When real estate property is physically abandoned, it’s rarely without a legal ownership but that doesn’t mean it can’t be claimed. The law nowadays is a bit complicated, as many states have laid down legislation concerning the treatment of abandoned property, particularly property such as motor vehicles in case when the legitimate owner can be discovered reasonably.
However, through a process known as adverse possession, someone who legally fills the requirements that are necessary, which can be different, depending on the region and municipally, can take right ownership of the abandoned property. While the procession of uncertainty and inherency of risk is inevitable, this process has seen increased success over the last three to four years. Here are ways to acquire abandoned real estate legally:
#1. Do some assessment
To ensure you can make a legal claim of abandonment, take the time to do your due diligence. That means trying to locate the right owner. Remember that even though the property is abandoned, that doesn’t negate the fact that it’s still owned by someone. Just because someone leaves something somewhere doesn’t mean they’ve made up their minds to get rid of it.
If someone, however, deliberately abandons most of their personal property, they lose ownership of it. In many states, a previous owner may come back and reclaim their property–even after deliberately abandoning it, within a certain period of time. In the case of intangible property such as intellectual property, a period of time must pass during which the registered owner does nothing to the property or has limited access to it before it’s considered abandoned.
#2. Make an offer
If you are able to get in touch with the owner, offer them a deal to take the property off their hands. If, perchance the owner owes back taxes, you might be able to get the property simply by offering to pay the back taxes. Make sure you do conduct a research on the house’s title thoroughly to ensure you’re taking free title and are clear of any of any other debts aside from those you have willingly offered to pay. You can decide how much you want to spend on the property, accounting for any damage that needs to be repaired, and make an offer.
#3. Check your domains property tax record
One of the easiest ways to find out who owns the property is to check your region or county’s property tax records. You can talk to friends or employ other methods to find out the owner of the property. You should keep in mind that it’s possible that the address the CRA has for the owner is the same of that of the property you believe is abandoned. Another way to find the owner is to look for the property’s deed in the county records. If mortgages are recorded on the deed, then try contacting the bank or mortgage company, instead of the listed individual as property owner.