Adverse possession is recognized in Tennessee. A person may gain title to land through adverse possession if the possession is open and notorious, as well as continuous and hostile for a period of twenty years. However, if the adverse possessor enters under color of title and records at the beginning of seven years, or the title of those through whom the possessor claims has been recorded for thirty years, the possessor has a defensive title against the owner after just seven years. Otherwise, the possessor will gain legal title after twenty years.
What does this mean?
If you own a lot of land, don't let it sit unobserved. There were some New York investors who had bought thousands of acres atop the Cumberland Plateau only to have someone drag their trailer on there and set up a mailbox and lived there for an amount of time in excess of what was required by the aforementioned requirements. They subsequently went and filed for legal title and got title to the portion that they had been living on and using. If you have any questions about this please feel free to contact the law office of Andrew Farmer. Don't be a victim!