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Arkansas Adverse Possession Laws

State "adverse possession" laws provide a legal process for continuous trespassers to gain title to an otherwise neglected parcel of property, typically after a number of years have passed. These laws often are invoked when there is confusion over property boundaries or when there is no official record of home ownership (for instance, homes that have been passed down through many generations without any formal transfer process). Often called "squatter's rights," adverse possession laws allow someone who continuously inhabits a piece of property without being evasive and improves it to obtain legal title after the statutory waiting period has expired.

Arkansas Adverse Possession Laws at a Glance

Under Arkansas law, a continuous trespasser must occupy a given property for at least seven successive years and pay property taxes. Additional provisions of the law are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's Land Use Laws section for more related articles and resources.

Code Section 18-61-101, 18-11-101 et seq.
Time Period Required for Occupation 7 yrs. Can't eject after 5 yrs.
Time for Landowner to Challenge/Effect of Landowner's Disability After disability lifted: 3 yrs.
Improvements -
Payment of Taxes 7 successive years; 15 yrs. consecutively for wild and unimproved land creates presumption of color of title
Title from Tax Assessor -

Note: State laws are constantly changing, usually through new legislation or higher court opinions. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you may also want to contact an Arkansas land use and zoning attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Claiming Property Under Adverse Possession Laws: Basic Requirements

These laws typically come into play when there is a discrepancy among neighbors. For instance, the title shows that a portion of property used by one individual for several years actually belongs to their neighbor, although there was no attempt by the rightful owner to claim or use it. Under adverse possession laws, the party actually using that piece of property may obtain legal title to the parcel in question. State adverse possession laws all generally follow these six guidelines:

  1. Actual Possession - Physically present and actually using the property
  2. Continuous Period - Possession is not divided into periods, but continuous
  3. Hostile - No permission has been granted by the lawful owner
  4. Open and Notorious - No attempt has been made to hide from the lawful owner
  5. Exclusive Possession - Possession has been maintained by a single party
  6. Color of Title - Good faith belief that they are legally entitled to the property (a requirement in some states)

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Arkansas Adverse Possession Law: Related Resources

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