Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

Fence & Property Line Question


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 OFFLINE   CapnSharpe

CapnSharpe

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 167 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 17 1998

Posted May 18 2007 - 11:41 AM

I'm a little worried that my neighbor has cleverly stolen a chunk of my property.

I have a fenced in background where the fence is on my property by a good 1 to 2 feet and the neighbor's fence is connected to it, preventing me from accessing a small chunk of my land. None of this was disclosed - it was a surprise at closing. I was told by the attorney at closing that I could not back out of the deal due to this fence.

It's 2 years later now and I asked the neighbor to stop spraying my land with pesticide (something she just started doing today). I brought a copy of the property survey with me expecting the fence's placement to be a surprise.

But the neighbor told me that the previous owner of my house had allowed her to connect her own fence to my property knowing that would cut off access to part of the land. The neighbor also claims they were allowed to do the same to the other neighbor as well.

I asked the neighbor if she had this in writing but she changed the topic of conversation. Net net she won't let my land get sprayed again. But I have this really bad feeling now. Am I making a big deal out of nothing or have I just lost part of my property? Posted Image

#2 of 19 OFFLINE   RickER

RickER

    Producer



  • 5,130 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 04 2003
  • Real Name:Rick
  • LocationTulsa, Oklahoma

Posted May 18 2007 - 12:39 PM

Here in Oklahoma they put pins in the ground to mark your property line. If its your property, get a survey, and fix your fence! Do not sign anything that gives your neighbor YOUR land. Im not a lawyer or anything, but we just put up a fence, and our neighbor thought we went 2 feet over on his side. The homeowner association came out and found our pins, the fence was on our property, problem solved. A plot description helps too!

#3 of 19 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

Garrett Lundy

    Producer



  • 3,764 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 05 2002

Posted May 18 2007 - 01:01 PM

Offer to have the fence professionally moved to comply with your respective properties at your expense first. It would most likely be a lot cheaper than having to resort to getting a real estate lawyer, then submit claims, wait for a civil hearing and maybe get your fence moved 3 years later, the whole process ensuring your neighbor will become a lifelong asshole to you.

If it comes to lawyers and civil suits, make sure your new fence is of the 8' tall stockade variety.
"Did you know that more people are murdered at 92 degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature? I read an article once. Lower temperatures, people are easy-going, over 92 and it's too hot to move, but just 92, people get irritable."

#4 of 19 OFFLINE   BrianW

BrianW

    Screenwriter



  • 2,553 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 30 1999

Posted May 18 2007 - 01:14 PM

Quote:
I was told by the attorney at closing that I could not back out of the deal due to this fence.
I'm not a lawyer, and this is probably governed from state to state, but I'm pretty sure you can back out of a closing for any reason. If you don't sign the documents, the closing doesn't happen. There may be a penalty (like forfeiture of certain fees), but I believe you can't be forced to go through with closing.
-Brian
Come, Rubidia. Let's blow this epoch.

#5 of 19 ONLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Executive Producer



  • 14,304 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted May 18 2007 - 01:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa Doyon
I have a fenced in background where the fence is on my property by a good 1 to 2 feet and the neighbor's fence is connected to it, preventing me from accessing a small chunk of my land.
...
It's 2 years later now and I asked the neighbor to stop spraying my land with pesticide (something she just started doing today). ... But the neighbor told me that the previous owner of my house had allowed her to connect her own fence to my property knowing that would cut off access to part of the land.
...
But I have this really bad feeling now. Am I making a big deal out of nothing or have I just lost part of my property? Posted Image
This is a legal issue and you need to consult an appropriate attorney to handle it correctly.

That said: your fence is on your property. Have your property surveyed and surveyor's pins placed. Move your fence back to the end of your property. Treat your land as you wish.

#6 of 19 OFFLINE   Michael Warner

Michael Warner

    Supporting Actor



  • 742 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 24 1999

Posted May 18 2007 - 01:23 PM

How long is the fence? If it's fairly long and 2' wide then not only have you lost a chunk of your yard but you're paying taxes on land that's of no use to you. Now that you know about it you pretty much have to act or risk having the disputed property revert to your neighbor. In an ideal world you would either move your fence to a proper position or sell her the chunk of land in question. Both options will surely engender ill will as one will be seen as an affront and the other expensive given the need for surveyors, attorneys and such. Such is life I suppose.
Xbox Live: mugwumps

#7 of 19 OFFLINE   Kirk Gunn

Kirk Gunn

    Screenwriter



  • 1,612 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 16 1999

Posted May 18 2007 - 01:27 PM

The reason the fence may be 2 feet inbound from your property line is a setback specified by city/county code. (i.e. - the previous owner had to leave a 2 ft buffer). If so, and your neighbor connected to that fence, then they are probably in violation of that buffer.

