I have a vague memory that in some cases, persistent usage of a property without any move from the owners over a long period of time creates a right to usage (is that an easement?) But I'm sure the specifics matter.

I'm renting a condo, and the condo came with a storage unit. I've been using the storage unit for 15 years or so. Now the Condo Board has decided the storage unit is not actually owned by the condo owner, and the question is, does my fifteen years of use count for anything in this case?

Massachusetts, if that matters.


You're thinking of "adverse possession," or in the vernacular, "squatter's rights."

In Mass, USA, the term is 20 years. If it had gone the full time, you would be looking at not an easement or right of way, but actual ownership (because it was not for public use, but rather your own paddlocked use.)

Don't necessarily take the condo association's opinion as settled fact.

  • Yeah, the owner and I are pressing that point, too. She says the board granted them to her, but there is no paperwork on that. Dec 16 '15 at 3:40

This case is sufficiently nuanced that you should spend a few bucks and hire a real attorney.

Generally speaking, you should never look to this site for any advice on a real case. Especially not a case like this.

The only exception to the above would be if there were a real attorney on this site licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and wanted to mention a word or two to help point you in the right direction.

  • Yeah, I was just looking for a broad outline of what the rights are, terminology, and what to look up, before I call a lawyer. Thanks! Dec 16 '15 at 3:41

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