Fences and Lot Lines

I need an answer but don't know where to look on the internet. Has anyone got any ideas about this?
There is about 800 feet of fence between us and a neighbor. The neighbor recently put up a new fence. When ever a tree had grown up on the lot line he put the fence on our side thus putting the trees on his side of the fence. In most cases this meant a foot or more of our property on his side of the fence.
I believe the law used to say if the fence remained there for 20 years, the land on his side was the neighbors.
This means that the neighbor took aboutg 800 square feet of land. That/'s a lot of land. Does anyone know where I can find out what we can do about this.
Thanks a bunch.
Pixi
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pixi wrote:

You will probably need to have a survey done and then talk to the neighbor about it.
--
Travis in Shoreline Washington


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wrote:

And you can seek out the low mortgage rates to have a reason for the survey. It may pay for itself in the long run by many, many dollars. That way there will only be hard feelings because the neighbor is not a nice person. I wouldn't lose one inch of property with the taxes we pay!
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Have you talked to this neighbor? Not confrontationally, but just asking about his/her actions? I would, as a lay person, point out that the property line had been compromised, and even if you didn't care about those extra feet, later real estate transfers would turn into a tangle. You might be able to resolve this by agreeing to share the cost of cutting down the trees involved. He/she might even be trying to spare you maintenance of the trees. :-) The more peacefully this can be worked out, the less expensive it will be, IMHO.
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As others have said, you need to get a survey. The survey will establish the lot line. Until you have the survey, you are just guessing where the line is. If you can establish that the fence was placed on your property, then you can talk to the neighbor and let him know what your feel is an acceptable solution -- move the fence, sell or lease him the property, etc. If you can't come to a satisfactory resolution, then I would get an attorney. In addition, I would check with the local building authority. Many jurisdictions have zoning resolutions that dictate the type of fence that is acceptable. There are generally set back requirements and often permits are required. In some cases a survey is required and the property corners and lot line must be marked and the marks must remain in place until the final inspection is done by the building inspector. If a permit is required, then your building department may take care of the problem without any effort or expense on your part. In our state, the county auditor's offices are placing real-estate records online. You can do a property search and then access an aerial photo of the property with the lot lines marked. If the old fence was in place when the picture was taken you can get an idea of where it was in relationship to the lot line. That would give you an idea of how likely it is that the new fence is on your property. You might check you county's website to see if that option is available to you.
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yeah? tell my mother that after 5,000 bucks in lawyers fees when the neighbors sued for adverse possession and it went to trial and was not instantly thrown out. they claimed THEY, AND THE PREVIOUS owners mowed the lawn next to my mothers driveway and so THEY OWNED IT. This was after they insisted it WAS theirs and my mother had us put up a fence to establish our ownership over the property. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List http://puregold.aquaria.net / www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unfortunately, I receive no money, gifts, discounts or other compensation for all the damn work I do, nor for any of the endorsements or recommendations I make.
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snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.xx.com wrote:

I appreciate what your mother went through... I followed the thread here last month... but
#1 It cost $5000 and was not instantly thrown out, but did your mother actually lose the case? Did she have to relinquish the land?
#2 For every landowner who experiences the nightmare your mother did, there are 100 more who hear about it and are convinced they too will lose their land simply because their neighbor has a habit of mowing a 2 foot strip on the wrong side of the lot line.
Bottom line: the common law principle of adverse possession is mainly intended to allow squatters to obtain neglected or abandoned property simply by treating it as their own without being challenged. It is not intended to be used with owner-occupied property where there's an active dispute as to who owns what.
In the case of lot line encroachments... all you have to do to protect against adverse possession is to grant explicit permission for the neighbor to encroach. If you've done a survey and neighbor's fence is on your land, but you don't mind and don't need it removed, then get a survey copy showing lot lines & encroaching fence, add a statement granting neighbor permission to have a fence there, sign it and get neighbor to sign it.
Of course the neighbor can still take you to court if they don't agree with the survey and think there is no encroachment. But the document will prevent them from successfully claiming adverse possession.
It's kind of like common-law marriage. The court can't rule that two people are in a common-law marriage, against their will. Common-law marriage exists only when the spouses BOTH claim they are married and nobody disagrees with them. Likewise -- you can only claim land by adverse possession if you state that you've taken over the land as yours for 20 years, and *nobody disagrees with you* including the current owner if the owner can be located.
- Alex
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The neighbors at some point put a huge, orange steel fence post on the corner of their property which just happens to be 1/4 of the way onto the entrance off the private drive and into the parking area of my mother. Basically, 60 years ago when my parents started building the house they started "cutting the corner" between two big trees along a tree row. the big trees are now gone, but the entrance still cuts the corner. anybody coming up our drive would start to turn into the house and would hit the metal stake. We removed the stake after contacting a lawyer and taking a picture. But when they filed suit, my mother counter sued for adverse possession of the corner so they could put up the post. No, my mother didnt lose the land to adverse possession, yes she got adverse possession of the corner. There was another issue. They were using the open part of my mothers drive as an access road to the back of their property, including big trucks bringing in construction materials and moving their boat etc to the back of their property without my mothers permission. The neighbor's daughter saw the construction trucks using it and reamed em out (in spring the wet ground causes the asphalt to collapse/rut under heavy trucks). At one point I tried to negotiate with them saying we'd leave the open part open if they quit insisting they owned the strip of land, they said no. Now the city doesnt like fences. It recommends putting up a row of trees and/or bushes. We didnt want the hassle of cutting bushes back so we planted a row of trees expecting we could remove the fence when they got a little bigger. Their NEW lawyer needing something to hang this suit on, so he claimed the trees were a "nuisance fence" and when they lost the judge tossed em a sop by ordering us to cut the trees down. #2 it isnt that they WILL lose the land, it is that when they go to do something on their own land somebody will THINK they own it and sue them and some asshole judge wont throw the case out and make them brought the suit pay all the costs. Well... my mother claimed adverse possession of the corner and won. So I guess use for a significant period of time does lead to ownership. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List http://puregold.aquaria.net / www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unfortunately, I receive no money, gifts, discounts or other compensation for all the damn work I do, nor for any of the endorsements or recommendations I make.
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get the survey done, the lot line marked (I cut aluminum conduit into 12" lengths and had the surveyor drive those in along the lot line cause they dont rot or fall out.). the sooner you do it, the better. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List http://puregold.aquaria.net / www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unfortunately, I receive no money, gifts, discounts or other compensation for all the damn work I do, nor for any of the endorsements or recommendations I make.
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