Squatter’s rights are when someone takes control or residency in property that belongs to someone else without that person’s permission. Squatting may happen when someone at first had permission to be there but then overstayed the agreement. It can also happen if someone moves into an abandoned or empty property. It may also happen due to someone using someone else’s property over a long time and gradually taking it as their own.
The Ohio State University explains it is difficult to get squatter’s rights in Ohio. There are two main things you must prove in court to retain rights:
The claim of adverse possession
To make a proper legal claim, you will need to make sure you can show you have had proper possession of the property. You will need to prove you have had possession for a continuous period of 21 years.
Overturn a jury
In many adverse possession cases, the jury will side with the legal titleholder. However, Ohio law will allow a judge to overturn that if they feel you effectively proved your case of possession. It is often very difficult for a jury to take land away from the true owner and give it to someone else, which is why this exception exists. The judge may see the legal standing where the jury does not. If you can prove adverse possession or squatter’s rights, then the court will change the title to the property and put it in your name, making you the new owner.
Squatter’s rights are not easy to get. You would have to have exceptional evidence to back up your case.