In California, a person can claim title to a piece of real property that they are not a titleholder to through adverse possession. Adverse possession requires a person to be in use of a particular piece of real property for the required statutory period. An adverse possessor, however, does not become the titleholder of a piece of property merely by using the property. Certain elements are required for a claimant to acquire title through adverse possession. The requirements for adverse possession are codified in the California Code of Civil Procedure section 323.
Under section 325, subdivision (b), for an adverse possessor to gain title through adverse possession, the claimant must prove (1) possession under the claim of right or color of title; (2) actual, open, and notorious occupation of the premises which gives reasonable notice to the true owner; (3) possession which is adverse and hostile to the true owner; (4) continuous possession for at least five years; and (5) payment of all taxes assessed against the property during the five-year period. (CCP § 325(b).) At Underwood Law Firm, our attorneys are more than familiar with adverse possession and the elements required for gaining title through adverse possession.