I think what you are referring to it's what it's called "Adverse possession". You would have to be in possession and use of the property for 7 years. Pay the property taxes for those 7 years and maintain the property for that time. If at year six the rightful owner or the bank that owns it show up. You are out and you just lost your money. It could also land you in jail if done incorrectly. I would definitely consult a lawyer familiar with real estate law prior to attempting anything like that. Also just because the property looks abandoned it does not mean it is. It could be in foreclosure, probate, bankruptcy court, etc... In Florida, the adverse possession statutes are on the books as Florida Statutes 95.16 â€“ 95.18.