Whatever the configuration, it appears if your fence is 2 ft from their property line, and they connected to your fence, then they encroached on your property. It is nice the previous owner verbally approved it, but that train has sailed.... now there's a new sheriff in town. If you want to pursue, some legal consultation will probably need to be invested and your risk alienating that neighbor which can have it's own "hidden" costs.

Agree with Brian, if you discovered the encroachment before closing and it was not disclosed by your agent, you should have the right to back out without penalty. Of course your agent will make that as hard as possible by filling you with FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). As far as backing out without cause, that is costly (perhaps 10% of the purchase price I recall, your local mileage may vary).

#8 of 19 OFFLINE   Phil McC

Phil McC

    Extra



  • 18 posts
  • Join Date: May 16 2006

Posted May 18 2007 - 01:33 PM

My neighbour did exactly what you did - he built a fence 2 feet inside the property line between my house and his.

At the time I could not afford to go halves with him to pay for the fence, but later when I wanted to fence in my yard I offered to do so. He insisted it would be OK for me to build my fence along the bottom of my property and link it up to his fence.

Reason being he was fed up with having to bring the mower out of his yard to cut 2 feet of grass outside the fence when in reality I cut it anyway when I cut mine. We therfore share a fence that he paid for (he declined my offer) and all we did was drew up a piece of paper between us and had a notary at my bank stamp it. It states that it is his fence, he owns it, it's on his property, but my fence connects to it. There is also a statement that says either of us can remove the connecting piece with or without the other party's approval for any reason and at any time.


Sorted - no lawyers to pay and no problem with the neighbours!

#9 of 19 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

Dennis Nicholls

    Lead Actor



  • 7,874 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 05 1998
  • Real Name:Dennis
  • LocationBoise, ID

Posted May 19 2007 - 09:24 AM

Responders...please note that she closed escrow 2 years ago so she is in no position to back out of the transfer. She probably is limited to suit for damages to the previous owner.

TD: ah yes, the law of "adverse possession" and of "prescriptive easements". Takes me back to 1st year law school. Your neighbor may OWN the land now under the theory of adverse possession or may have a PERMANENT RIGHT TO USE the land under the theory of prescriptive easements. The laws relating to these topics vary widely from state to state so you should either research the topic in NC on your own or retain NC counsel. A lot will depend upon how long the previous owner let this go on and the requirements for recording the area in question with the county recorder.

At least I've given you some vocabulary to make it easy to understand what your lawyer will bable on about.

You need to draw us a diagram.
Feline videophiles Condoleezza and Dukie.


#10 of 19 OFFLINE   Alex-C

Alex-C

    Screenwriter



  • 1,240 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 18 2000

Posted May 19 2007 - 09:54 AM

Follow Dave's advice. Hire a Licensed Surveyor (make sure an L.S. is overseeing or performing the work) to verify the property pins (the exact type varies widely, but can often be an iron pipe in the ground).

Also, discuss the topic of "prescriptive rights" with the L.S. and then if you decide its worth pursuing, talk to an attorney. Be prepared (and maybe in your own decision tree you are way past this) to weigh the cost of hiring these none-too-cheap professionals versus the (re)acquisition of "your" land. I have no idea how much land we're talking about...1-2 feet by...1000' ? or 1-2' x 50'.

In some cases I have seen, the owner decides to live with it rather than pay the money.

Also, this is not uncommon, especially in tract housing like we have here in California. I have no idea what kind of land your property sits on, but in a residential subdivision, depending on a number of circumstances such as the number of property pins in close proximity and the laziness of the fence builders, many times the fence gets built along the wrong line and no one is the wiser.

If it doesn't get discovered immediately, or if its many years later, then you're potentially into an adverse possesion and prescriptive rights situation.

Good luck. Please let us know how it turns out.
A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies, the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure.


