If my property line goes through my neighbor's stairs, do I own that land?
Question Details: We let our previous neighbors build stairs that partially went over the property line by about 4 feet. Our new neighbor of 2 years is now claiming that they own the land under the stairs, the entire strip on land running perpendicular to the stairs, and also an additional 10 feet into our land. They also keep mentioning that the house is in litigation even though we have not received a single notice since she has been there. Does she really own all that land?
No, she does not. Voluntarily giving someone permission to intrude on or make some use of your land does NOT give them any right to it. "Adverse possession," which is a mechanism for claiming another person's land, must be "adverse" or hostile, or against the property owner's interests--but if the property owner allowed you on their land, then that is by definition not adverse or hostile and so cannot convey any right to land. Permitted uses or occupancy does not cost a property owner his or her rights to his or her land.