Tacoma, WA asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for Washington

Q: If you have found a house that has been abanded over three years and you move part way in and doing repairs on the house

and have a notary about adverese possession and some showed up claiming to be the owner what rights do i have

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III
Answered

A: Your rights are probably limited to gathering your things and going peaceably or risk being forcibly removed. Your attempt to establish ownership by adverse possession will probably fail, because the period for which you must actually, openly, notoriously, continuously occupy the property against the owner's wishes is probably longer than you've occupied it. In my state, for example, the period is 15 years. If you've been in the house under the conditions I mentioned longer than your state's proscription period, your possession may have ripened into ownership. But these cases are uncommon and difficult to win.

You should contact an attorney in your area immediately. You may be merely a squatter without rights in the place. If the owner asks you to leave and you do not, you would become a trespasser.

PS: My comments here are for general information and not advice about your specific situation nor the applicability of any particular law. They are not an invitation to join in, nor intended to create, nor do they create, an attorney-client relationship.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.