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Oklahoma Adverse Possession Laws

All states have what are known as "adverse possession" laws, which allow an individual who openly inhabits an otherwise underutilized piece of property to gain legal title after a period of time has expired. Adverse possession is often referred to as "squatter's rights," although it also can be used to gain official title to inherited property in the absence of an official document. For example, someone who inhabits a given piece of property without being evasive, improves the property, and pays property taxes may claim title after 10 or so years (specific requirements vary by state).

What is Oklahoma's Adverse Possession Law?

In order to claim legal title under Oklahoma adverse possession law, an individual must occupy the property for at least 15 years, while the rightful landowner has two years to challenge the adverse occupation. Additional provisions of the law are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's Land Use Laws section for more related articles and resources.

Code Section 12 §93, 94
Time Period Required for Occupation 15 yrs.-
Time for Landowner to Challenge/Effect of Landowner's Disability After disability lifted: 2 yrs.
Improvements -
Payment of Taxes -
Title from Tax Assessor 5 yrs.

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, usually through the enactment of new legislation or decisions by higher courts. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our information, but you may want to contact an Oklahoma real estate attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Basic Requirements for Claiming Property Under Adverse Possession Laws

In real life, these laws are usually invoked when there is a discrepancy among neighbors. For instance, the title shows that a portion of property used by one individual for several years actually belongs to their neighbor, although there was no attempt to dispute its use. Under adverse possession laws, the person using that piece of property may obtain legal title to the parcel in question. State adverse possession laws differ in some subtle ways, but 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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