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Squatters Rights

The term “Squatters’ rights” generally pertains to adverse possession laws that differ from one place to another. Adverse possession is a legal principle that enables a person who occupies somebody else’s land for a specific period to potentially obtain legal ownership of that land.

To claim adverse possession of a property, a squatter must meet several requirements. These usually include:

  1. Open and Notorious Possession: The squatter must occupy the property in a way that is open and obvious. They cannot hide their presence.
  2. Hostile Possession: The possession must be without the owner’s permission. In this context, “hostile” does not necessarily mean aggressive; it simply means that the occupation is against the interests of the true owner.
  3. Actual Possession: The squatter must physically possess and use the property. Mere intentions or occasional use may not be sufficient.
  4. Continuous Possession: The occupation must be continuous and uninterrupted for a specified period, which can vary from a few years to several decades depending on local laws.
  5. Exclusive Possession: The squatter must possess the property to the exclusion of the true owner and others.

If a person occupies a property without the owner’s permission for a certain amount of time and meets specific criteria, they may be able to claim legal ownership of the property through adverse possession laws.

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