Skip to main content

How do I go about filing for adverse possession of a piece of my neighbors land in Massachusetts.

Newton, MA |

My neighbor put up a fence over 20 yrs ago leaving 2,000sq ft of his property outside the fence.Since then I have taken care of this property and have planted several tress/shrubs.
What proof do I need?

Attorney Answers 3


The complaint you need to file to establish title is an action to quiet title under MGL c. 240, filed in either Superior Court or Land Court. Proof can be any number of things - your testimony, neighbor testimony, photos, building permit for the fence. However, note that if anywhere the other owner gave you permission to landscape on your side of the fence, that breaks the 20-yr. chain, because then your use becomes by permission rather than "an open, adverse, hostile, exclusive use under a claim of right".

To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

2 lawyers agree




Thankyou. I guess I would need to hire a real estate attourney right?

Thomas J Callahan

Thomas J Callahan


You should. Not easy to do these. Am doing two right now.


I agree with Attorney Callahan's answer and would just like to add that in Massachusetts the most difficult requirement to satisfy is the continuous use of the property you seek to adversely possess and quiet title. Continuity is strictly construed so you must be able to establish that for 20 years there was not a single break in your possession of your neighbor's land. Further, you should check whether the land you seek to quiet title is recorded or registered land because you cannot adversely possess registered land regardless of whether you satisfied the other requirements. You may want to consult an attorney to assist you with your claims. Best of luck.

Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. (It lets us know how we are doing.) Attorney Kremer is licensed to practice in Massachusetts. Please visit her Avvo profile for contact information. In accordance with Avvo guidelines, the following disclaimer applies to all responses given in this forum: The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees


hire a lawyer

henry lebensbaum esq 300 Brickstone Sq Ste 201 andover, ma -- (978) 749-3606.
Criminal Law (all courts), Drunk Driving, Drugs, Violence, Sex Offenses, theft, SORB, Divorce Child Custody Alimony Child Support & Modification, Contempts & Paternity Juveniles Domestic Violence & Restraining Orders, Business Law, Personal Injury, Guardianship, Conservatorship & Estate Administration & Legal Malpractice. For these & other areas, contact me. Email sent may be copied intercepted or held by computers.

Criminal Law (all misdemeanor & felonies in District and Superior Courts), Drunk Driving and Drug arrests, Sex Offenses, SORB, Crimes involving Violence or Theft, Domestic (Divorce, Child Custody, Alimony and Child Support) and Family Law (Modification, Contempts & Paternity), Juvenile Law, Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders, Business Law, Personal Injury claims, Probate Law (Guardianships, Conservatorships & Estate Administration) and Legal Malpractice. For these and other areas, contact me. NOTE: This preceding message DOES NOT create an attorney-client relationship. It is not a protected or confidential communication. The statements made herein are not to be interpreted as representations or warranties of any kind. No reliance should be placed on the statements made herein. It is recommended that the recipient(s) should undertake their own research to reach their own opinion. The writer does not accept professional responsibility on this matter. TO CREATE an attorney-client relationship REQUIRES a signed retainer/fee agreement along with a retainer fee that must be received by my office.

Mark as helpful

Real estate topics

Recommended articles about Real estate

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics