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Old 14-07-2003, 03:52 PM
pixi
 
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Default 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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Old 14-07-2003, 04:02 PM
Alexander Pensky
 
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Default Fences and Lot Lines

pixi wrote:

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.


"The law" you are thinking of is called "adverse possession." There's
always a lot of misinformation floating around about adverse possession
and it's not as easy to lose land that way as people seem to think.

Repost on misc.legal and they will tell you more than you ever wanted to
know.

- Alex

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Old 14-07-2003, 04:12 PM
Travis
 
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Default Fences and Lot Lines

pixi wrote:
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.


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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Old 14-07-2003, 06:32 PM
Betsy
 
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Default Fences and Lot Lines

I know lawyers are often the butt of jokes, but having had a wonderful dad
for a real estate attorney for almost 50 years, I know the answer: get
yourself an attorney immediately.

They will know the law, they will know the results of similar lawsuits, and
they will give you options. I strongly advise it--the law can be very
complicated and you can get burned easily.

"pixi" wrote in message
...
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




  #5   Report Post  
Old 14-07-2003, 06:43 PM
animaux
 
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Default Fences and Lot Lines

On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 15:02:56 GMT, "Travis"
wrote:


You will probably need to have a survey done and then talk to the
neighbor about it.


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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Old 14-07-2003, 10:22 PM
pixi
 
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Default Fences and Lot Lines

Thanks everyone. I'll probably get a lawer although I don't know why we
would need another survey. The trees that were on the property line grew
through the fence. When they put the new fence up, they cut the fence
leaving bits of the old fence sticking out of the trees. So the old and
legal lot line is still clearly marked.

Thanks again.

Pixi
"pixi" wrote in message
...
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




  #7   Report Post  
Old 15-07-2003, 01:52 AM
Pat Keith
 
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Default Fences and Lot Lines

Property lines are marked by property corners. The old fence may not have
been on the property line.


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Old 15-07-2003, 12:52 PM
Frogleg
 
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Default Fences and Lot Lines

On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 10:48:05 -0400, "pixi" wrote:

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.


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.
  #9   Report Post  
Old 15-07-2003, 02:32 PM
Vox Humana
 
Posts: n/a
Default Fences and Lot Lines


"pixi" wrote in message
...
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.


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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Old 15-07-2003, 05:02 PM
 
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Default Fences and Lot Lines

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

Alexander Pensky wrote:
"The law" you are thinking of is called "adverse possession." There's
always a lot of misinformation floating around about adverse possession
and it's not as easy to lose land that way as people seem to think.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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.


  #11   Report Post  
Old 15-07-2003, 05:02 PM
 
Posts: n/a
Default Fences and Lot Lines

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

"pixi" wrote:

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




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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.
  #12   Report Post  
Old 15-07-2003, 07:52 PM
Alexander Pensky
 
Posts: n/a
Default Fences and Lot Lines

wrote:

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

Alexander Pensky wrote:

"The law" you are thinking of is called "adverse possession." There's
always a lot of misinformation floating around about adverse possession
and it's not as easy to lose land that way as people seem to think.


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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Old 15-07-2003, 09:22 PM
paghat
 
Posts: n/a
Default Fences and Lot Lines

In article , Alexander Pensky
wrote:

wrote:

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

Alexander Pensky wrote:

"The law" you are thinking of is called "adverse possession." There's
always a lot of misinformation floating around about adverse possession
and it's not as easy to lose land that way as people seem to think.


