I own a rural, rocky, steep 25 acre lot, recently subdived from 160 acre farm; rising in elevation to an area of smaller parcels on a flat gorge rim, where a common line owner has been enjoying as his own that corner of the lower lot which is situated above the rim. I’ve been researching the requirements for adverse possession in Washington state to understand my exposure to his potential claim, especially as his home and not just his use encroaches ([url]http://www.leg.wa.gov/rcw/index.cfm?fuseaction=chapter&chapter=7.28[/url] Chapter 7.28 RCW EJECTMENT, QUIETING TITLE).
He purchased in 1981 from his family’s farm subdivision. The property line in question continues straight south as the line for other family lots. He claims an old fence line forms the basis for the verbal adjustment on his lot (he doesn’t mention theirs). He built his house over the survey line of record about 4’ in about 1988, and apparently has been cutting trees and vegetation much farther (say 150’) over the line since then also.
After closing, I sent him a letter noting his encroachment on recorded surveys, and respectfully asking that he stop cutting timber on my land to open up his view shed. As he didn’t respond, I sent him another copy, certified. He finally responded that the long dead past owner let him do this, beyond his claimed property line, and couldn’t he continue in the spirit of ‘good neighbors.” He also claims that the encroachment is not one really, but results from a property line adjustment agreed to by the then-owner of my lot some two transfers back. This assertion is inconsistent with all recorded legals and surveys of which I or the title co., seller, real estate agents, or surveyors am aware.
In the state of Washington is there a requirement for a claimant of adverse possession to necessarily have paid taxes due on the contested property over the years?
Is it significant that the property has passed from the owner he agreed supposedly with, to his estate and to his son before being sold to me, i.e., that there were multiple legal transfers, duly described and recorded?
Does his ‘agreement’ with the former owner preclude the hostility required for a claim, even though it would be adverse today?
To be exclusive must his possession be physically defined as such, e.g., by a fence?
As he has made no attempt to formally take adverse possession over the many years of using the land, has his right to pursue adverse possession expired?
Is his claim untenable if he has no “connected title in law or equity deducible of record?”