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Kansas Adverse Possession Laws

Adverse possession is the legal concept of essentially trespassing continuously on someone else’s property until you make it your own. Sometimes, this can happen when a farmer puts a fence around land she believed was hers, but in reality, belonged to the neighbors. This can also happen when a person discovers a seemingly abandoned property and decides to live on it as a squatter.

Adverse Possession in Kansas

To adversely possess a property in Kansas, you must have openly, exclusively, and continuously been in possession of the real property, either knowingly adversely or under an inaccurate belief of ownership of that property, for at least 15 years.

The following chart further details the adverse possession laws in Kansas.

Code Sections Kansas Statutes Sections 60-503: Adverse Possession and 58-2208: Adverse Possession - Interest May be Conveyed
Occupation Time Period Required for Adverse Possession As stated above, Kansas law requires you to be in actual possession of the property for at least 15 years continuously.
Time Limit for Landowner to Challenge and the Effect of Landowner’s Disability If a person is considered to have a legal disability, such as being under 18 years old, incapacitated (such as in a coma or confined to a mental hospital), or is incarcerated for less than his or her natural life, then the person can bring an action to recover their property within two years after the disability is removed. This means a 20 year old can recover the property stolen from him as a child, even though it’d been more than 15 years.

However, the maximum amount of time a real property action such as adverse possession can be waylaid is 23 years. Therefore, if you’re in prison for 30 years, someone living in your property since you left can bring the legal action before you have gotten out so you would need to hire representation from prison or potentially lose your property.

Also, if a person under a legal disability dies during this required time period, the heirs can bring a claim for the property within two years of his or her death.
Prohibited Adverse Possession Kansas law encourages landowners to allow people to enter their land for recreational purposes, such as:
  • Hunting or fishing
  • Swimming or water skiing
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Winter sports
  • Non-commercial aviation
  • To enjoy historical, archaeological, scenic, or scientific sites

However, entering land for these purposes doesn’t create an easement by adverse possession, for example if used on occasion for over 15 years.

You may need to speak to an experienced Kansas real estate lawyer if you’re having a problem with a squatter living on your property or if you think you’ve acquired a property by adverse possession.

Note: State laws are revised frequently, contact a lawyer or conduct your own legal research to verify these real estate laws.

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