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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Default How to Gain Ownership of Abandoned Properties

    My question involves abandon property in Burlington kentucky how do u take legal possession of property

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: Abandoned Properties

    The answer is you buy it from the owner.

    If you want to share some facts perhaps someone could add to the answer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    El Dorado County, CA

    Default Re: Abandoned Properties

    Check with the County to see if the property taxes are being paid. If not, inquire when and if it will be sold by the county in a tax sale. If the taxes are being paid, then although no one may be showing up regularly to care for the property, it's not legally abandoned. If you want it, contact the owner to see if they are interested in selling.

    If your question is, like others we get here every so often, what the loopholes in the law are to get the property for no cost, forget it. There is no way to steal someone else's land that easily. Commonly called "squatters' rights", the proper term is adverse possession, and it is a long process that involves constant work and is not without risk.

    I don't know Kentucky's specific statutes, but the basic elements are that the claimant's possession of the land must be 1) Actual - you must engage in the acts of ownership, meaning repair and regular maintenance; 2) Hostile to the written title to the land, meaning that your possession and use cannot be consistent or compatible with someone else owning the land; 3) Open and notorious, meaning that your acts of ownership must be such that the local reputation becomes that you are the landowner; 4) Under claim of right or color of title (in some states, don't know if KY is one), meaning that your possession and claim to title is based upon a deed, will, or other instrument of conveyance by which you could have a reasonable belief that you are the rightful owner; 5) Exclusive, meaning that you alone are engaging in the acts of ownership - that precludes sharing the responsibilities of repair and maintenance with other parties, shared use, rental, or permission to use the property from the party who does have written title; and in some states 6) Timely payment of all property taxes.

    All of this must occur continually for the full statutory period. The length of that period varies from as little as 5 years to 21 years. Eastern states tend to have longer periods, so I would expect that KY's period is at least 10 years. At any point during that time, right up to the day prior to the full period having passed, the party with valid written title may discover your actions on the property and have you ejected. All of the time, effort, and money that you've invested into the property is then lost. That is exactly what happened to the people in TX who were in the news a few years back for supposedly being successful at getting a nearly new home for virtually no cost by adverse possession.

    Adverse Possession statutes are not in the law to accommodate the theft of someone else's land, but to allow for correction of written title to be made to comply with actual use and recognized lines of ownership, or to permit new written title to be created where old written title has been truly abandoned.

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