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Property line dispute, anyone dealt with this?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by HBdirtbag, May 13, 2019.

  1. May 13, 2019 at 4:32 PM
    #1
    HBdirtbag

    HBdirtbag [OP] New Member

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    So we moved into a house 5 years ago. A few months in our neighbors told us, hey btw, we built onto your property line. Our house sat empty for a few years and while it was empty the neighbors decided to build out their front yard a little bit. They acknowledged it was ours and said we could have it back when we were ready to do something with it (I had always planned on extending our driveway so I could park a car and trailer down the side of the house). Fast forward to about 18 months ago, the old neighbors decided to sell their house. They informed the new neighbors they had built onto our property and that we had planned on taking it back. We immediately also informed the new neighbors there was a dispute and that we would be building back onto our property in the next 12-24 months. Well, the time is now for me to take it back, and we met with them last week and they are NOT happy (obviously). I don't think they realized how much onto our property they actually were on. This will push their front yard back roughly 10-15 feet. They are talking about how they'll lose value on their home, they'll need to move back irrigation, and that they are mainly worried about what we will do with our side and how it'll look. They also don't think it's "legal" for me to have more cars, or to park a trailer on my property (it is, but that's irrelevant).

    So, what we've told them:
    - We are happy to split the cost of a surveyor with them
    - We just want back what is ours.
    - They are fighting with the argument of "adverse possession" meaning the land has been "theirs" for a certain period of time, so they now own it
    - Technically, we've known it was ours, not sure if that is an argument
    - Their "property" now comes within 5 ft of the side of my house which law states i need to have 10ft from the closest structure to a property line
    - They would also want us to eat the cost of replanting their yard and moving the irrigation.


    Anyone dealt with this before and have any advice? They are a strange couple, late 60's, she never leaves the house, they moved out here from Berkely, typical Northern California liberals (first interaction was them asking if they felt me washing a car every weekend was a waste of water). Rather odd, the only rooms they've put furniture in are a bedroom and two rooms they made into their offices. Downstairs is bare minus a kitchen table....really a shame, they have a killer backyard they never use. Large two car garage, but they park their 98 accord and 97 camry in the driveway though. They did pay a nice fee of $1.5M for the house though, lol.

    Here's an idea of what appears to be mine. Everything left of the red line I believe is mine. Plan is to extend the driveway out to about 4ft of the line and plant something as a divide. I need to be able to put a trailer behind the fence (will rebuild fence) as well as pull a car up to it or behind it.

    IMG_4464.jpg
     
  2. May 13, 2019 at 4:37 PM
    #2
    TheBeast

    TheBeast The Beach

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    nice extension from the neighbors....for $1.5M ,those sq/ft are adding up in $$$ :D
     
  3. May 13, 2019 at 4:40 PM
    #3
    jewsNbrews

    jewsNbrews MGM's for the win!!

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    Get property lines resurveyed asap. I wouldn't pay out anything. They can take that up with the previous owners that did this. Also, I wouldn't have let previous owners do that.
     
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  4. May 13, 2019 at 4:41 PM
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    Festerw

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    Talk to a lawyer, and hire a surveyor. That's really the only course of action.
     
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  5. May 13, 2019 at 4:41 PM
    #5
    HBdirtbag

    HBdirtbag [OP] New Member

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    We'll split the cost of a surveyor with the new owners, do yous ee a problem with that? Also, we didnt know the old owners did it, they did it before we bought the house when our house sat empty. Wasn't till we had moved in that it was mentioned....and i should have taken it back right then, just had other projects to complete first so it wasn't high on our radar.
     
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  6. May 13, 2019 at 4:42 PM
    #6
    jewsNbrews

    jewsNbrews MGM's for the win!!

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    Also, this could be time sensitive, I know we almost lost land from a neighbor putting up a fence 3 feet on our property when we were renting, then bought and promptly moved the fence. Because if up for another year could have been lost.
     
