Can My Neighbor Claim Part of My Land?

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‘I live in Arkansas and purchased a house last May. My adjoining neighbor purchased his house last month. He decided he wanted to put a fence around his property but we didn’t agree on the property lines. I hired a surveyor and the survey show’s that the line is about 20 feet closer to his house then either of us expected. It’s also showing that the line in front of the my house starts about 10 feet away from the road because of a 50 foot road easement. He’s telling me that since the seller he bought his house from maintained the property (actually she and the sellers of my house shared responsibility) for the past 30 years, he has adverse possession of the property. Can he claim this since he just recently bought the house or will the survey be the deciding factor?’

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

There are two questions here. First, do adverse rights such as you are describing pass on from one owner to another? I am not familiar with Arkansas law on this point, but the answer is definitely yes in
other states, so it could be the case in Arkansas as well.

Second, can a person gain ownership (or the equivalent) of part of a neighbor’s property by maintaining it or fencing it in for the requisite time period? Again, Arkansas law may be different, but in other states the answer is no–in large part because the adverse possession laws of most states require that you pay the property taxes on the land you are claiming.

A definitive answer to both of these questions can be obtained during the initial consultation with a local real estate attorney.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.