Beware Of Adverse Results When Claiming Title to Property By Adverse Possession


The correct interpretation of Tennessee’s adverse possession laws can easily be misinterpreted and misconstrued. Foregoing a deliberate read of the statutes, one might easily come to the conclusion that unless adverse possession is claimed by “color of title”, one then must result to common law adverse possession requiring compliance with all the elements for a 20 year period.

While the latter remains true, an action to reclaim or otherwise challenge an adverse possessor of property is barred after seven years which begins to run on the date the property was first possessed adversely. This outcome effectively bars any challenge to property possessed adversely if said possession exceeds seven years.

The party in possession has possession to the property and will not be the possessor of title to the property until the 20 year period has run its course. This outcome effectively deprives one possession of property for failure to take timely action. This outcome also follows the old saying, “possession is nine-tenths of the law”.


Everything within this newsletter is for informational purposes only; it is not and should not be considered legal advice. Laws may have changed or be interpreted differently depending on the facts of your specific situation. Do not send us private or confidential information until you have obtained written confirmation from us that we have agreed to accept the engagement.

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