Bava Metzia 41 - Presumption of Ownership (Chazakah) Must Be Accompanied by a Claim


Any chazakah not accompanied by a claim is not a meaningful chazakah and does not entitle the occupant to keep the property. How so?

If the previous owner said to the occupant, "What are you doing in my property?" - and the occupant replied, "I am here because nobody ever said anything to me," - his chazakah is not meaningful and he must vacate the property.

If, however, the occupant replied, "You sold this land to me," or "You gave it to me as a gift," or "Your father sold it to me," or "Your father gave it to me as a gift," - it is a meaningful chazakah and the occupant keeps the property. One who comes into a property by way of inheritance does not require a supporting claim.