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Adverse Possession

Bilodeau Capalbo Your Trusted Rhode Island Adverse Possession Lawyers

Attention Rhode Island landowners. Beware that a landowner’s real estate can be taken by adverse possession from a neighbor, a stranger, a trespasser, or a tenant. A legal form of gaining property title that does not belong to you is called adverse possession. Understanding your rights when someone creeps along your property line can be crucial.


Bilodeau Capalbo can help prevent an interested party from trying to obtain title to your property. It is not uncommon when owners lack clear understanding of property rights. Who would think that someone would try to steal land legally? Adverse Possession happens when a title is acquired by a person who has taken possession of the land and has remained in possession for ten (10) years and establishes a claim for legal title in court.


Under Rhode Island law a few things must occur before a quiet title claim can be entered:

In Rhode Island, a claim for adverse possession requires the claimant to prove "actual, open, notorious, hostile, continuous, and exclusive" use of the property for at least ten (10) years. The claimant can tack the use of a predecessor intitle in order to fulfill this element. The claimant must establish these elements by "strict proof" or "clear and convincing evidence."


In order to establish a claim for adverse possession in Rhode Island, a claimant must meet several requirements.


First, the claimant must demonstrate that they have been in "actual" possession of the property in question. This means that the claimant must show that they have used the property in a manner similar to that of an owner, taking into account the nature and location of the property.


Second, the claimant's possession must be "open" and "notorious." This means that the claimant must use the property in a way that is visible and obvious to others, so that the record owner is put on notice of the claimant's use. In some cases, the record owner may not be aware of the claimant's use due to factors outside the claimant's control, such as dense vegetation. However, as long as the claimant's use is open and obvious to those who are paying attention, this requirement will be met.


Third, the claimant's possession must be "hostile." This does not mean that the claimant must be aggressive or belligerent, but rather that the claimant's use of the property is inconsistent with the rights of the record owner. In other words, the claimant must be using the property without the record owner's permission. Permission defeats adverse possession.


Fourth, the claimant's possession must be "continuous" and "exclusive" for at least ten years. This means that the claimant must use the property without interruption for the statutory time period, and that the claimant must not share possession with the record owner or any other person.


Finally, the claimant must establish all of these elements by "strict proof" or "clear and convincing evidence." This is a high standard of proof, which requires the claimant to show that it is highly probable that the elements of adverse possession have been met.


Identifying Property Boundaries: In order to protect your property from an adverse possession claim, it's crucial to know the exact boundaries of your land. This can typically be found in the property deed, through a land survey, or at the city/town recorder of deeds office.


Protection from Squatters: Squatters, or people who occupy a property without owning it, renting it, or having the owner's permission, could potentially gain ownership of your property through adverse possession. It's important to understand your rights and take steps to protect your property from potential squatters.


In situations like these, legal guidance from experienced attorneys at Bilodeau Capalbo, LLC can be invaluable. We can help you understand your rights, provide advice on steps to protect your property, and represent you in any disputes or legal actions related to adverse possession. Contact Bilodeau Capalbo your Rhode Island Adverse Possession Attorneys at 401-300-4055.

Bilodeau Capalbo, LLC’s Rhode Island Adverse Possession Lawyers represent clients in Woonsocket, Burrillville, Chepachet, Smithfield, Scituate, Coventry, West Greenwich, Exeter, North Kingstown, East Greenwich, Warwick, Cranston, Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, East Providence, Warren, Bristol, Barrington, Little Compton, Tiverton, Middletown, Portsmouth, Newport, South Kingstown, Charlestown, Hopkinton, Ashaway, Richmond, Narragansett, New Shoreham, West Warwick, Cumberland, Foster, Glocester, Johnston, Lincoln, North Providence and Westerly

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