Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Mississippi

Adjacent property abandoned leaving me to maintain.

I have an abandoned lot adjacent to my house - the original owner of the house owns the lot but was unable to sell it when he sold the house to the previous owners. He does no upkeep on the lot, and the neighborhood owner's association expects it to be maintained, leaving it to me to do so, which is a waste of my time and resources. What's his responsibility to this property? If he's abandoned this property, is there a way for me to acquire it? The original owner moved out about 10 years ago - the previous owner lived in the house for about 5 years and I've lived here for about 5 years now.

Asked on 5/20/09, 10:37 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Albert Pettigrew Law Offices Ph 228-875-8736

Re: Adjacent property abandoned leaving me to maintain.

Contact the Tax Collector to find out if you can purchase a tax title.

Alternatively, you might acquire the property by adverse possession which requires open and nortorious possession of the property in a way that is adverse to ownership by the owner of title. Miss Code Section 15-1-13 states:

(1) Ten (10) years' actual adverse possession by any person claiming to be the owner for that time of any land, uninterruptedly continued for ten (10) years by occupancy, descent, conveyance, or otherwise, in whatever way such occupancy may have commenced or continued, shall vest in every actual occupant or possessor of such land a full and complete title, saving to persons under the disability of minority or unsoundness of mind the right to sue within ten (10) years after the removal of such disability, as provided in Section 15-1-7. However, the saving in favor of persons under disability of unsoundness of mind shall never extend longer than thirty-one (31) years....

To establish a claim of adverse possession, Eugene must show by clear and convincing evidence that his possession was: "(1) under claim of ownership; (2) actual or hostile; (3) open, notorious, and visible; (4) continuous and uninterrupted for a period of ten years; (5) exclusive; and (6) peaceful." Payment of taxes is "strong evidence of a claim of title." FRAZIER v. FRAZIER, 2009-MS-0513.153 (Miss. CoA May 12, 2009)

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Answered on 5/22/09, 2:39 pm

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