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

Asked almost 2 years ago - 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)

  1. Thomas J Callahan

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . 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... more
  2. Emma A. Kremer

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . 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.)... more
  3. Henry Lebensbaum

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . hire a lawyer

    henry lebensbaum esq 300 Brickstone Sq Ste 201 andover, ma -- (978) 749-3606.
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