finally they are going to tell us where the property line is.
we bought this place with the understanding that there was an
a fence and chicken coup supposedly on our land.
Now , when we get the correct boundary , how to delicately get the
old guy to move it?
he even tilted the roof of the coop to dump rain into our yard. Hasn't
helped the septic drain field.
I Remember Another Quagmire = IRAQ
If that guys stuff is on you property then you have every right to have
it removed and promptly. Give that asshole 30 days to tear it down.
If he doesn't do it the you have every right to remove it and dispose
of it however you wish. Giving notice is as fair as you can be. I
would send him a certified letter telling him what he will be required
to do and when. You can't be more fair than that.
What state are you in, you better learn the law of Adverse Possession
and find out how long he has been there and the building itself, and if
he put it up or the previous owner, because he may OWN the encroachment
and more if he has maintained it. He could have moved in yesterday and
be "Tacking" on the previous owners desire or not . Laws might be from
5-30 yrs, in my state its 10yrs for Adverse Possession to be complete.
Find out your states law and time limit and post back, you could be in
trouble if he has a claim and is willing to enforce it so removing the
building is not a bad idea now. Make friends now and try to feel him
out. Im involved in that crap right now, you dont want to go there if
you can avoid it. You need his survey , the county surveyors office or a
surveyor will have one.
You are going to get alot of wrong- bad advise here on this, and you
have ,such as removing it before you research the facts and know the
Depending on your state's laws, you may not be able to make him move
it. Allowing an encroachment to exist for a certain amount of time can
give people rights to what is ostensibly your land. You bought knowing
there was an encroachment...
Time to talk to a lawyer.
Depends on the state as to the effect of
encroachment, certainly fencing encroached land
changes rights in some state, but has no effect in
other. My dad sold his place and the timber
company that bought it had the land surveyed.
They found that the actual property line was about
10 feet past the fence line. The timber company
immediately moved the fence over. My dad had
owned the land 50 years and the fence line was in
before he bought it. Funny thing, my dad tried
to buy a 10 foot strip over 14 mile long, the same
one indicated above, but the neighbor didn't want
It's there, it's grandfathered. Cultivate good feelings and friendly
neighbor relationships with the "stubborn old guy". Perhaps you
could bring him some pies or casseroles, or maybe an invitation to
coffee once in a while. Build up the good will-o-meter and your
efforts will bear much fruit. If the coop & fence are no longer in
perhaps you could (after some good will buildup) offer to demolish
them for him, or help with the demolition, or the moving of them if
they are in use. I suggest copius reference to Dale Carnegie's
HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE.
Remember: it is probably grandfathered, and the law is not likely on
your side. Even if it is, a quick reliance on the law is sure to get
you on the guy's bad side, which is a guaranteed ride into the
very unpleasant "push the envelope of what the neighbors will stand"
zone. See his point of view. He's probably been there much longer,
and most likely remembers that the structures have been there a
long time, and "weren't hurting no one". Be forceful, and you will
be seen as the young whippersnappers who thought they could
move in and run things their own way. Be friendly, and you will
be seen as the nice folks who are trying to fit in with the current
social order. There is an invisible point system in all places like
this which you must always be aware of.
Regarding the roof drainage into the yard -- the roof is only draining
water as is intercepted by the roof, which isn't going to hurt your
drain field that much. The yard already intercepts more rain.
Let it go while the above process is in motion.
Not true. Nor is the previous advice to tear it down sound.
If the survey shows the fence and chicken coup are actually on your
property, you need to consult a real estate attorney. The biggest
issue are possible adverse possession or the obtainment of an easement
by the neighbor having had open access for a long enough time. In
addition to openly occupying your property for a very long period, like
15 years, for adverse possession to apply, he usually would also have
had to pay taxes on the property.
Only a local lawyer can tell you how to best proceed and avoid making
matters much worse. I'd consult with one BEFORE I talked to the
neighbor or took any action.
