Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New York Revises Law on Adverse Possession

From New York Newsday:

New Yorkers will no longer be able to simply mow a neighbor's lawn for 10 years to claim the property as their own.

A law signed yesterday by Gov. David A. Paterson says "adverse possession" of another's land also will not happen simply because a fence, hedge, shrub, shed or other minimal, nonstructural item is placed across the deeded property line.

Under New York law, an owner has 10 years to claim land back from encroachment. The old law said the land had to be "usually cultivated or improved," which could mean regular maintenance like mowing or a fence. The revision requires encroachment "sufficiently open to put a reasonably diligent owner on notice" or a "substantial enclosure."

The full text of the law can be found here.