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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 31, 2017 02:47 PM
From: Senator David G. Argall
To: All Senate members
Subject: Adverse possession
Blighted and abandoned properties are common throughout the state. This issue is further exacerbated when a property is deserted and there is no clear title of ownership associated with the property.

To combat this growing problem and to ensure that there is a distinct title to properties, I am introducing legislation that would reduce the allotted period of time that is necessary in order to acquire a title through adverse possession under various situations and circumstances.

Current law states that an individual is able to acquire a clear title to a property under adverse possession in 21 years. Under my legislation, it will reduce the number of years needed to obtain a clear title to 10 years. Other requirements include the property must be less than half an acre in size and contain a single-family home, as well as the claimant meeting the standards of adverse possession set forth under the current state law.

Through adverse possession, a property that has been neglected by the owner (as records indicate), can be re-titled in the name of another individual who has a long-established relationship with that particular property. This legislation will help to reduce the number of blighted and abandoned properties in our communities because residents will be able to obtain a clear title to a property faster, as well as qualify for various home improvement loans and grants if they wish because there will not be any discrepancies with ownership titles.

Introduced as SB434