Prompted by this question.
As per the title: is there any lawful reason preventing a former tenant from playing the long-game to obtain adverse possession via squatters' rights?
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As noted in another answer, during the term of the lease, possession is permissive and therefore not adverse, and the time does not being to run. Typically, the required time period is very long (ten to twenty years depending upon the jurisdiction), in the absence of color of title, which the tenant lacks.
Also, there is a common law presumption in most states that a tenant who holds over beyond the lease term becomes a month to month tenant on the same terms of the original lease, rather than a trespasser. So, during the term of the month to month lease holdover period, the tenant is also permissive in occupancy and not adverse. The tenant is not really adverse until the landlord obtains an order of possession and/or writ of restitution in an eviction proceeding, which is generally followed promptly by an eviction under the supervision of the relevant government official pursuant to court order.
It would be exceedingly rare for the landlord not to seek an eviction in the requisite time period.
Even if the landlord does not take action to evict, the signature of the lease may estop the tenant from claiming adverse possession, since it is an express acknowledgement of the landlord's title.
The tenant's signature on the lease is also inconsistent with the requirement of good faith present in adverse possession statutes in many states.