  7. May 13, 2019 at 4:42 PM
    #7
    15whtrd

    15whtrd Mr. Blonde

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    Is that their shed in the backyard? Is that on your property line as well? That was stupid of the first neighbors to even waste time building on someone else’s property. Who in the hell does that?.
     
  8. May 13, 2019 at 4:44 PM
    #8
    jewsNbrews

    jewsNbrews MGM's for the win!!

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    Not so long as everyone is ok with it. But it should have been done a while ago. Look on ground, once surveyed they place spikes on property line in the ground. If still there that's your proof
     
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  9. May 13, 2019 at 4:45 PM
    #9
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model Fred Brookes

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    You still have your original survey from when you purchased your home?

    Thats all you need. Start building whatever it is you want to do (obeying local codes/permitting) and ignore the neighbors as they’ve already been duly informed when they moved in.

    There should be (brass) pins in the ground locating your corners of your property.
     
  10. May 13, 2019 at 4:45 PM
    #10
    HBdirtbag

    HBdirtbag [OP] New Member

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    Yea, unfortunately no spikes. I had chatted with a surveyor about 2 years ago and he said the closest spike is about 1/2 mile away......lol
     
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  11. May 13, 2019 at 4:46 PM
    #11
    HBdirtbag

    HBdirtbag [OP] New Member

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    Yes, we have original survey, and have seen theres. And it clearly shows they are in our space.

    we've looked for all types of markings, and can't find shit....
     
  12. May 13, 2019 at 4:47 PM
    #12
    jewsNbrews

    jewsNbrews MGM's for the win!!

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    Yup, get survey. Then mark off your property with fence or paint a line and start renovating.
     
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  13. May 13, 2019 at 4:49 PM
    #13
    Aerindel

    Aerindel New Member

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    If it's been years you probably have no recourse.

    The way the law usually works is if you allow someone else to build on your property for a certain amount of time that land becomes theirs by default. If this happened before you bought the property it is very likely that it is now legally theirs.

    I think its called "prescriptive easement law" but is based on the idea that if you build on someone else's land you have presumed to have permission wether there is a record of that or not.

    I dealt with this when my grandmother died and we went to sell her property. It was known for a long time that the neighbors fence was 6' unto her lot but since it had been that way for several years and she hadn't done anything about it that now became the new property line.

    A friend bought some property here, there was a road going through it to another property, they go in a dispute and the friend wanted to close off that road, but it turned out even though there was no original easement for that road, the fact that the previous owner had allowed people to drive through it meant that now it had become legal and there was nothing he could do about it.

    When it comes to property rights its often a matter of 'use it or lose it'
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  14. May 13, 2019 at 4:52 PM
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    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model Fred Brookes

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    The surveyor will metal detect those pins.

    You should quickly find your original survey as that will squash all arguments/disagreements.

    Also, they could be in violation of local codes (not sure about your area) and then be forced by the local officials to move their shed etc.

    Your original survey (dated and stamped) will be the key to not spending any money or time with difficult neighbors. A call to local zoning with your survey in hand when they come out will be the ‘Ace’ card.
     
  15. May 13, 2019 at 4:56 PM
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    Woodguy65

    Woodguy65 New Member

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    Adverse possession is very real and they have a good case in general terms. The weight of AP varies greatly by State, its usually applied in larger tracts of land (think farmers). I wouldn't waste another minute getting legal advice on this forum, you need to contact an attorney ASAP! I would not get the property surveyed together - unless your attorney advises it. My guess is - he will say get it done independently.
     
  16. May 13, 2019 at 4:57 PM
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    P-Factor

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    I had a similar situation many years ago with a neighbor infringing on my property line but nipped it in the bud immediately due to many state laws allowing ownership of property in favor of infringer if not disputed within two years and/or not having a legal agreement.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  17. May 13, 2019 at 4:59 PM
    #17
    JohnLakeman

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    Surveyors usually leave markers at the survey corners. The markers (rebar pins, old car axles, other) may still be there unless your former neighbors removed them.

