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I just read about adverse possession and believe that before I took possession of my dads house, he may have given my neighbors

Phoenix, AZ |

rights he shouldnt have. He built a block wall around the backyard (like ten years ago?) but in the process of it, gave about two feet of land (in writing) to each neighbor on either side of us. Why, I don't know. We thought it was a good thing because if they damage our wall on there side, they could be held responsible. But after reading about adverse possession (and being harassed by both of them) Im starting to think this is a bad thing. What do we need to do to fix this and do we need to fix this?

My bad. I checked the paperwork and my dad didnt sign property rights over, he got there permission to take down the fence and install a block wall leaving 1-2 ft on either side. Do I need to be concerned? Also, we have owned the house for roughly two years now (inherited but bought my sibling out) and have lived in it for a little over a year.

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Best Answer

The timing of the wall is critical since the period for adverse possession is TEN years. It also depends on whether the neighbors have been using their side of the wall "adversely" to your rights. The best thing you could do would be to write a letter to each neighbor and grant them an "easement" temporary in nature, that allows them to continue to use their side of the wall and the small portion of land on their side which is your legal property with your permission. This will end their potential claim of "adverse" possession and avoid their subsequently obtaining legal title to your property through a subsequent legal action for "adverse" possession.

Attorney is Licensed in Arizona, California, and Colorado only. The opinions and comments offered are in the nature of general business advice relating to generic questions that might be raised. The use of this site is not intended to form an attorney client relationship of any kind. The reader is advised that every situation is different and you should always consult in person with a licensed attorney for the particular jurisdiction in question when your legal rights may be effected.


Your situation does not fit within the parameters of adverse possession as your father gave them the property in writing. If there is a block wall separating your from your neighbors, I do not see how you can 'reclaim' the additional property outside the wall. You might want to discuss this with a real estate attorney for more clarification.

Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.

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