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Landowner Fights Squatter's Rights to Vacant Lot

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Landowner Fights Squatter's Rights to Vacant Lot

Law

Landowner Fights Squatter's Rights to Vacant Lot

Landowner Fights Squatter's Rights to Vacant Lot

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/17105532/17105502" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Using a legal doctrine known as adverse possession, or "squatter's rights," a judge has awarded a Colorado couple ownership of one-third of a vacant lot in Boulder valued at $1 million.

The law says a person can gain possession of a property after using it without challenge by the owner. The lot's owner in this case had no idea his lot was being used by the couple and is appealing the claim.

Meanwhile, residents of the upscale university town are protesting that this use of the law is dangerous and inappropriate.

Shelley Schlender reports from member station KGNU in Boulder, Colo.

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