jurisdictions.
Adverse possession can happen intentionally or unintentionally, and sometimes without your knowledge. You may be surprised that you are no longer the legally recognized owner of a property you owned.
What are the requirements for advance possession in Texas?
To prove adverse possession, the claimant must meet some conditions in their occupation of the land.
First, they must have been in continuous, uninterrupted use of the property. In Texas, the amount of time ranges from three to ten years, depending on the circumstances. To bring a claim of adverse possession, the claimant must be in control of and occupying the property against your right and permission as the owner. The claimant must be in open and sole possession, apparent to everyone. However, you are not necessarily required to be aware of their occupation.
How can you prevent adverse possession?
Given the possibility of losing your property, it is advisable to stay ahead of such a situation and avoid it if possible. You can do this by identifying, marking and securing your property boundaries to keep out trespassers.
Alternatively, you can give written permission to someone to use your land and get their written agreement. You could also offer to rent the property to the claimant and sign a rental agreement since tenants cannot claim property under adverse possession.
Act fast to protect your rights
Time is not on your side with an adverse possession claim, and you should act swiftly. You might lose your property if you do not understand the legal technicalities involved and what you should do to retain ownership.
Therefore, it is necessary to seek assistance on the best way to respond to such a situation or avoid it altogether.