Owning land is something as old as time itself, our ancestors before us used to tracts of land as their own and so did the people who came before them, the process of owning land has been refined and worked on for centuries now and unfortunately one can no longer simply put up their flag somewhere and call a certain piece of land as their own. There are countless laws and regulations in place to make sure that this does not happen, and the concept of property being abandoned has pretty much become obsolete.
When we say abandoned property, we refer to real estate that has not been maintained or used for a very long time, and while we simply cannot begin to occupy that area and start calling it our own, there are ways of claiming abandoned real estate. Before thinking of how to take ownership of an abandoned house the very first thing that you need to do is find the property’s real owner, which is quite easy due to the fact that real estate records are maintained with a lot of care.
The process through which one can claim ownership of abandoned property is called adverse possession, where one can change ownership of the property by maintaining physical possession of it for a certain period of time. The laws and fine details of adverse possession vary from area to area so be sure to find out all the regulations about abandoned real estate before you begin the claiming process. Another thing to determine is whether the property is actually abandoned or not.
The legal definition of the term “abandoned property” is that said property has not seen use for some time and that the previous owner has made it clear that they do not wish to ever claim the property as their own. If you can prove this in court (which can be hard in some cases) then you have a much better chance at claiming ownership. Another thing that you must do is to openly state your hostile takeover of the land, this can be done by making improvements on the property, paying taxes related to it and occupying it openly for a set period of time. If all of this is done without interruptions made by the original owner then adverse possession can be carried out.
The problem with claiming abandoned property is that it is a lengthy and arduous process that has a really low success rate for a number of reasons, some of the major ones being that governments frequently change laws related to adverse possession and the fact that not many people are willing to part with real estate that they own without being compensated for it. If you are planning on going through the process of adverse possession, remember to carry out research, do your homework and be absolutely sure of what you are getting into before you start to make an effort towards getting your hands on a neglected piece of land.