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Maine squatters rights


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#1 gypsisue

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 12:09 AM

Are there still laws giving access to abandoned properties in Maine such as the old squatters rights?  I have had my eye on an old house in Maine that has been empty for years and years.  It is a lovely old house but, with little money I couldn't afford to buy one in such disrepair and cannot find anything about this old property sitting to regally on top of one of Maine's hills.  I have fantasies of moving into it and putting it back together.  Is it possible under any lawful terms?

#2 Tax_Counsel

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 04:33 AM

What people generally mean by "squatter's rights" is the what the law calls adverse possession. With adverse possession, you take possession of the property contrary to the rights of the true owner and use it as if it were your own in what the law refers to as "open, hostile, and notorious." In other words, you make no effort to hide your possession and use of the property from the true owner or anyone else. Adverse possession applies to any property, not just one that seems to be "abandoned."

However, in order to gain ownership of the property through adverse possession, you must continually occupy the property for the period specified in your state's law. While you'd want to confirm with a Maine real estate attorney, my information shows that this period is 20 years in Maine. Up until that time is met, the true owner can show up and eject you from the property. Any money you've put into the property would then be lost. You might also get charged with trespass or other crimes as well, depending on the circumstances. As a result, there is a substantial risk involved here. Before attempting this, you will want to consult a real estate attorney to find out exactly what is involved and what risks you face.





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