Now that we know adverse possession is the informal taking of a property owner’s land once the statutory period is complete, we can take a look at methods to how to make that statutory period go by faster. To review, adverse possession consists of continuous possession of a piece of land, making sure there is evident benefit to the land and to the possessor, him or herself.
The possessor also needs to indirectly notify the current owner regarding the “taking over” of the piece of his or her land, which is required in certain states. The current possessor may sell his interest in the adverse possession to someone of blood or contractual relations. This transfer is known as tacking under common law, the benefit of this is that the amount of years the property was possessed by the initial possessor, gets added onto the second possessors amount of years possessed.
For example, Pavel has currently had possession of Dr. Do Little’s land for about ten years. In the state they are located, in this case, New Jersey, the statute of limitations is thirty years. Pavel decides to sell the possession he has over Do Little’s land to Valerie, who is of blood relation.
If Pavel sold Valerie the possessive interest he bared exactly on the beginning of the tenth year, Valeri would begin his possession over the land with a ten year jump start. This means he would only need to possess Do Little’s land for another twenty years before he can be conveyed the title of ownership through adverse possession, or he can go file a quiet title on the piece of land.
Through the common law process of tacking, not only could the initial possessor continue his adverse possession, but so could the second possessor. Together they can continue to combine the number of years the adverse possession continued. If the initial possessor sold all his interest in the piece of property possessed, the second possessor continues with the year the previous possessor left off.
In order for adverse possession to be successful in this scenario, there should be no down time with the possession when the transfer is made. Meaning, when Pavel sold his interest to Valeri, Valeri must act upon his possession immediately and continue its improvements. If there is any time lapse between the two while transferring the adverse possession, the amount of years Pavel put in, will go to waste.
Common law clearly defines and illustrates the procedure of adverse possession and tacking. Tacking can be looked at as a strategic way of acquiring property or it can be referred to as a conspiracy in order to acquire it. Either way, the common law states specifics to how it should be done, that is the way you can label it strategic. However, if it is not done accordingly, it could be looked at as a conspiracy. There are many laws which are seen as immoral, tacking being one of them, but there are always two sides to a story.