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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Adverse Possession in Michigan

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Michigan

    Hello,
    My father in law is handing over a piece of lake front property in Michigan to my wife. He hasnt gone there much as he is getting up in age. We took a trip out there to view the property with thoughts of building. We found out that there was a pier placed on in the water from the property that my father in law owns and is passing down to my wife. The pier belongs to someone who is selling their home which does not have lakefront access, nor did they ask for permission to place the pier on the property mentioned. I contacted the selling agent after viewing the realty listing which mentioned lake front access and showed the pier in a picture.
    They told me that since the pier was there for 15 years they own the lakefron property where the pier is located. Is this legal? Should I pursue legal consulation? Would this go in our favor if we took them to court or the favor of the pier owners?

    Please advise, Thank You

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    71,768

    Default Re: Adverse Possession in Michigan

    Adverse possession is established via litigation. They could potentially have a basis to claim possession to some portion of the land by adverse possession, depending on the full facts, but if they haven't obtained a court order their claim remains potential. Your dad can say "Thanks for the dock, stay off my land", and see if they try to litigate.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,241

    Default Re: Adverse Possession in Michigan

    What Mr. K said.

    You might want to take further steps to retain title in your FIL.

    I would start by notifying the real estate agent by a phone call, followed up by a letter certified with return receipt to the broker the agent works with stating that it is misrepresentation to offer to sell real estate for a client when the title is actually with another owner. As Mr. K has pointed out, the title remains with the FIL until if and when a court awards it to some other claimant. Until then, a realtor offering to sell it as owned by someone else is misrepresentation. If that does not get the listing removed your next step is to report the realtor to the state board of licensure. I doubt that you will need to go that far. I would get the listing quashed first.

    You should also ask your FIL about the history of the parcel. Did he grant permission for the dock to be built and used? If so, adverse possession cannot start. If not, when was the last time he or someone else from the family visited and walked the parcel?

    It might be a good idea at some point to have your FIL deed the property to you and you apply for a building permit. It would be a great idea to consult an attorney. That does not mean you are going to court. Your FIL has recorded title at this point and the claimant will have to go to court to get title. Having the realtor back out will be a good start.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Adverse Possession in Michigan

    Thank You, both!

    My wife and I have gone out there the last couple of years but were not aware of the property bounderies. We are seeking legal consultation for advise. Again, thank you

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