ADVERSE POSSESSION: squatters lock out and get restraining orders against owners
This is a shocking headline: Colo. Family Tries to Regain Home From Occupiers. The two squatters managed to lock out and even get restraining orders against the legitimate owners.
We don’t run into this very often, but perhaps with the bleak situation of high unemployment, many foreclosures, etc. we’ll see more cases of adverse possession.
Here’s an actual situation ---- My Parents bought a home thru short sale & now there are squatters living there refusing to leave --- as reported in ForeclosureRadar.com
What is the legal definition of adverse possession?
ExpertLaw.com defines it as “Adverse possession is a principle of real estate law whereby somebody who possesses the land of another for an extended period of time may be able to claim legal title to that land. The exact elements of an adverse possession claim may be different in each state.”
California’s Department of Transportation provides this document that explains our state law pertaining to Adverse Possession and the requirements for obtaining land:
- Hostile claim . Person knows he is trespassing, or knowingly occupies land that isn’t his. AND/OR: The trespasser must be completely innocent and must have made a good faith mistake, such as relying on an invalid or incorrect deed
- Actual, open and notorious possession. The trespasser must actually be in possession of the property and treat it as if he were an owner.
- Exclusive and continuous possession. The trespasser must possess the land exclusively and without interruption for the statutory time period.
- Payment of property taxes.
So....what does YOUR state law say about adverse possession?