questions & answers
Question: how do I file for squatters rights
Answer: Squatter’s rights are referred to as “adverse possession” in Arizona law. More specifically, A.R.S. 12-521 defines adverse possession as “an actual and visible appropriation of the land, commenced and continued under a claim of right inconsistent with and hostile to the claim of another.”
In Arizona, you must be occupying a property as a trespasser for two years to obtain the property through adverse possession. Alternatively, you can acquire the property by paying taxes on the property for five years and this will also be considered adverse possession.
In Arizona, that landowner must file a lawsuit challenging your adverse possession of the property either:
•Within 2 years of your adverse possession of the property if you obtained the property by occupying it as a trespasser for 2 years
•Within 5 years of your adverse possession of the property if you obtained the property by paying taxes on it for 5 years
There is no form for the squatter to fill out, it is up to the person challenging the squatter’s rights to the property that must complete paperwork and file with the court.
Additionally, there is a 3 year provision and 10 year provision.
12-523. Real property in adverse possession under title or color of title; three year limitation
A. An action to recover real property from a person in peaceable and adverse possession under title or color of title shall be commenced within three years after the cause of action accrues, and not afterward.
B. "Title" means a regular chain of transfer from or under sovereignty of the soil. "Color of title" means a consecutive chain of such transfer down to the person in possession without being regular, as if one or more of the memorials or muniments is not recorded or not duly recorded or is only in writing, or such like defect as does not extend to or include the want of intrinsic fairness and honesty, or when the party in possession holds the real property by a land warrant or land scrip, with a chain of transfer down to him in possession.
12-526. Real property in adverse possession and use by possessor; ten year limitation; limit of area; fixing of boundaries under duly recorded memorandum of title
A. A person who has a cause of action for recovery of any lands, tenements or hereditaments from a person having peaceable and adverse possession thereof, cultivating, using and enjoying such property, shall commence an action therefor within ten years after the cause of action accrues, and not afterward.
B. The peaceable and adverse possession referred to in subsection A shall not embrace more than one hundred and sixty acres, including the improvements or the number of acres actually enclosed if less than one hundred and sixty acres is so enclosed, but when such adverse possession is taken and held under some written memorandum of title other than a deed which fixes the boundaries of the possessor's claim and is duly recorded, such possession shall be construed to be coextensive with the boundaries specified in such instrument.
For the full text of the Arizona laws relating to adverse possession, visit (see Chapter 5 12-552 through 12-559): http://www.azleg.gov/ArizonaRevisedStatutes.asp?Title=12
how do I file for squatters rights
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State Bar of Arizona
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