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Reliction

DEFINITION

When a property’s value increases because of a nearby source of water receding, thereby increasing the size of the subject property and its value.

EXPLANATION

Reliction is a provision stating that when bodies of water — such as a pond, river, lake, sea, or ocean — permanently move back, the adjacent land becomes the property of the adjoining property owner.

Reliction is the process by which water recedes, thereby increasing the size of available land in the area. The adjacent property owner can claim this new added land as his or her own property. Also, it is possible to claim the new land if an owner begins making use of it. A property owner cannot use the new land that was created through reliction if it is a publicly owned or government property.

There are three methods that can be used to acquire a property through occupancy, which include the following:

Adverse possession

Prescription

Abandonment

Accession and Its Relation to Reliction

Accession is the process by which either manufactured or natural events add to the size of the property. If accession is determined to have occurred on the property, the landowner would be entitled to the increased size of the property. Accession may occur as a result of the landowner’s actions such as development, addition of new structures, and other man-made changes. It also refers to actions outside the control of the landowner, including the processes of accretion or reliction.

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