Detroit, MI asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan

Q: I have a claim for adverse possession and need help, land bank sold my yard! Been on my home 10 yrs

Lived in my home 10 yrs. my yard is fenced off by a privacy fence that’s attached to my home. Literally to the masonary of my home. Recently my neighbor tells me they bought my yard 25 feet of yard that’s btwn our homes. The Detroit Land Bank sold it, saying it was a lot. Sum1 dropped the ball when I bought the home. The previous owner built the fence in 2001, my other neighbors can contest to it. Land Bnk said my home was marked vacant and abandoned by the United States Postal Service. I was never alerted about my yard being a lot or available for sale. I have documents showing the the past owner of my home bought the lot/land from a relative.

Somehow, the Land was not connected to my parcel when I bought home Sept. 4th, 2009. I was told The lot/land went into foreclosure 2015/2016. The Land Bank also said a lot becomes available for sale, when there’s a vacant or abandoned home or building next to it. My home is not vacant/ abandoned, no one checked it out. I never receivEd

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1 Lawyer Answer
David Soble
David Soble
  • Farmington Hills, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Generally, to prevail in a claim for adverse possession, you will need to show the following:

1. Your use was open and notorious. Your use can't be secretive or hidden. Use is open to the public.

2. Hostile. Which means the use infringes upon the rights of the owners of record.

3. Statutory Period. You must be using the property for 15 years.

4. Your use has to be continuous and uninterrupted. If at any time you had permission to use the property from the true owner, you cannot maintain an adverse possession claim.

You will need to bring your claim before any sale to avoid a 'bona fide purchaser" defense.

Hopefully this helps. Find out more information about real estate law at

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