It’s a scary thought: A stranger breaks into your home and starts living there. Then, years later, you find out that they can legally claim ownership of the property.
This is called squatters’ rights, and it happens more often than you might think. In this article, we’ll explain what “adverse possession” is in Oregon and how it applies to homeowners who want to protect their property from trespassers or squatters who may have been living there for years unbeknownst to them.
Adverse possession, or squatter’s rights, is a legal doctrine that allows squatters to gain ownership of property they’ve been occupying — in some cases for years.
It’s also referred to as “squatters’ rights,” but it’s not synonymous with squatting.
Adverse possession is a complicated issue, and each state has its own laws on how to establish adverse possession. Oregon is unique in that, unlike many other states, there’s no time limit for claiming ownership through adverse possession.
You could have 40 acres of land (or a few square feet) that someone else thinks of as theirs, but if you can prove it was yours before they took over your plot, then you could potentially win the right to claim this land as yours through adverse possession.
In order to establish ownership under Oregon’s law of adverse possession:
- The person claiming ownership must prove continuous occupancy (or at least one year) without permission from the true owner; and
- The true owner must never have claimed or exercised actual control over the property during this time period
In Oregon and most states, adverse possession requires a certain number of years of undisturbed occupation of the property.
An open and notorious occupation, coupled with an intent to possess the property and payment of taxes on the property are also typical requirements.
If you’re wondering if it’s possible to claim squatters rights, the answer is yes. In Oregon and most states, adverse possession requires a certain number of years of undisturbed occupation of the property.
An open and notorious occupation, coupled with an intent to possess the property and payment of taxes on the property are also typical requirements. On top of all this, there are several different types of adverse possession claims:
- Continuous Tacking
- Statutory Tacking
- Entry by Deed
What are the laws in different states?
In Oregon, adverse possession is defined as a claim of ownership to real property held by another person. The most common type of adverse possession in the state is known as “squatter’s rights,” which means that someone invades another person’s land and resides on it for a specified period of time (typically seven years) without objection from the actual owner. If you are interested in pursuing this type of claim, then it would help to understand some basic legal concepts:
- Squatters vs. Adverse Possession – This distinction depends on whether you are occupying property illegally or legally. If you’re doing so illegally, then you won’t be able to file a claim based on adverse possession because there isn’t any legitimate title for anyone else to take over after squatting for so many years.
- On the other hand, if you’re occupying land lawfully through adverse possession laws, then this gives others reason enough not only occupy but eventually own the property as well – provided.
What about adverse possession in Oregon?
- You may have heard of adverse possession. This is a legal concept that allows someone to take ownership of another person’s property after they have been using the land specified for a certain amount of time, and they can prove they are acting in good faith. In Oregon, if you’re claiming adverse possession, there is a 5-year limit on residential properties and 10 year limit on non-residential properties (commercial).
- There are also more complex rules regarding how you must establish your claim. The general rule is that if you can prove continuous use for 7 years or more without interruption, then you could gain ownership over the land or structure by way of adverse possession law in Oregon.
The problem with Squatters OR
If you find yourself with a squatter on your hands, it may be difficult to get rid of them. They can live in your home for years without paying rent and can cause damage to your property.
How would you like a stranger to take control of your home simply by living there?
Wouldn’t it be great to take control of someone else’s home simply by living there? That’s what squatters do.
In Oregon, a squatter can legally claim your home if they have occupied the property for at least five years. Squatters are not required to pay rent or to pay property taxes during this time period. They also won’t be required to pay anything when they finally leave—and you may not even know that they are gone until the next time you try to sell your home!
Protecting yourself from squatters.
To protect yourself from squatters, you can:
- Make sure your property is clearly visible and not hidden.
- Make sure your property is clearly marked as private property. This can be done by installing a fence, keeping the gates closed, or placing “no trespassing” signs near entrances to the property.
- Make sure your property is clearly marked as not for sale or rent. You can also post a “No Trespassing” sign on any vacant building or house that’s been abandoned by its owner and hasn’t been sold yet in Oregon (this includes rentals).
Squatters can claim your home, but there are ways to prevent them from doing so!
- Check the property records. Squatters can claim your home, but there are ways to prevent them from doing so!
- Check the tax records. Some squatters will claim that they own the house just because they have been paying taxes on it in order to avoid paying rent or utilities bills for years and years on end, so check out what shows up on those records before you assume that everything is okay with your home.
- Look at the deed. If someone’s claiming ownership over a piece of property that isn’t theirs, chances are high that they’ll be named as such on its title document—and this is something that can be looked up online through services like Zillow or Trulia without needing an attorney present during an investigation process.”
The best way to protect yourself from squatters is through prevention. If you’re renting a property, make sure that the landlord has followed all legal requirements for managing and maintaining the property, including paying taxes on it. Also, keep an eye on your home and be prepared if someone tries to move in without permission!