Christopher Maag wrote a fascinating piece for Credit.com about the little-known legal claim called "adverse possession" that allows people to take possession of abandoned property.
Here’s the basic version of how it works:
1) Someone owns a property, whether it’s a house, a condo or just a strip of ground.
2) If the owner isn’t using the property, somebody else can come in and use it, without the owner’s permission.
3) After some amount of time (in Texas it's three years; in New York State it's ten), the squatter can claim ownership free and clear.
People have been making adverse possession claims for decades. The most famous cases happened on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1980s and '90s, when artists, punks and homeless people squatted in vacant buildings and brownstones.
Squatters Unite! McMansion Squatter Becomes Part of National Movement.
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I’m at Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, CA today (I’m on staff) at the Positive Platform Design Jam, where we had Cornell historian Louis Hyman give a presentation called “Unnatural Capitalism: How the New Deal Reinvented Capitalism and Why We Need to Do It Again.” You can watch a video recording of his […]
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“Gets stuff done,” is a good way to be described by anybody. Especially by coworkers or bosses. Because whether you’re in finance or a children’s librarian, stuff needs to get done. But how do you make sure stuff gets done? You definitely can’t do all the stuff yourself, unless your company/organization/government office consists entirely of you. And […]