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Alaska Adverse Possession Laws

Although trespassing is a crime in all 50 states, adverse possession laws provide a loophole for "continuous trespassers" who openly inhabit a piece of land for a specified period of time. These adverse possession laws allow individuals to gain legal title to the property, even though they technically were trespassing. They primarily are used to resolve confusion over property boundaries, such as when a neighbor's fence is technically on your property by a few inches, which can create premises liability problems. These laws also are used by homeowners who lack official documentation, such as those who inherited their home through the generations.

Alaska Adverse Possession Law at a Glance

Alaska's adverse possession law is fairly simple. Anyone openly possessing a parcel of property under color of title for at least seven years, or at least 10 years under a good faith (but mistaken) belief that the land was already part of their property, may claim that property.

See FindLaw's Land Use Laws section for more related articles and resources.

Code Section 09.45.052
Time Period Required for Occupation With Color of Title: 7 yrs. (10 yrs. for "good faith but mistaken belief" that the property is part of the claimant's already established property
Time for Landowner to Challenge/Effect of Landowner's Disability -
Improvements -
Payment of Taxes Not required but is considered proof Alaska Nat. Bank v. Linck 559 P.2d 1049
Title from Tax Assessor -

Note: State laws may change at any time in a number of ways, usually through the enactment of newly signed laws but occasionally through higher court decisions. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you also may want to contact an Alaska land use and zoning law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Requirements for Claiming Property Under Adverse Possession Laws

State adverse possession laws all generally follow these six guidelines:

  1. Actual Possession - Physically present and actually using the property
  2. Continuous Period - Possession is not divided into periods, but continuous
  3. Hostile - No permission has been granted by the lawful owner
  4. Open and Notorious - No attempt has been made to hide from the lawful owner
  5. Exclusive Possession - Possession has been maintained by a single party
  6. Color of Title - Good faith belief that they are legally entitled to the property (a requirement in some states)

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Alaska Adverse Possession Laws: Related Resources

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