neighbor built over my property line

Page 1 of 3  

I have a fence that encircles my property and (I believe) it is built 6 inches inside of my property line. A few years ago one of my neighbors poured a concrete walk right up against the fence, i.e. it is 6 inches over the line. I never said anything because it doesn't cause me a problem, however he is now going to sell his house and I think he should cut the walkway back to his edge of the line (at least) before he sells. I haven't talked to him about it yet but I will be doing so soon. I may need to get a surveyor to establish the property line. Then, if my neighbor won't cut his walkway back I may have to take him to court. Does any one here have any suggestions?
Bill S.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 1 Nov 2006 16:48:06 -0800, Patches Forever wrote:

You said "it doesn't cause me a problem," so why worry about it and go through the expense of getting a surveyor?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I agree, needless expense. I try to get along with all my neighbors

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Because after some period of time,it allows the neighbor to claim that piece of property as THEIRS,and reducing the value of your property in the process.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jim Yanik writes:

No, this does not meet the requirements for "adverse possession". Residential encroachments generally don't.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jim Yanik wrote:

No, it doesn't. Before you start practicing law, gt an education.
There are multiple elements to a claim for adverse possession. To establish adverse possession, the one claiming the property must show that the possession was open, notorious, hostile adverse, and continuous
Open means that it occurs 24 hours a day in public. In other words, if you put a portable shed on my property each night between midnight and 2:00 am, your are sneaking on and sneaking off. Doesn't cut the mustard. Your use of my property has to be readily observable to me as the real owner.
Notorious parallels open. Your use of my property must be known to the public at large.
Hostile or adverse means that your use of my property must be without my permission of license. In your scenario, you have known of the use and generously permitted it. Your neighbor or his successor will always fail this prong of the adverse possession test. If you really want to ice the cake, cheaply, send your neighbor a certified mail letter, with return receipt, giving him written permission and a revocable, no fee license to use the 6 inch strip for his concrete. His use of the strip will never, within the requirements for adverse possession, be "hostile". Term your permission a revocable no fee license and you preserve your right, and your sucessor's to be an asshole and unilaterally demand th removal of the concrete from the strip. It sounds like being an asshole is important to you, so you do want to preserve your potential to be an asshole.
Continuous means that the use by your neighbor has to uinterrupted for a term of ears. At common law it was 20 year. That means 24/7/365 for 20 years. Your neighbor comes nowhere close.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It's an important issue, because if it goes unaddressed, it becomes a permanent easement on your property--in NY, I think it's 10 years of unaddressed encroachment. Has caused big g-d problems for people, just cuz they were "nice guys". I'm no spert, but I believe you can address this w/o making him actually take it out, by having him pay $1/yr for the use of sed property, which would become part of the paperwork of his sale. This way, you can cancel the "lease" at any time, and reclaim your property, if nec. Or just preserve the value of your prop. by having that option always at hand. Consult a lawyer, it shouldn't really have to go to court. If the neighbor becomes a hard-ass, just tell'im: Look, sign the papers, pay me my fukn dollar a year, or become liable for all my court costs, damage claims, psych distress, blah blah.
Or, YOU can be the hard-ass and push for removal. Not that you wouldn't be entitled, just proly a little more confrontational. -- Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY Stop Corruption in Congress & Send the Ultimate Message: Absolutely Vote, but NOT for a Democrat or a Republican. Ending Corruption in Congress is the Single Best Way to Materially Improve Your Family's Life. entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply--ie, all d'numbuhs

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Patches Forever wrote:

You may be toast depending on the laws in your area. In some places you have x amount of time to bring an issue to the attention of the offending party otherwise the land is ceded to them. In other places it is still yours. IOW, need more info.
nate
--
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

