Idaho real estate litigation occurs for many different reasons. Some people go to court over low-quality work by construction companies. Others may take action against the sellers in a real estate transaction because of a failure to disclose significant defects. Boundary issues and claims of someone accessing a property without the right to do so can also lead to real estate litigation. Property owners often worry that failing to respond to someone’s use of a property could lead to adverse possession claims.
Adverse possession is the technical term for a scenario in which someone using a property without being consent or knowledge of the owner goes to court and seeks ownership of that property. Are real property holdings in Idaho vulnerable to adverse possession claims?
Yes, Idaho has an adverse possession statute
Property owners need to actively maintain their real property holdings and ensure they pay the taxes on their properties. If they fail to do so, their future ownership rights could be at risk. Idaho does maintain a relatively high standard for such claims.
Years ago, the statute in Idaho only required five years of open use of a property for the person using the property to initiate an adverse possession claim. Thankfully, that rule has changed. Someone now needs to utilize the property for no less than 20 years before they have an option of asking the courts to make them the official owner. Not only do they need to have openly utilize the property for at least two decades, but they will also need to pay the taxes on the property.
Landowners can therefore protect themselves from adverse possession claims by conducting regular inspections and ensuring that they stay up-to-date on their property tax obligations. Securing a property with fencing is another means of deterring individuals, including neighbors, who might attempt to use the property and then lay claim to it in the future.
Learning more about the laws that govern real estate holdings and property rights in Idaho may help people more effectively protect themselves from a scenario in which they could lose the property they own.