What Are Squatters Rights in Wyoming
The squatter's rights in Wyoming are basic and straightforward. If someone acts as the owner of a property for 10 consecutive years without permission of the owner, then they will have the ability to file for an adverse possession claim. It must be occupied with hostility for those 10 years and there must not be a legal disability that the property owner faces. Even if a property is awarded through adverse possession, the former owner can make a claim for its return within 10 years after the disability has been removed.
Wyoming Offers Civil Actions for Property Owners
Property owners are also given 3 years to take action against someone who has wrongfully taken personal property without permission. Statute 1-3-106 specifically defines that personal property is not deemed to have been taken until it is discovered to have been taken. This gives property owners up to 3 years to file for a civil action under Wyoming law should there be an issue with squatters who may have been awarded a title.
Squatter's Can Make Claims for Property Improvements
If squatters are attempting to make an adverse possession claim and it fails, then Wyoming law allows for the possibility of the squatters requesting compensation for any property improvements they have made. As long as the improvement has been substantially completed, then the labor, manufacturing and furnishing of materials, and other design costs may be requested through civil action. What makes adverse possession laws in Wyoming more difficult than in other states are the fence laws that the state also has in place. Common law, which is what adverse possession is based on, requires that there be set boundaries that forbid trespassing. Because there are vast acres of land in Wyoming that are undeveloped, unfenced land may be considered open land that is not subject to adverse possession laws.
In other words, there may not be any claim to take the property, but there may be very little a property owner can do in certain circumstances to remove squatters as well. As long as the possession is open and notorious, however, and the squatters are making improvements to the property and paying the property taxes, an adverse possession claim always has the chance of being successful. For this reason, it is important to always check on the status of abandoned and unfenced properties in Wyoming.
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