Boston, MA asked in Real Estate Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Probate for Puerto Rico

Q: Q: My wife and I have found an abandoned propert in Puerto Rico that we would like to claim using adverse possession.

We have spoke to all the neighbors in the area and found the owner to be deceased and the place has been empty for about 6 years or since Hurricane Maria. How can we take the property in good faith. What actions need to be taken.

1 Lawyer Answer
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
  • Probate Lawyer
  • San Juan, PR
  • Licensed in Puerto Rico

A: Under Puerto Rico Rule of Law, you would need to be in pacific possession of said real estate property, openly, and (in the mind of your neighbors) as if you were the owners of said property. This would need to continue for 20 years, the go before a court of law to request said adverse possession (usucapión) by filing a lawsuit. Even then, although the most recent owner is deceased, you'd need to show efforts in trying to locate the deceased descendants/heirs; since, in any event, they would need to come under the court's jurisdiction in order for the court to resolve the case.

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