Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

advers possession how can I turn on the water in my name with out prof of new owner

Asked on 6/19/12, 1:21 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Hmmm.....sounds to me as though you think you have acquired ownership of a property by adverse possession, and want to get the local water company to recognize you as the new lawful owner in order to obtain water service. If this is incorrect, please disregard my answer. Your question provides very few facts and leaves the LawGuru attorneys to guess as to what the question is all about.

First, obtaining ownership of real estate through adverse possession requires the following, in ordinary layman's language: (1) being in possession of the property for five years; (2) without the permission of the "real" owner; and (3) paying all the property taxes during that period. The actual legal definition is more complex, but generally if you meet these criteria, you've got a strong case.

The next step is to get the court to agree that you've met the requirements. In your case, I'd suppose you need to file a lawsuit to "quiet title" in your name with the Tehama County Superior Court. You'd need to serve the owner shown on the county records, any holder of a lien or lender, and anyone else that might have a claim to ownership, as defendants.

If you win, you'll be the new owner "of record" and the water people will take your deposit and turn on the water.

I hope this answers your question. Feel free to contact me directly if you need further advice.

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Answered on 6/19/12, 1:55 pm

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

You don't get the water turned on if you're a squatter. The water company wants some assurance that the monthly bills are going to be paid, so they require proof of ownership or a lease agreement.

A title acquired by adverse possession is not a marketable title until the title is established by judicial proceedings against the record owner. (Howard v. Schaniel (4th Dist. 1980) 113 Cal.App.3d 256, 264.)

In layman's terms, what this mean is you don't have title to property by adverse possession until the judge rules in your favor.

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Answered on 6/19/12, 2:46 pm

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