5 Replies


I have an opportunity to acquire a house via Adverse Possession. In California

I understand the qualifiers to do this.

My question , would the current tenant be considered a viable person in a HOSTILE manner? Or do I evict and start over? The latter would be easier to manage. The former easier to acquire.

I can for-see legal issues arise as she may get a wild hair and throw a wrench into my plan.

The current owner is 10 years expired, no children, nothing. Just a tenant who hasn't paid rent for a DECADE. 

She knows something is going on since it's about to be sold at Tax Sale.  I've offered her another alternative which makes both of us happy. 

Thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks and Happy New Year.

Mike O.

Northern California

Unless you have physical possession or her possession can be proven as subordinate to yours, you will not be able rove up all elements required in in CA for AP by Claim of Right.

Are you in direct communication with her?

As you know, @Mike Osterman, AP is the tool of last resort. 

I'm just closing out the 2nd estate of a double probate that resulted from dealing with identical problem; an obstinant squatter who lives rent-free but doesn't even pay the taxes.

Btw, no one doesn't have any heirs unless they were created in a test tube. We're someone to open probate, they could do what's necessary to deal with all the problems, including tax sale, eviction and resale. 

In CA, the order of priority of appointment of administrator provides for a wildcard "any other person over 18 may be appointed". 

I think you are well over 18, right?

@Rick H.  Rick,

I have spoken with her.  

My attorney grumbled about that exact point and I mentioned I could pay the taxes ( enough to give me priorty?) then have her sign a lease. He thinks she should go, then I bring someone else in. 

I can open the probate, how do I $$? Create a lien?

Thanks for the input Rick. Happy New Year. 

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By paying the taxes, you become a "person of interest', and as Rick says, you can file a probate action, since you are over 18.  You can also clean up the property, to "prevent waste". and remove "noxious vegetation".  An aggressive attorney should be able to help you.

From what I just read you have no "standing" which means you would be paying the taxes as a "volunteer".  I hope those taxes are less than $5,000 or you could be throwing away $$$. You should really try to figure out the family tree or create "standing" another way before paying the taxes.  Try digging into the title more (for example how did the dead owner come into title in first place?).  The problem with deals like this is your on a short timeline.

Be careful & good luck


Thanks for your input. I was hoping you would have said opposite.

I guess I could pretend to be a rep for the estate. She would have no idea.  I could be her landlord,  and collect rent. Pay taxes and other incidentals. No tenant of mine has ever asked for a deed.

She can call a lawyer, then....

I guess I have to decide what I'm after, lots of choices here.

Thanks for your time, I appreciate it.