As a property owner in Virginia, you want to protect yourself from losing the money you have already invested in the purchase, upkeep or improvement of your real property. You became the owner of that property by purchasing it or possibly inheriting it from a loved one who bought and paid for that real estate.The idea of adverse possession or so-called squatter’s rights can make people worry that they might lose the asset that represents a significant portion of their household income and their personal wealth.When is it possible for someone who does not technically own your home to go to court and try to claim ownership of your property?

Adverse possession requires years of living at a property

Virginia does allow those who have not followed traditional paths to ownership to eventually claim that they own a property. For someone not currently on the title for your property to claim an ownership interest based on staying there, they would typically need to live at the property for at least 15 years to bring an adverse possession claim in Virginia civil court.If you have a disabling medical condition, the law extends extra protection to you. Specifically, someone would have to maintain open possession of the property that they want to claim for 25 years when you have a disabling medical condition.Obviously, you will know if someone tries to take control of your primary residence. Adverse possession claims often occur at investment properties or vacation properties that people don’t visit anymore.Understanding the rules that apply to different kinds of real estate matters will help you protect what you have invested in real property.

Recent Posts

How Can Property Owners in Warrenton, VA Challenge a Zoning Decision

The Challenges of Unfair Zoning Decisions From construction disputes to real estate law, legalities involving property are among the most complex in our system. Unfortunately, issues can become even more complicated when zoning issues are involved. Property owners can...

How Does a Prenuptial Agreement Work?

Prenups are legal documents for securing financial stability. How does a prenuptial agreement work? Learn more in this Ashwell & Ashwell PLLC guide.   Prenuptial Agreements in Virginia   We buy insurance to plan for the worst, such as a serious car...

The Challenges of a Gray Divorce

Divorce is a complicated matter for any couple. But it is even more challenging when couples over 50 decide to go through a so-called gray divorce.   What Is a Gray Divorce?   The decision to divorce, at any age, is never an easy one; but the challenges of...

2 home purchase agreement clauses that may be bad for buyers

Buying a new home means making many critical decisions. You must not only find a property you like, but you must also determine if it is a wise investment. You also need to ensure your purchase agreement contains sound provisions that are fair to all parties. Since...

The impact of adultery on your divorce

Adultery can have significant implications for divorce proceedings. While Virginia is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that fault or wrongdoing does not have to be proven for a divorce to be granted, adultery can still be considered grounds for divorce. Here, you...

How an Illegal Search Can Affect Pending Criminal Charges

Illegal Search in a Criminal Case   Those who have been accused of a criminal offense are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and there is a high standard for proving that a crime occurred, as a result. The state needs compelling evidence to file...

Categories