The loophole to get a home in New York City

Adverse possession still exists

It’s tough getting a house in New York City. Inventory is tight and home prices are too high, but according to an article in Bloomberg, residents of the city are finding a very helpful loophole: adverse possession.

Adverse possession is the centuries-old legal principal that says, basically, if a squatter occupies a piece of land long enough, he owns it. This week, a Howard Beach man named Peter Zephyrin has been telling local news outlets that he's using adverse possession to take ownership of a boarded-up apartment complex in Queens — and that he's charging tenants $250 a week to take up residence there. 

What’s interesting is that for just $250 a week, residents are willing to rent an apartment without gas, a refrigerator or a working stove, the article stated.

Adverse possession, the font from which squatters' rights spring, does exist, and in some cases can prevent a landowner from booting an unlawful occupant. But the crucial ingredient is time, and there are scant examples of anyone actually winning ownership of a home through adverse possession in the U.S.

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