In California, adverse possession is a method of gaining legal title to real property by the actual, open, hostile and continuous possession of it and payment of taxes on it for 5 years. Sounds a little old fashioned. And it is – but it can still be used today to get ownership of property. What constitutes “hostile”? Do you have to write nasty letters? Does “continuous” mean ‘every day’ – or just ‘a lot’? Can you just go up and pay the taxes at the Assessor’s office and hope no one notices they are not getting a bill? While it may be “old fashioned” there are always new and creative ways people approach this doctrine.
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