Florida land owners may want to learn about adverse possession and prescriptive easement laws. These two issues can cause complications regarding property ownership or use of property. Each issue can spark real estate disputes that may not necessarily end in a property owner’s favor.
Many people are familiar with the colloquial term “squatter’s rights.” Adverse possession is a legal term with a similar implication. If a person or group of people have been openly living or working on another person’s property, they may ultimately be able to acquire ownership of the land in question. To do so, the trespasser would file an “adverse possession” petition in court.
Every state has its own “adverse possession” criteria that must be met
Property owners who are concerned about possible adverse possession litigation will want to gain an understanding of the laws of the state in which they own property before heading to court. In Florida, for instance, a trespasser must prove that he or she has been residing on the land at stake for at least seven years and has paid property taxes for the same amount of time. There are other criteria that must be met, as well, to gain a favorable ruling in an adverse possession case.
Prescriptive easement allows trespassers to continue using property
The other real estate issue that affects property owners regarding trespassers is known as “prescriptive easement.” This law basically states that a trespasser who has gone unstopped for a certain amount of time may then continue to use the land in question for whatever purpose he or she was using it for to start. An example of a prescriptive easement would be someone cutting through someone else’s property as a pedestrian who wishes to continue doing so. Any Florida property owner who is worried about adverse possession or prescriptive easement real estate issues can seek guidance from an experienced real estate law attorney.