First you'd better go to the expense of getting a new survey for your property to make sure you're correct. It seems to me you're trying to open a big can of worms for no apparent gain, since you haven't lost anything. You've let the sidewalk sit there for years, and now you want your neighbor to go to the expense of removing part of it when he's already going to move away. You can't lose that 6" through adverse posession, since presumably you're going to be using it occasionally, if only for fence maintenance, and are paying taxes on the property. If the sidewalk is actually causing you a real problem rather than a perceived problem (ie, it's located where you want to put a gate, or plant some shrubbery) you should be able remove it -- it's your property -- but it would be petty to do so without prior mention to your neighbor.
What's more likely to happen is that the sale will require a new survey, and that new survey will show that the neighbor's sidewalk runs outside his property limits. That may even be an obstacle to the sale, and thus becomes the neighbor's problem. Better that you should work with the old neighbor or the new neighbor to solve the issue amicably rather than be seen as the source of local problems.
If you're certain the sidewalk is on your property and you now want it removed, you need to make 2-3 phone calls -- (1) to your neighbor to inform him of the problem; (2) to the neighbor's real estate agent to tell them that you want to protect your rights to the 6" strip in question, and perhaps (3) to your city/county code enforcement to report a violation of local code. But if you do, you'll come off as the bad guy in the scenario.
In our area, apparently several surveys mismarked property lines by 1' or more. When the mistake was discovered it meant that at least one of the houses was now built into the set-back area of the side boundary. A couple of us just jointly planted a couple of shrubs on the line to give us a good reference for any future construction, but one owner dug holes and put in 6' tall 4x4 posts at several points along the perimeter -- they look silly -- like miniature undecorated telephone poles -- and he has essentially isolated himself from the rest of this friendly community.
Of course, we're dealing with 1/2 or 1 acre lakefront lots that are 300+ feet deep. Misplacing something by 6" usually isn't going to even be noticed. Just for reference, how big is the lot in question?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Before I'd go to the expense of hiring a surveyor I'd find a friend who has a metal detector and find your property stakes. At settle- ment you should have been given a plat map of your property. If you find that the walk is on your side of the line I'd check with the county to see what your options are. Do you know if your neighbor had a permit to put in the walk? There should have been an inspection, at least they do in my county. If all else fails make an appointment for a free consultation before deciding. If you're on good terms I'd talk to your neighbor when you have all the facts. Or, you may just decide to forget it, you're probably not going to be using those 6 inches anyway and if there is an easement issue his walk will have to come up.
Good Luck
--
______________
lvMMMCDLXXIX+1
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 1 Nov 2006 16:48:06 -0800, "Patches Forever"

I would be very careful about requiring him to remove 6" of sidewalk. You are required to maintain that 6". And I'm pretty sure he would not allow you to get on his property to do it. Can you maintain that 6" from your side of the fence?
--Andy Asberry recommends NewsGuy--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A lady at work had a property dispute over 6" of land. They were correct, but spent over $32,000 in legal fees to prove they were correct. Think hard before you open that can of worms. There is no simple or cheap way of removing 6" from a concrete walk. The right time to speak up was when the forms were put in place.
If they do move the walk, how will you maintain that strip of grass? Surely, the neighbor will kick your ass off of his walk of you go over there to trim the grass or paint the fence.
It may be smart to let everyone know where the property line is, but to demand remediation can be a money pit for all involved. As a bonus, you get to live next door to someone that now hates you. Consider the $1 a year leas that was mentioned in another post and have a beer with the neighbors, both the old and new.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If its only 6" its not much but you pay taxes and some areas taxes are alot, a few years wont establish adverse possession , but you are not even sure yet on lines, get his survey look at yours, offer to sell him the 6"
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you have a 10,000 sq. ft. lot in an area zoned for single family 5000, that 6" could cost you the right to short plat the lot.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

And *IF* that's the case, it's worth picking a fight over.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Here's another idea: After the guy moves start walking around your fence every day on the OUTSIDE of your yard. After you;ve dones this for 10 years or so then YOU can claim adverse possesion for a foot or 2 of HIS property.
--
Often wrong, never in doubt.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How many years? Look up the legal term "laches."
Nick
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I think it's usually referred to in this case as a "doctrine of aquiescence", and is generally much more than a "few years"! But hey, he hasn't re-replied to anyone here yet...
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You need to contact a local attorney. In many areas if a neighbor has used the property as his own and cared for it, after a given time (usually X number of years) and the owner has not raised an objection, the neighbor actually can claim legal title to it. If that is the case, your fence may now be illegal as most areas require a set back from the property line.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It\'s Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
What use do you have for that six inches of property? How can you possibly enjoy it with your fence blocking access? I'd just write it off and be done with it. If the fence ever needs replacing, talk to your neighbor with survey in hand to make sure you two are on the same page when you install the new fence. Then try to put your fence up to the edge of your property or even center the fence on the property line. The fence benefits both of you, so maybe your neighbor would even help replace a fence when/if it comes into dis-repair.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.