What Are Squatters Rights in Maine
What are squatters rights in Maine? This state offers a standard common law approach to the issue of adverse possession, but with a couple of unique additions. Squatters must occupy a property in question continuously, with hostility, and not be doing so in secret in order to meet the qualifications required by the state. This law applies to unorganized territories, easements, and other forms of owned property. If squatters are able to meet these qualifications for a minimum of 20 years, then they will have the right to file a claim of adverse possession. This is because they have had the enjoyment of the property in question in an uninterrupted fashion without challenge.
How Can a Property Owner Stop Adverse Possession?
What makes squatters rights in Maine unique is that property owners have the power to stop an adverse possession claim at any time within the 20 year period in less than 1 week. According to Title 14, Part 2, Chapter 205, Subchapter 2 regarding adverse possession proceedings, a property owner can post a public notice for 6 successive days stating that intend to prevent the adverse possession claim. If the property is in an unorganized territory, a property owner can record this notice in the registry of deeds for the county where it is located. For properties that have active squatters living on it, this notice can be served by a law enforcement agent or process server. Once this notice has been filed, posted, and/or served, it prevents any adverse possession claim from proceeding. There is no limitation on the amount of time this notice is active. A property owner can effectively post it once and never worry about squatters rights in Maine ever again.
What If It Has Been More Than 20 Years?
Once the 20 year requirement has been fulfilled by squatters, then they have the right to file for an adverse possession claim. Property owners who fail to act to prevent this action will generally have the title of the property be transferred because of the above statutes on posting notice. This makes adverse possession in Maine one of the more difficult places to obtain a title by such means. Keep this guide in mind if you happen to have an issue in this area within the state to know what your rights may be.
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