How to Secure Your Land From Claims of Adverse Possession
As a real estate investor, you may buy land and leave it vacant, with the intention of selling it in the near future. However, you may wake up to the shock that people have claim to your land without your knowledge.
Adverse possession permits people who do not have the legal right to a property for example land to acquire title to it by occupying it for a minimum of 12 years. As a real estate investor, you can fall into the trap of losing your land through adverse possession. This can sometimes happen without your knowledge and end up affecting the plans you had for the land. However, you can avoid getting into such situations by doing the following;
Check up on your land regularly to make sure it is not being used without your permission
This is a sign that you as a landowner are not ignorant and will tend to keep trespassers off your property. The fact that people can settle in a vacant land unintentionally can be prevented if you constantly check up on your property. People will be aware that there is a person owning the land and will therefore keep off.
Post "no trespassing" signs or put a boundary around your land
Such indications will make people aware that the land has an owner and will eventually leave your property safe from interlopers. You may also need to put a fence around your land However, if you leave your land just open, it will expose it to the risks of people occupying the land.
Offer to rent off the land to someone during the period you do not use it
You may allow a person to build a temporary structure in your land which they may use to live in within the period you do not intend to make use of the land. By doing this you will be avoiding unnecessary intruders and most importantly it will be a way of protecting your land since the land will be in good hands but in case your property becomes damaged, the person residing will be responsible. You may require to give written permission to that person and get a written acknowledgment from them as well. This will defeat adverse possession claims.
Act before the trespasser has been on your land long enough before he makes adverse possession claims
In the case that you realize that someone is residing in your land, you can save it early enough before things fall out of hand to the point that you can't do anything about it. Considering that a person can claim land by adverse possession if he or she has occupied it for at least 12 years, you may need to file a lawsuit to eject the trespasser off your land before the time expires.
The important thing to do therefore to avoid such unnecessary situations is to always keep an eye on your property.