It almost seems illegal to simply take a piece of property. But in some parts of the country, a person can actually care for an abandoned piece of property for a certain amount of time and claim ownership of that property. The process of using property that is not yours and to which you have no usage agreement with the landowner is called "adverse possession."
Research your local laws concerning adverse possession. Adverse possession is a legal principle of property law through which someone who possesses the land of another person for a period of time can claim control of that land. According to the Expert Law Web site, adverse possession laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some areas, you can simply care for a piece of property through mowing. In others, you must also pay the personal property taxes for the property and establish a physical presence on the property by either living on the property or building a permanent structure such as a shed or fence.
Choose a piece of property that is neglected, abandonmost adverse ped or otherwise unused. Cornell University Law School states that ossession laws stipulate that the person claiming the property must be in possession of the land, or caring for the property as if he was the property owner, in a way that is obvious to even the casual observer. Additionally, the person claiming the land must maintain the property for a specific period of time. For example, in Michigan this period of time may be up to 15 years.
Owners of a neglected or abandoned property are less likely to notice or contest obvious possession of property than owners who actually visit the property.
Verify that the property is privately owned. Adverse possession laws do not apply to public or government owned lands. The time that you must care for a piece of bank-held land in order to claim it resets whenever a bank sells the property.
Mow the property on a regular basis to establish that you are in possession of the property.
Retain a lawyer who specializes in property law to help you obtain the property. A lawyer can help guide you through the process quickly and can help you to avoid any confrontations with the true property owner.