Let’s begin by defining in simple language what adverse possession is for the sake of establishing a framework so that all of our readers know what it is and how it can be applied in the acquisition of land, apartmentments and buildings. Adverse possession is a rule in property law that says an investor (called an “adverse possessor”) can take possession of physical property that is not being used and claim ownership becoming the new title owner.
There are exceptions to having the full ownership title in some jurisdictions. Some areas allow an investor to own a property in full. Other jurisdictions will grant the investor partial rights, such as taking an easement instead of the entire title. Most countries prevent investors from owning or engaging in adverse possession through the court system if the land is owned by the government. Some jurisdictions consider the location of where the previous owner resides in cases of adverse possession. This article will not speak to a specific region or provide the reader with a blueprint on how to take possession of title for real estate. What this article will do is introduce the reader to the concept of adverse possession and provide a general explanation of how the process works from beginning to end.
Identifying a Possible Acquisition
After establishing that your desired region allows for favorable laws in relationship to adverse possession, investors must look for properties. A lot of the work comes down to knocking on doors and speaking with neighbors about land or apartments that have been vacant for an extended period of time. It helps to speak candidly to the neighbors about why you are inquiring and what you intend on doing with the property once you take possession. Your neighbors can be your biggest allies when it comes to adverse possession, especially if the property you are inquiring about has been neglected. If you are there to improve the conditions of the property you are inquiring about, the people you will be speaking with will understand that the value you intend to add will help the value of their property rise because your intended acquisition will be in close proximity.
Once you have assembled a list of potential acquisitions you will want to take a trip to the county registrar’s office. The county registrar’s office will be able to provide you with more information about the specific properties on the list you have assembled. They will be able to tell you if the property taxes are paid up, information about the current owner or title holder, if the property has been vacant and for how long. All of the information you will need about the property you have identified in order to begin the legal acquisition rests with the county registrar’s office.
RISKS RELATED TO THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY
An investor’s performance and the value of their properties are subject to general economic conditions and risks associated with our real estate assets.
There are significant expenditures associated with an investment in real estate (such as debt service, real estate taxes, and insurance maintenance costs) that generally do not decline when circumstances reduce the income from the property. Income from and the value of the properties acquired may be adversely affected by many factors.