Lisa and Danny are neighbors that live on Guerrero Street. Fifteen years ago Lisa built a gazebo. She frequently used the gazebo, but she was not aware that actually the gazebo was on property belonging to Danny. A month after the gazebo was built Lisa built a fence between her and Danny’s yard, and the gazebo was on Lisa’s side of the fence. Fifteen years later, Danny has a survey done, and he discovers that the gazebo is on his land. Danny brings a suit to evict Lisa from the land. Does Lisa have a defense? Assume, that the state in question has an adverse possession period of ten years.
You may be surprised to learn, that under certain circumstances, a trespasser can come onto your land, occupy it, and gain legal ownership of it. The legal term for this is "adverse possession."
Through adverse possession, a trespasser can gain ownership of just a few feet of property or hundreds of acres. And the trespasser doesn’t need to intend to take the land by adverse possession. Sometimes it happens through an honest mistake—for example, Lisa may have relied upon a faulty property description in a deed when building a fence on Danny's property.
By rule of continious and exclusive possesion
Lisa possessed the land exclusively (that means the trespasser cannot share possession with strangers or the owner) and without interruption for a certain period of time. (That means the trespasser cannot give up use of the property, return to it later, and try to count the time that the property was abandoned as part of the "continuous" possession time period.) The time period required varies by state and in this case it was ten years.
Apr 22nd, 2015
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