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How To File For Adverse Possession Texas?

adverse possession texas

Adverse possession Texas, is what we commonly know as squatter’s rights. In this article we will be talking about what squatter’s rights you enjoy in Texas.  

Squatting occurs when someone occupies an abandoned property without consulting the owner. It could resemble a breaking and entering case. However squatting or adverse possession can become lawful after you have lived in the property for some time.

Legally, squatter rights fall under the provisions of adverse possession laws of Texas.

Now, let us find out more about adverse possession Texas in the article below.

What Is Adverse Possession In Texas?

What Is Adverse Possession In Texas?

Adverse Possession is when someone occupies a property or area that belongs to another. The area is usually abandoned or unoccupied when the person takes adverse possession. It may also be a foreclosed land, area or building.

Thus, here, one takes adverse possession of the land without prior lawful permission from its owner.

Additionally, this person does not pay rent or have ownership of the property in any manner. Despite the initial stages of adverse possession (commonly called squatting) being unlawful, it is very common in the USA.

Typically, proving land ownership in Texas requires a deed. However, adverse possession Texas laws provide an alternative. These laws allow individuals to claim land without a deed. Legally, adverse possession involves getting the title to land.

Moreover, adverse possession is special because it allows ownership of land even if it originally belongs to someone else.

Trespassers or squatter often use the right of adverse possession to get hold of a property. Additionally, some neighbors may exploit it to expand their property boundaries.

How To File Adverse Possession In Texas?

How To File Adverse Possession In Texas?

So, how to file for divorce in Texas? Or, how to file for small business bankruptcy in Texas? You have to visit a lawyer, right?

Well, similarly, Adverse possession Texas is a legal right that you can enjoy when you file for it. However, you have to use the correct method while filing.

What Do Adverse Possession Laws Say In Texas?

Courts issue and enforce Adverse possession Texas laws. They help establish fair rulings when a landowner neglects their property. The basic idea is that if one overlooks a property, another person who looks after it (or is residing on it) is the true owner.

So basically, it is when you throw something away and someone else finds a purpose for it. Now, you can no longer claim it when they start using it as their own.

However, this can only happen when an individual has been occupying the land for a certain time.

Requirements For Adverse Possession Texas

Requirements For Adverse Possession Texas

To claim ownership through adverse possession, the trespasser must present evidence. Texas law comsiders the legal title holder as the rightful owner.

How to claim adverse possession in Texas and what are its requirements?

A trespasser/squatter in Texas can get the legal ownership to a property through adverse possession. According to adverse possession Texas claims hey can do it by meeting specific conditions. It can be a specific duration or certain actions that they take.

So, according to laws in Texas, squatters must fulfill these requirements.

For 3 Years

The trespasser should hold the color-of-title for at least 3 years. They should be residing on the land, but they can stay without paying taxes on property.

(Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.024)

For 5 Years

The trespasser can cultivate, use, pay taxes, or hold a valid recorded deed. However, they can do so without holding color-of-title.

(Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.025)

For 10 Years

The trespasser has made improvements and occupied the land in such a case. However, this applies to plots smaller than 160-acres. This can be without color-of-title or tax payments.

(Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.026)

Additional Legal Criteria For Filing The Adverse Possession Claim Texas

Certain other legal for a trespasser/squatter to make an adverse possession claim

The Possession Has To Be Hostile: They should be believing they are the owner without permission from the true owner.

Actual Possessions Only : Trespasser should exercise control over the property.

Open Possession And Notorious: The trespasser should use the property openly and not hide their occupancy.

Exclusive Possession: The trespasser should be in sole possession of the real property.

Continuous Possession: This stay has to be a continuous stay, for example, 3, 5, or even 10 years.

How Do I Perfect A Claim Of Adverse Possession?

Adverse Possession lets someone claim property that does not legally belong to them.

In Texas, possession has to be exclusive, ongoing, obvious, and real. Additionally, there has to be a 3-25 year possession and unopposed. The owner only has limited time to contest this.

Additionally, to claim adverse possession, the person must control and occupy the property against the owner’s permission. They must openly possess it, even if the owner is not aware.

Filing a lawsuit in county court is necessary for an adverse possession Texas claim. These claims are rare and need substantial evidence to back them up. This is because these lead to the court transferring property ownership.

To Conclude

Now that we have reached an end to our article on adverse possession Texas, let’s do a quick recap.

In Texas, the original landowners cannot take steps against adverse possession beyond 25 years.

To remove the possessor or the trespasser, the landowner can take help of the eviction process. They have to begin with various notices. Moreover, they can proceed to remove or demolish the building after an evacuation.

If things are even more complicated, they can challenge the claim’s validity. It is also possible to show that the adverse possessor didn’t fulfill the requirements. Thus, acting promptly and consulting a lawyer is essential.

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Debkanya Bhattacharya
Debkanya is a lawyer turned writer. With an experience of 3 years, she is your go-to source for all things law. She has a soft corner for the US and international section. When the weekend arrives, you'll find her reading up on politics, Austen, or travel blogs over a cup of coffee.

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