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Oliver Reprich

Oliver Reprich Muskoka REALTOR

What is Adverse Possession?

Adverse possession is a legal process that provides a mechanism for one property owner to claim a por6on of another’s land as a result of longstanding use.

Are some properties more susceptible to adverse possession than others?

Yes, they are. Over the past 30 years or so, most properties in Ontario have been “moved” from the old Registry System to the new Land Titles system. This administra6ve move has afforded property owners many benefits, not least of which is protection against neighbors “stealing” land through adverse possession. However, older properties whose existence predates their conversion to the Land Titles system are generally more susceptible. Furthermore, rural properties with long boundaries (as opposed to standard rectangular subdivision lots) are more susceptible simply because their boundaries are longer and often not visibly marked with fences and walls.

How does adverse possession work?

If a property was created and registered directly into the Land Titles system, then no adverse possession claims can be made against it, no matter how long a neighbor claims to have been using a piece of that property’s land.

Most properties, however, originated in the old Registry System and have been subsequently migrated to the new Land Titles system. The rules of adverse possession for these properties hinge on that date of conversion and are as follows:

  1. Once a property is converted to Land Titles, it is immune from adverse possession claims from that date forward.
  2. Anyone claiming adverse possession on that property must prove continual and uninterrupted use of the land being claimed for a period of ten years prior to the date of conversion to Land Titles. 

More common questions related to the topic: Legal

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Ask your own Question.

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