Land is inherited from great great grandaparents. The land was divided among my grandmother's mother and her siblings. Now, the land that we got, being the heirs of one sibling, already has a house built on it for almost 15 years now. How do I make them leave? What laws? Could the current residents claim adverse possession? We did not know about the land until recently, apparently the family, cousins, have been living in the lot sans taxes. They've been living there long before the land was divided and so happen my grandmother got the part where the house stands. My grandmother had been paying taxes for the long time, us when we found out after her death. Now these people refuse to leave claiming my grandmother's half-sibling owes them money. Although the sibling is recognized only my grandmother inherited the land. Can I have their house demolished? Do I have to pay them for the house?

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    What city/state/country? – BlueDogRanch May 4 '20 at 13:48
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    Does this lot have significant financial or use value to you? If not, one option is to quit claim it to the cousins and then you are out of it and they would have to pay the taxes. Adverse possession depends on the state and other details but 15 years makes it a strong possibility – Damila May 4 '20 at 14:47

It's definitely not their land, and it probably was your grandmother's land. Title has passed to whoever she willed it to.

The three key elements to adverse possession in Washington are open possession of the land, a good-faith claim of title to the land (correct or otherwise), and paying taxes on the land for at least seven years:

  1. Your cousins have by far the better claim of open possession of the land: they've been living there.
  2. Your grandmother has a clear good-faith claim to the title: she inherited it from her mother. Your cousins don't have as clear a claim to title.
  3. Your grandmother paid the taxes. Your cousins didn't.

Point #3 completely invalidates any adverse-possession claim your cousins might have, but point #1 means you can't use adverse possession either -- you've got to show that your claim to the title is correct.


It’s not your land

Under the laws of possessory title (or adverse possession), your grandmother lost title to the land at least 3 years ago, specifically, 12 years after the current residents were suffered uncontested occupation. Since she didn’t own it, you don’t own it.

Now, it appears that they don’t know this and are willing to walk away for payment of an alleged debt - if this is less that the value of the land it might be worth paying it to get them out.

Or, just transfer the property to them and they become responsible for future rates and taxes.


It's not their land

Article 301 of the Russian Civil Code says that

The owner shall have the right to reclaim his property from the other person's adverse possession.

and Article 303 states that

In reclaiming the property from the other person's adverse possession, the owner shall also have the right to claim from the person, who has known, or should have known, that his possession is adverse (the possessor in bad faith), the return or the compensation of all the incomes, which he has derived, or should have derived, over the entire period of the possession;

Basically, you take them to court and get them removed, and maybe you can recover incomes derived from that adverse possession. You would need a lawyer for this.

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