Ownership by prescription

old houseIf we are cultivating a deserted piece of land, we occupied a stray house or bought a car without knowing it, that it is stolen, we can become full owners of such property.

The law calls it usucaption . However, to take advantage of this opportunity, you have to act like the owner: fertilize nobody's land, pay taxes for it, repair the roof of the building.

Real estate
Immediately, when we take care of the property, let's inform friends and neighbors about it. It is important, because that's where the countdown begins, to take ownership of the property. However, this can only happen in 20 years from the moment, when we seized the property. In addition, provided, that the land or building is nobody's – no one knows their owner. When, on the other hand, the owner is known, but e.g.. went abroad and has no contact with him, it takes time for ownership to be granted 30 years. If it was our parents who took over "nobody's” a piece of land or a house, and we inherit their property, this "we will inherit” also the time of usucapion. If e.g.. they cultivated an abandoned garden by 10 years, we wait only for the others 10 years.

It happens so, that our parents bought or we ourselves acquired some real estate (Earth, judgment) without writing a notarial deed. Such a transaction is legally invalid, but after 30 years we become the rightful owners of this property.

Just a court…
Property owner, which we sit down, we don't become automatic. Ownership must be verified by the court. Therefore, you must apply to the district court, appropriate for the location of the property, with a motion for prescription. All documents indicating this must be attached to the application, that we rule the thing as owner. These can be both evidence of payment for an apartment (only proprietary), certificates of payment of taxes, receipts confirming expenses, such as e.g.. costs of providing water or road, as well as testimonies from witnesses.

Car and other items
It happens, that we bought a car, which was stolen from the previous owner. If we really didn't know it, and we have made every effort, to check, is the car "clean”, after three years from the date of purchase, we can sleep well. Even, when the rightful owner finds us, he cannot take the car. But let's remember: here it is very important to act in good faith. When we buy a vehicle cheaply, and you can see it with the naked eye, that the numbers are punctured, not enough, that we will lose the car (even if the owner finds us, e.g.. po 5 years and. then we'll have trouble with the police.

"Numb” you can do other things too, e.g.. a bicycle found in the woods. Of course you have to make an announcement, ask everyone, do they know anything, who does it belong to. If by 3 years no one will come forward, the bike is ours. But be careful: first we have to do everything, to find the owner.