Pay Your Taxes!
So imagin you have this wonderful piece of real estate in California. Lets say the property has tons of consumer traffic and has the potential to make someone a good living granted they have the proper business in mind. So you go along paying your property taxes for a few years, then a nice fellow comes and asks if he can use a small piece of your real estate to sell lemonade. In exchange he says, "I'll pay your property taxes for you every year". Well you don't know any better and the deal sounds like its putting money in your pocket so, why not? Well, if that man is able to pay your taxes a consecutive 5 years and show proof of doing so, he has the right to take over your property and the loan. The legal terminology for this is "adverse posession". There are five conditions that must be met in order for a title to be claimed by adverse posession. If only four are met, an "easement by prescription" may be created.
1. The posession must be open and notorious and be by actual occupation.
2. The posession has to be hostile to the real owner's title.
3. It must be a continuous and uninterrupted posession for a period of 5 years.
4. It must be under the color of title or under claim of right.
5. All real property taxes, levied and assessed must have been paid by the possessor for a continuous period of five years.