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    khussar's Avatar
    khussar Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Apr 4, 2009, 10:36 AM
    When does a neighbor own your property because they mow the lawn?
    When we first moved into our home, our next-door neighbor offered to mow a portion of our side yard in exchange for allowing her to keep a mound that she had planted in flowers. This mound was actually in a large part on our side of the lot line. At the time I thought it an odd arrangement, but didn't say anything. The house has since changed hands and somehow the new neighbors became responsible for mowing this portion of land. My husband spoke to them, so I'm not quite sure what was said. Several years have passed and I am suddenly most uncomfortable with this arrangement. My concern is, first embarrassment that I have allowed this to go on for so long, and second because of something I remember about ownership of land that you have cared for over time. Is there such a law in Pennsylvania?
    George Leigh's Avatar
    George Leigh Posts: 42, Reputation: 3
    Junior Member

    Apr 4, 2009, 12:19 PM

    It's called I think something like squatter's rights or quiet title. Say neighbor has been parking his car or driving over a section of your property to get to his, you allow him to do it by not posting the land as no tresspassing etc. After I think 25 years of him having uninterrupted access to it he can apply to seize title to that particular part of your land, or have a right of way to it so you can't tell him to keep off. Maybe you could offer to pay for the neighbor's gas or something so she is "working" for you instead of just permitted on there. But the arrangement would start over I guess with the new owner, I mean I think she would have to go another 25 years after it changes hands if she doesn't lay any claim to it, I think.
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
    Uber Member

    Apr 5, 2009, 07:56 AM

    Hello k:

    You are referring to Adverse Possession. It's a means of acquiring property without the permission of or sale by the real owner. In order to establish a claim of Adverse Possession, the claimant must satisfy the following elements:

    The possession of the property must be Continuous. As it sounds, this means uninterrupted possession of the property for a period of twenty (20) years (in Pennsylvania).

    The next element is Open, meaning that the possession must be visible and not secretive.

    The third element is Hostile, meaning that the possession must be without the real owner's permission and against that owner's interests.

    The fourth element, Exclusive, means that the adverse possessor must exercise control of the land, excluding all others. If the claimant can satisfy these elements, he/she may be able to file a claim for ownership of the subject property. This claim would be initiated by filing a Petition in the Court of Common Please of the County in which the property is located.

    If your situation fits that criteria, I'd hire a real estate lawyer to fix it.

    LisaB4657's Avatar
    LisaB4657 Posts: 3,662, Reputation: 534

    Apr 7, 2009, 05:28 AM
    Since you gave the neighbor permission to mow the lawn they are not fulfilling the requirement of hostile possession. To be safe it would be a good idea to give them something in writing, such as a letter, letting them know that they have your permission to mow the lawn. Make sure you keep a copy of the letter.

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