I have edited your practice area to Real Estate in the hopes more avvo attorneys that practice in this area can respond. I don't practice in Fl, but we have many avvo lawyers who do that may respond. Adverse Possession is governed by state law in the state where the realty is located.
Here is a rather short and simple article about the topic:
Adverse possession is a doctrine under which a person in possession of land owned by someone else may acquire valid title to it, so long as certain common law requirements are met, and the adverse possessor is in possession for a sufficient period of time, as defined by a statute of limitations.
The common law requirements
The common law requirements have evolved over time, and the articulation of those requirements varies somewhat from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Typically, adverse possession, in order to ripen into title, must be:
(1) Continuous; this means continual.
(2) Hostile to the interests of the true owner; this is the adverse part of adverse possession.
(3) Open and notorious, so as to put the true owner on notice that a trespasser is in possession.
(4) Actual, so that the true owner has a cause of action for trespass, on which the true owner must act within the statute of limitations.
(5) Exclusive, in order that there be no confusion as to who acquires title once the time has run.
The statute of limitations
A typical statute will require possession for 7 years, if under color of title, or 20 years, if not.
A mnemonic may help with remembering the decisional and statutory elements of adverse possession; think of it as inchoate ownership which becomes choaTe [(i.e. continuous, hostile, open, actual, for the requisite period of Time, and exclusive). Decisional pieces are indicated in lowercase, statutory ones in uppercase.].
When I was in law school in the 1970s we were taught to remember OCEAN: the possession must be Open, Continuous, Exclusive, Adverse and Notorious to the lawful owners ownership. Good luck.
I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..
The prior response is a good guide to adverse possession. Notwithstanding, the condominium association has the right to enforce the Declaration of the Condominium which is a convenant running with the land. If the squatter is bothering you, I would encourage you to push your property manager or association to see if eviction is possible or whether a foreclosure action for non-payment of monthly maintenance fees is possible.
While adverse possession of the condominium unit is theoretically possible, the person trying to establish adverse possession would have to be there without the owner's permission and do all things that an owner would do, including paying taxes and maintenance fees. If you declaration of condominium requires purchasers of units to be approved by the condo board, the "squatter" would also have to be approved. For adverse possession to give the "squatter" title to the unit, it would have to continue for at least seven years. While the condo association might be able to remove the "squatter," it would be easier for him to be removed by the record owner of the unit through an action for unlawful detainer or an action for ejectment. These types of actions are ones that should not be attempted without an attorney.
Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.
All excellent responses! Florida has it's own rules for adverse possession which were updated as of July 1, 2011 which includes a requirement for the adverse possessor to file a return with the local property appraiser making their intentions known as to the adverse possession of the identified property. The property appraise must then notify the legal owner and also post the intent to adversely possess on their website. The adverse possessor must then pay all the taxes and municipal liens and assessments, if any, on the property for the entire AP period (7 years). All of the other common law requirements listed by the other attorneys also apply. See Florida Statute 95.18 for additional information. Simply squatting on someone else's property does not create an adverse possession - in fact, it can land you in jail for criminal trespass!
Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : email@example.com : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate, Special Needs: Information provided here is anecdotal and should not be relied upon or considered legal advice. Every matter is different and answers given here are general in nature and may not reflect current Florida law at the time you are reading this posting. Please contact me if you feel you need additional assistance with your matter.
This is the type of person who will represent themselves in court pro se and cause all kinds of procedural delays as they attempt to throw everything at the case to see what will stick, costing the real owner and the association a lot of money in legal fees.
The association probably doesn't have grounds for removing him. Rental restrictions requiring the association's approval may or may not be effective depending on the language of the documents and if he meets the definition of a tenant. Plus, if they knew he was there for the last six years they have waived any right to enforce the restriction against him now. Associations can only bring an action against the owner for a nuisance and force the owner to evict him. Associations rarely have authority to evict people except when they make a demand for the rent to be paid when the owner is past due in assessments.
This situation can be real complicated, expensive and a nightmare for everyone.
This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stage & Associates practices state-wide and represents homeowners and community associations. Please visit our website at www.stagelaw.com.