Posted in Blog  
  on Jan 20, 2016

What Are Squatters Rights in North Carolina

Squatters rights in North Carolina fall under the doctrine of adverse possession. Like most other states in the US, North Carolina follows many of the common law elements of this process. In order for squatters to gain the right to apply for a property title, they must openly possess a property that is not their own. It must be done in public, over an uninterrupted period of time, and do so against the wishes of the property owner. Under North Carolina law, squatters rights require a 20 year occupation period before a claim can be filed to obtain a title to the property. If there is a color of title claim involved, which means the squatters have some justifiable reason to believe they own the property in question, but do not, then the time requirement reduces to 7 years. What makes North Carolina unique, however, is that state-owned properties can also become subjected to a claim of adverse possession.


Title Against State Issues in North Carolina

For the squatters rights in North Carolina, the state is restricted from suing individuals for profits or for possession of property that is owned by the state if they have been in an adverse possession of it for 30 years. If there is a color of title claim involved, then this time requirement is reduced to 21 years. There are also unique requirements for titles to property which may be held out of state. Should the adverse possession of a property began prior to 1917, then the current rules outlined here and stated in detail under state statutes may not apply. Squatters also have 1 year from the time of entry on the property in question to begin maintaining or improving the property in question. If this care does not take place, then the adverse possession process will not have been considered to have begun.

Squatters rights in North Carolina must meet specific requirements for a claim of adverse possession to be considered valid. Squatters who have been living on an abandoned property and are maintaining it can be evicted, but a formal eviction process must be used for this to occur. By understanding your rights in this area, you can protect your best interests.


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