Can you claim adverse possession after seven years?


To claim adverse possession and take someone's property, you my openly use the land for seven years AND pay the taxes on the land.  If you have not paid the taxes, then you cannot claim adverse possession.


Ron:  Okay, my question has to do with adverse possession.

Attorney Tom Olsen: All right.

Ron:  Let me give you a real quick summation. I foreclosed on nine of 10 acres in Union County and there was one acre out of a 10-acre parcel that was in a back corner of it that was not included in the foreclosure and sheriff's sale. Now, this is not a very valuable piece of property. I offered that homeowner more than seven years ago $500. He thinks it's worth a lot more money. I have been using that acre for more than seven years and I’m aware of adverse possession, something about seven years but he's been paying the real estate taxes on his one acre.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Ron, adverse possession is a situation where somebody else's property can become your property, but let's ask Chrissie now. She's studying for the bar exam. Would Ron be entitled to adverse possession in this situation?

Chrissie:  Well, I would say that certainly the seven years he's correct and it has to be that what he is doing is open and notorious. That’s really key but the problem I see is that the other gentleman is paying the taxes.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Right. For you to claim somebody else's piece of property you must use it open and notoriously, must be clearly using it and you must be paying the real estate taxes on that property. Ron, that is what will keep you from claiming adverse possession this property and that is why adverse possession is rarely successful here in the state of Florida.