An individual who takes possession of an otherwise neglected piece of real estate owned by someone else, and improves it, may acquire title to the property under adverse possession laws. To be eligible, the person acquiring the property must do so publicly and pay property taxes or otherwise act as though he or she already has the right to possess it. Georgia adverse possession laws require 20 years of occupation in order to claim title.
Adverse possession laws are commonly referred to as "squatters' rights" laws, since they often are invoked by squatters who inhabit land or structures otherwise left unused. The term "adverse" refers to the fact that those claiming land are doing so against the interests of the actual title holders. So why is it legal?
Essentially, adverse possession allows those who have trespassed continuously to claim title if the true title holder fails to take action within the statute of limitations. Since the true land owner cannot take legal action to remove the squatter after this period, then it makes sense to simply give up title. In other words, the land owner's non-action to remove a trespasser is akin to surrendering the property.
The trespasser, in order to claim land under adverse possession law, must meet the following conditions:
Learn more about Georgia adverse possession laws in the following chart.
|Code Section||44-5-161, et seq.|
|Time Period Required for Occupation||20 yrs.and Color of Title: 7 yrs.|
|Time for Landowner to Challenge/Effect of Landowner's Disability||Prescriptive period does not run until disability removed.|
|Payment of Taxes||-|
|Title from Tax Assessor||-|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Georgia real estate attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
Georgia Adverse Possession Laws: Related Resources
Get Professional Legal Help with Your Adverse Possession Claim
Claiming property through an adverse possession process is quite complicated and requires a lot of patience. It also helps to be an expert in real estate law, which is why it makes sense to hire a skilled real estate attorney. Find a qualified Georgia attorney near you.
Contact a qualified attorney.