Adverse possession is the legal concept that if the owner of the land isn’t using it, and someone else is giving the land a useful purpose for long enough, the law favors the useful purpose over the land being left unused. Nevada Revised Statutes 11.100 - 11.160 address adverse possession in the state.
In Nevada, in order to establish this superior useful purpose, several things are required.
First, the person seeking to claim the property under adverse possession must not already have a legal right to be on the property, such as an easement or license.
Second, the claimant must be take and retain possession of the property continuously sporadic come-and-go possession is not sufficient.
Third, this possession also must be open and not secretive.
Fourth, the use must be consistent with the use of a rightful property owner.
Finally, the claimant must have been in useful possession of the property for at least 5 years and must have paid property taxes throughout that time period.
Adverse possession can be intentional or unintentional.
Intentional adverse possession occurs when an individual knowingly trespasses onto another’s property with the intent to take over the property, such as a squatter.
Unintentional adverse possession is when an individual acts unknowingly or without the intent to intrude or occupy the property of another, such as a neighbor who builds a structure of some sort that accidentally crosses over the property line.
Regardless if adverse possession is intentional or by honest mistake, as long as all the other factors are satisfied as well, the possessor can claim legal title over the property.
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