Adverse Possession – What You Need to Know About the Law in Michigan
Knowing the law of adverse possession is necessary for Michigan land owners to avoid possession by trespassers and potential litigation.
Adverse possession is a legal concept allowing a trespasser to gain legal possession of your land without your permission.
According to Beach v. Twp. of Lima, 802 N.W.2d 1 (2011), to establish a claim of adverse possession, the party trying to claim the property must show proof that the possession is:
– Visible, open, notorious, exclusive, hostile,
– Under claim of right, and
– Continuous and uninterrupted for the statutory period of 15 years.
After the period of fifteen years, according to Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 600.5801 (LexisNexis 2017), the original owner no longer holds title because it is now owned by the adverse possessor. Acquisition by the adverse possessor allows them to then protect the property against trespassers, but, they do not have a record or marketable title. The adverse possessor must file a lawsuit, satisfying the elements above, to get a judicial decree and the proper title.
Boundary line disputes may be settled under either the doctrine of adverse possession or the doctrine of acquiescence. Adverse possession may not be used to claim title to land owned by the state or government.
Ways to avoid a claim of adverse possession on your property include:
– Building a fence on your property line.
– Regularly checking and maintaining the property.
– Removing all trespassers.
– Hiring an attorney to make sure you have proper title and documentation.
If you believe you have a claim for adverse possession, some initial steps include:
– Obtaining a title search and legal description of the property.
– Hiring an attorney to represent you in court.
Contact the Attorneys at Tishkoff PLC
If you have questions or concerns about property law or related matters, be sure to reach out to a attorney in Michigan today. The team at Tishkoff PLC is here to help. Contact us online or call our office today. Toll Free: 1 (855) TISH-LAW.