Simons, Thurman & Fix, P.C.

Serving Rockbridge County for 30+ Years!

Adverse Possession in Virginia

Adverse possession is a legal concept that allows an individual to claim ownership of another person’s property by openly occupying and using it for a specified period, while the true owner fails to assert their rights. In Virginia, like in many other states, adverse possession is governed by a set of specific elements that must be met for a claim to be successful. Property owners should be vigilant in monitoring their land to prevent the acquisition of ownership through adverse possession, and potential claimants must carefully evaluate their situation before pursuing such a claim.

In Virginia, there are six (6) elements to successfully prove adverse possession: 1) actual possession, 2) exclusive possession, 3) hostile possession, 4) continuous possession for fifteen years, 5) open and notorious possession, and 6) the claimant appropriates the property under a “claim of right.”

Adverse possession is a nuanced legal doctrine fraught with pitfalls for the unwary. It is important to retain an experienced attorney who is familiar with the requirements of defending your legal position.

Ben Thurman has handled many adverse possession cases for our firm. He understands the complexities of adverse possession and is familiar with both the case law and how our Judges apply the law to real-life scenarios. If you are facing an adverse possession case, do not hesitate to give us a call.