Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Kansas

Q: I moved I to an abandoned property 7 years ago took 6 months of labor and money. Never paid rent. Do I have rigjts

Actual owner didn't know I lived there til a few years ago. Now it in probate. I'm in Kansas. Help I don't want to leave

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1 Lawyer Answer

Scott C. Stockwell

  • Probate Lawyer
  • Lawrence, KS
  • Licensed in Kansas

A: Adverse possession is recognized as a way to become an owner of a property. The person occupying the property must do so in a hostile, actual, exclusive, open and notorious way for a continuous period of fifteen years. K.S.A. 60-503. A person with a superior interest in the property may file an action for possession to dislodge the person in possession of the property or to quiet title. K.S.A. 60-1001, 60-1002.

Kansas law provides a right to reimbursement for improvements made by a person occupying a property under color of title in good faith.

"60-1004. Occupying claimants. (a) Right to reimbursement. Where any person while peacefully occupying realty under color of title in good faith, including mineral leases, has in good faith made improvements thereon or paid obligations in connection therewith, such person shall not be dispossessed by a party, establishing a superior right, claim or title until he or she is fully compensated therefor.

(b) Procedure. If in any action the judge concludes that the occupying claimant should be dispossessed, the judge shall before entering final judgment determine the compensation due the occupying claimant under the provisions of section 1 [*] of this article or if requested by either party he or she shall submit the question to a jury for determination."

You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible to determine your course of action.

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