    Having a surveyor mark the property line is much less expensive than a complete survey needed for property transfer. (Which raises an interesting question: In Texas, a valid survey, either pre-existing or new, is required for title transfer...they didn't get a survey? The original survey is still in effect, neighbor shenanigans not withstanding.) I have 6.5 acres, and had a surveyor place T-bar post markers at four places along each of my side boundries...it cost me $350.

    Have a surveyor mark your corners. Rent a front end loader or skid steer. Line the machine up with the property line, lower the bucket, and plow up everything on your side to the depth desired for the concrete driveway extension. Let them correct the irrigation piping back to the correct property line if they're so inclined; if not, screw them. They may fuss and fume, but technically they are S.O.L. Tell them to be happy the former neighbors didn't build an addition onto your property...in that case, they would be liable to remove it, or to pay whatever price you asked for the square footage.
     
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  18. May 13, 2019 at 5:01 PM
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    TheBeast

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    when you were in escrow, you should have had the city and county official documents made available to you. Did the property line not match the original ?
     
  19. May 13, 2019 at 5:02 PM
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    TheBeast

    TheBeast The Beach

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    +1
     
  20. May 13, 2019 at 5:03 PM
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    HBdirtbag

    HBdirtbag [OP] New Member

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    It’s funny, I just remembered when we first moved in the old neighbors had built an in law suite directly onto the property line. Apparently someone had complained and questioned it when looking to buy the house we bought. The old neighbors always thought it was us and were forced to take it down.
     
  21. May 13, 2019 at 5:03 PM
    #21
    Windsor

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    Start with getting the survey.
    I wonder what all the PO didnt get permits to do.
     
  22. May 13, 2019 at 5:04 PM
    #22
    HBdirtbag

    HBdirtbag [OP] New Member

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    They don’t. And that’s actually what made me catch it. I remember now I brought it up with the old neighbors. But I didn’t catch it till after we moved in.
     
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  23. May 13, 2019 at 5:04 PM
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    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model Fred Brookes

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    Lawyers cost money and will ask about the original survey (free and binding). This is a slam dunk with original survey in hand, unless written approval was given (wasn’t in this case per OP). Everything has been verbal, except the original survey which is by law binding.

    Only question I’d ask the neighbors is if you could look at their original survey. If their surveyor ‘moved the lines’, then yes that is the time to lawyer up due to conflicting surveys.

    Do everything you can to not lawyer up as its expensive. Use your original survey. Nothing more to say and hope it works out for the OP.
     
  24. May 13, 2019 at 5:05 PM
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    JohnLakeman

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    Got that right. Complaining new owner better HOPE it's limited to landscaping. :eek:
     
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  25. May 13, 2019 at 5:06 PM
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    Moon Puppy

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    The only suggestion I have is if you gotta get a lawyer, get the biggest SOB you can find.
     
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  26. May 13, 2019 at 5:10 PM
    #26
    realtorblake

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    They bury iron rods at the property corners here in Texas.

    Also, I would get this settled sooner, rather than later. Nothing but bad can happen the longer you allow them to assume possession of your property.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  27. May 13, 2019 at 5:19 PM
    #27
    HBdirtbag

    HBdirtbag [OP] New Member

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    We looked at both our surveys side by side last week. And they clearly were the same.
     
  28. May 13, 2019 at 5:19 PM
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    Aerindel

    Aerindel New Member

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    Unfortunately this is not even close to true in many states. If they have been using that property as their own without dispute for some time (varies with the law) the original property lines are irrelevant.
     
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  29. May 13, 2019 at 5:20 PM
    #29
    jewsNbrews

    jewsNbrews MGM's for the win!!

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    But were they showing what's yours or did you lose it?
     
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  30. May 13, 2019 at 5:22 PM
    #30
    jewsNbrews

    jewsNbrews MGM's for the win!!

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    Honestly, I am sure your neighbor is doing the same research. Lawyer up. Get ready for dispute. 1.5 million property your neighbor just bought. He isnt going to lose that without a fight.
     
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