Let's Go . . . To the colonies !

#11 of 19 OFFLINE   bobbyg2

bobbyg2

    Supporting Actor



  • 897 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 23 2007

Posted May 19 2007 - 11:54 AM

If they refused to moved there fence, I'd just move it for them. Then build a concrete/steel fence for me so they can't get me back! Posted Image
"Bobby is and idiot"

#12 of 19 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

Dennis Nicholls

    Lead Actor



  • 7,874 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 05 1998
  • Real Name:Dennis
  • LocationBoise, ID

Posted May 19 2007 - 12:01 PM

Quote:
to weigh the cost of hiring these none-too-cheap professionals
Lawyers are your friend. Posted Image We're here to help. Posted Image Posted Image
Feline videophiles Condoleezza and Dukie.


#13 of 19 OFFLINE   bobbyg2

bobbyg2

    Supporting Actor



  • 897 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 23 2007

Posted May 19 2007 - 01:05 PM

...And to take your money.
"Bobby is and idiot"

#14 of 19 OFFLINE   Alex-C

Alex-C

    Screenwriter



  • 1,240 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 18 2000

Posted May 20 2007 - 01:13 PM

Quote:
If they refused to moved there fence, I'd just move it for them. Then build a concrete/steel fence for me so they can't get me back!

There used to be a time when this was adequate and two property owners could laugh at it over a few brews, nowadays....ugh. I'll quit before I say something incendiary, but I truly wish it were that easy. That could get you sued with the wrong person/situation.
A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies, the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure.


Let's Go . . . To the colonies !

#15 of 19 OFFLINE   bobbyg2

bobbyg2

    Supporting Actor



  • 897 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 23 2007

Posted May 20 2007 - 01:20 PM

Hey, it's on my property. It's better than smashing up the fence and leaving it in there lawn... If they tried to sue me, what would they sue for? Moving there fence off of my property? If I was a judge, I'd just laugh at the verdict and give it in favor of the defendant.
"Bobby is and idiot"

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Marianne

Marianne

    Supporting Actor



  • 855 posts
  • Join Date: May 18 2000

Posted May 21 2007 - 03:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Nicholls
Responders...please note that she closed escrow 2 years ago so she is in no position to back out of the transfer. She probably is limited to suit for damages to the previous owner.

TD: ah yes, the law of "adverse possession" and of "prescriptive easements". Takes me back to 1st year law school. Your neighbor may OWN the land now under the theory of adverse possession or may have a PERMANENT RIGHT TO USE the land under the theory of prescriptive easements. The laws relating to these topics vary widely from state to state so you should either research the topic in NC on your own or retain NC counsel. A lot will depend upon how long the previous owner let this go on and the requirements for recording the area in question with the county recorder.

At least I've given you some vocabulary to make it easy to understand what your lawyer will bable on about.

You need to draw us a diagram.


bobbyg2: As Dennis said, the piece of land might not be her property any longer, depending on the laws of the particular State, and how long the fence has been there.

Of course, if the land is no longer her property then she shouldn't be paying property taxes on it. Whether this is worth pursuing probably depends on the actual square footage of the land in question in relation to the rest of her property.

The property tax issue could be discussed with the local City or County. It would also be a point of discussion with the neighbour - they probably don't want the land badly enough to have to pay property taxes on it!

#17 of 19 OFFLINE   bobbyg2

bobbyg2

    Supporting Actor



  • 897 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 23 2007

Posted May 21 2007 - 07:30 AM

This is why you live out in the country. No neighbors, cheap land, and... Quiet!

Well, quiet until I turn up the volume! Posted Image
"Bobby is and idiot"

#18 of 19 OFFLINE   JonZ

JonZ

    Lead Actor



  • 7,793 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 28 1998

Posted May 21 2007 - 07:55 AM

"Have your property surveyed and surveyor's pins placed."

x2

#19 of 19 OFFLINE   CapnSharpe

CapnSharpe

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 167 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 17 1998

Posted May 21 2007 - 11:30 AM

Thanks for all the helpful advice! I've made an appointment with a local attorney specializing in real estate law for later this week. The property was surveyed when I bought it and the little flag is still there, having survived many weed-wackings by the neighbor's lawn service. And this is tract housing so I would like my land back, if at all possible.


Back to After Hours Lounge



Forum Nav Content I Follow