Cultivate good feelings and friendly
Not sure where you are, but the tax thing rings odd. If I paid your
property tax, it doesn't confer any of your land possession to me. The
old timer thinks that the erections in question are on his property, he
pays his property tax. All's well as far as he's concerned. Adverse
possesion laws vary _tremendously_ from state to state. Sometimes the
possession has to be open and hostile. Other times all it takes is
someone taking care of the area in question (think mowing and pruning).
This is the only thing the OP can and should do. Unfortunately he
should have consulted the lawyer prior to purchasing the property.
"The length of time required for adverse possession in title varies -
it could be as short as a few years or could run for twenty years or
more. Typically public entities must establish a longer period of
possession than individuals. Some states have adopted a rule which
requires the adverse possessor to pay taxes each year on the land. "
Also, even without adverse possession, paying someone elses taxes can
result in property possession. The classic case being when a town
sells tax liens on properties that have unpaid tax. At that point, the
person buying the lien pays the taxes and if the property owner doesn't
take action to pay the back taxes plus interest to the holder, after a
certain period, the holder of the tax lien can foreclose.
Yes, why anyone would buy a property knowing that someone else has
possibly built a structure on it, without getting this surveyed and
resolved first, is beyond me.
That's an interesting twist on it. I wonder how that shakes out in the
real world. Say that the adverse possessor doesn't pay the taxes on
the disputed property, does that mean that the property owner
automatically keeps the land? Does it mean the property owner doesn't
have to pay taxes on it as it's someone else's responsibility? If the
encroaching owner doesn't pay, does the municipality file a tax lien
and sell the disputed property?
Paying unpaid taxes through a tax lien process is entirely different,
and entirely more likely, than someone selectively paying a small
portion of your taxes to cover the small amount of land occupied by the
encroachment. How would the encroaching owner know how much to pay?
How would the municipality know how to apportion the tax paid?
There aren't many questions that come up on this newsgroup that is so
convoluted that the only advice applicable is consult a local lawyer
knowledgeable in real estate law.
All good questions. I think the paying taxes aspect only likely comes
into play when the property at issue is an entire parcel, not just a
boundary issue. A scenario where this could happen would be where an
elderly person died, with no close family. Say the person who was
housekeeper then moved in and continued to maintain the property and
pay the tax bills for 20+ years. The housekeeper would then have
likely met the reqts for adversed possession.
In general, I agree. But in this case, I can think of an interesting
angle, where taxes could be paid on part of the property. Consider
this: Suppose the coop/structure is substantial enough that it's part
of the tax valuation. With things all screwed up, it's conceivable
that the coop might be included in the valuation of the encroachers
property. In that case, the encroacher would have been paying the
property tax on at least the value of the structure. I think it's
remote, but an interesting complication.
Id suggest besides an atty take photos of the whole area, alot of
quality digital photos now before the cold temps kill everything. I do
mean details in photos down to any rock or peeling paint or pole, and
where he cuts his grass, so take a hundred , its just a file to store.
The time to have resolved where the property line(s) is(are) was
_before_ you closed on the property. With whom did you have "an
understanding" and what did that understanding entail? Whatever it
was, undoubtedly it has absolutely no legal bearing.
Can only repeat advice of another--consult w/ an attorney on what your
rights are (which you made a real mistake if you didn't before closing
as appears would be the case) and then figure out how to go from there.
Depending on how large the property is, what the extent of the
encroachment is, what the state/use of the coop is, etc., etc., etc.,
would all have pretty major input on what I would consider a problem
and how to address it. If this has been there the proverbial long time
and it's a long-time resident, undoubtedly there will be virtually no
way you're going to effect a significant change without ruffling
feathers (so to speak :) )...
Again, the lesson to anyone else is to find out the real deal _first_
... while I doubt it will work out that way, you may find out you
don't actually have clear title to the entire piece of property you
thought you bought. Of course, you also may find out that the property
lines aren't where you were lead to think they were, too, and in fact,
the coop isn't even on what you thought your property was/is...
I wasn't in school yet and sent to feed the chickens. The damn rooster
spurred me, so I got the entry closed and ran to the house. My GAunt
grabbed the axe, and I had to select the lunch.. the rooster included
dumplings and peach cobbler..yummy (grin).
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens
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