Q: I bought some land in Penulas and there are 2 houses that were built illegally on the property prior to my purchase.
After the purchase, the property lines revealed that these homes were in fact on my property. What can I do to remove them, what rights do I have, and what are their rights?
The rule of law in Puerto Rico grants you a full year after your purchase of the real estate property, to request the courts to evict the people who have invaded your property. Also, the seller may be responsible for clearing the property out before the sale. You may need to bring him/her/they into the lawsuit.
The courts may assess one of several ways to go. If the structures are not solid concrete (i.e., wood and zinc), they may order these to be torn down. If the structures were built part on your land and part on theirs, the Court may consider ordering them to tear that part of the structure that abuts or invades your land. If no removal is possible without damaging the structure, the Courts may consider ordering them to either abandon that part of their property to your benefit; or applying a figure called "reverse accession", whereby that chunk of land where the invaders constructed could be assigned to them in exchange for some form of compensation to you, but only if part of the structure is also located on their land.
If you have not done so yet, I would recommend you to retain a surveyor to check the property lines as per the Public Registry; and determine whether the people who've invaded your land are owners of the adjoining real estate properties; before deciding to go to court.
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.