When someone moves into possession of an otherwise neglected property, improves it, and possesses it in a transparent and public way, they may be able to claim title to the property under the doctrine of "adverse possession." The idea behind these laws is to make sure property doesn't sit idle or otherwise be wasted to the community.
Montana Adverse Possession Laws
Montana adverse possession laws require a five (5) year period of occupation before he or she may claim title to the property. A continuous trespasser must meet the following criteria in order to have a legitimate claim on a piece of property:
What If I Have An Easement To Cross My Neighbor's Land?
Conversely, occupying land while acknowledging someone's superior rights, such as with a rental property, does not establish adverse possession. An outsider who obtains the landowner's permission to use or to cross land as a "neighborly accommodation" does not create adverse possession ownership.
Permission and Adverse Possession
While Montana law recognizes that a neighborly accommodation is not evidence of adverse use, passively allowing one to use land is not evidence of permissive use. Permission means affirmatively granting consent. Wanting to get along with neighbors and not contesting their use does not create neighborly accommodation.
The main provisions of Montana's adverse possession law are detailed in the following table. See FindLaw's Adverse Possession: Continuous Trespassers' Rights section to find related articles and resources.
|Code Section||70-19-401, 411, 413|
|Time Period Required for Occupation||
Five (5) yrs.and Color of Title: Five (5) yrs. and Color of Title/Payment of Taxes: Five (5) yrs.
|Time for Landowner to Challenge/Effect of Landowner's Disability||After disability lifted: Five (5) yrs.|
|Payment of Taxes||Required|
|Title from Tax Assessor||N/A|
Note: State laws are always subject to change, usually through legislation, ballot initiative, or court ruling -- contact a Montana land use and zoning attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law:
Montana Adverse Possession Laws : Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.