York, PA asked in Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania

Q: Have a question about adverse possession in Pennsylvania.

Our neighbor is insisting that we are on their property line, however we have been maintaining this section of the yard (about a 4-foot section) for the past 17 years. Are we eligible for adverse possession? It was per a good faith mistake, we have actual possession of the land, we've had open and notorious possession, and exclusive and continuous possession. What can I do?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko
  • Allentown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Adverse possession requires a minimum of twenty consecutive years. That twenty years may be accumulated between a current owner and a prior owner.

Based on your information, unless you can establish possession and control by your prior owner, you are out of luck.

Secondly, you indicate that there was a mutual mistake. Although I would want to double check, I believe that for adverse possession to take effect, you must knowingly assert possession and control of land which you know is not yours and which the neighbor believes is the neighbor’s. Thus, for that additional reason, if my recollection is correct, there cannot be adverse possession here.

Are you now sure that the land belongs to your neighbor? You both might want to invest in a survey.

1 user found this answer helpful

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.