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


Forty-odd years ago in a rural neighborhood, there was a road that passed
right down a property line with one property to the south & four
properties to the north, so five households used that one looooong private
dirt road. A new owner of the largest property upon discovering her
property line encompassed about half the width of the road put a fence
right down the middle (which forced her to widen her side of the road to
get to her house, so it hardly benefited her any). This left three out of
five properties with no access to their houses further back along the
divided road. It went to court on the idea that after 30 years of
continuous right of way, it was by then a public road. But the case was
lost, the fence remained, & the abused property owners just had to widen
the road further onto their own properties (with the continued mutual
agreement that everyone could use it, which I suppose was even then not a
deeded right of way, & some new owner could've refused to honor if they'd
been assholes too). The anger & hatreds that resulted from the case were
permanent & the woman on the other side of the fence never had even one
friend anywhere in the area. And there were thereafter two separate roads
immediately side-by-side, one on each side of a fence, when a single much
narrower road had sufficed for decades. The troublemaker was the same old
witch who ate my sweet old pet drake; I found his head & feathers on a
hillside where she'd tossed what was left of him. I still wonder if the
Recording Angel ever had an opportunity to jot down even one good deed on
her plaguey page.

-paghat the ratgirl

--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
-from Peter Newell's "Wild Flowers"
See the Garden of Paghat the Ratgirl:
http://www.paghat.com/
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Old 16-07-2003, 06:03 AM
Alexander Pensky
 
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Default Fences and Lot Lines

paghat wrote:

Forty-odd years ago in a rural neighborhood, there was a road that passed
right down a property line with one property to the south & four
properties to the north, so five households used that one looooong private
dirt road. A new owner of the largest property upon discovering her
property line encompassed about half the width of the road put a fence
right down the middle (which forced her to widen her side of the road to
get to her house, so it hardly benefited her any). This left three out of
five properties with no access to their houses further back along the
divided road. It went to court on the idea that after 30 years of
continuous right of way, it was by then a public road. But the case was
lost, the fence remained, & the abused property owners just had to widen
the road further onto their own properties (with the continued mutual
agreement that everyone could use it, which I suppose was even then not a
deeded right of way, & some new owner could've refused to honor if they'd
been assholes too). The anger & hatreds that resulted from the case were
permanent & the woman on the other side of the fence never had even one
friend anywhere in the area. And there were thereafter two separate roads
immediately side-by-side, one on each side of a fence, when a single much
narrower road had sufficed for decades. The troublemaker was the same old
witch who ate my sweet old pet drake; I found his head & feathers on a
hillside where she'd tossed what was left of him. I still wonder if the
Recording Angel ever had an opportunity to jot down even one good deed on
her plaguey page.


An interesting story but it has nothing to do with adverse possession.

Point #1. Assuming you're remembering the details correctly... the
abused property owners argued that the road was a public road. They did
not argue that they in fact OWNED the road by virtue of having used it
in "continuous, open, and notorious" fashion for 20 years (which are the
3 elements which must be satisfied for adverse possession).

Point #2. They lost! The survey said the witch owned half the road,
and the witch got to keep half the road! Proving my point, that it is
not so easy to grab someone's land just because you need it and have
always used it.

This type of situation is handled by easements. Normally the witch
would grant the other owners an easmement to allow them to pave and
drive on the part of the road that is on her property. If the witch
refuses to grant the easement, and the neighbors can prove that they
have no means of access without crossing witch's property, they can go
to court and the witch can be forced to grant the easement. However, in
this case, it sounds like the other neighbors were not landlocked; they
could find a path for the road which crossed only their own property and
not the witch's. So, unfortunately, the burden is on them to move the road.

Of course if the witch was a human being she would have just left the
damn road alone. But the law does not protect one from a**holes, and
the witch was within her legal rights.

- Alex

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Old 16-07-2003, 07:32 AM
gregpresley
 
Posts: n/a
Default Fences and Lot Lines

I agree with Alexander and others. Have a survey done, and if there is
encroachment, draw up a piece of paper which states the exact details of the
encroachment, attach a copy of the survey, and make the neighbor sign it.
That way, if you go to sell your house and the bank or buyers make a stink
about the missing bits of land, you can pull out the sheet of paper and let
them know that everyone agrees there is encroachment - therefore, if the
buyers need those extra feet, they have the right to make the neighbor tear
the fence down.




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