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Adverse possesion

Joe S

Member
Messages
1
Points
0
I purchased a residential home two years ago. I recently had a survey done. The survey indicated that my house is on the neighbors property, about five feet. There was a tape survey done when I purchased the house that indicated that the house was on the property line. What should I do? Should I sue, and if so whom and for what, have them buy me out or buy the land from the neighbor that should be mine to begin with.
 

Linden Smith

Cyburbian
Messages
141
Points
6
So, how have you been getting along with your neighbors Joe?

First, I have to assume that you have no mortgage on the house since you didn't get a real survey done in the first place. Mortgage companies require them for just this reason.

I think there is going to be an obvious solution that is going to be made impossible if the present property owners seek to exploit the circumstances for thier own gain. The tacit acknowlegement that there was a property line somewhere between your two homes means that you should be able to agree on where it should be now.

Compensation may not be necessary. The responsibility would lie with whoever subdivided the land and built the homes, and those involved with the subsequest conveyance. Title insurance will sometimes cover this.

Don't sue anybody yet. Talk to the neighbor, and have a survey done of both properties, you pay. Then draw the line where you have been mowing to. Record the new plat, he pays. Yes, the surveyor costs more than the recording, but you need his goodwill much more than a few hundred bucks.

You might want to give a little more background on how this situation developed in the first place, I think it would make a good case study for those on this website.
 

Bonnie Louise

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
I have a question concerning the rules of an "adverse possesion" case. I was deeded some land that has been in my family for many years. The portion I was given is very small,about 3/10 of this land falls across the road next to someone elses property. I have only had the land 10 years. He claims he and my family always thought it was his,this is an out right lie he has always known it is not his. This was the fourth or fifth time he has asked our family to buy the property, I said no and he had a lawyer write to me with adverse possesion claim. Can he do this?
 

prana

Cyburbian
Messages
565
Points
17
After 5 years in surveying- I have seen most adverse possession cases handled between the two parties and a surveyor with lawyers only used to do the paperwork, not go to court to argue!!

Joe S- Work it out with your neighbor before sueing him. You bought the house with the knowledge that it was on the property line??? With minimum setbacks in consideration, that would have concerned me from the beginning. Can you explain the size the of your lots, distance between homes, etc. (if you need more questions answered)?

Bonnie- Same concerns as Joe's, property size, street size that divides your property, etc. Is he currently using "your" property in any way, access, driveway, storage, or has he been maintaining it? It will vary from state to state, but here in Arizona, it's generally 7 years of continued use and it's considered yours. Compensation can be sought after that period, but it is much more susceptible to the judges opinions. More info will definitely help!
 

Bonnie Louise

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
prAna- no he has not been using the property, he has lived there for 20 years and has asked to buy the property in the past without any positive reply's. He has always known that it was not his land (only 3/10 of an acre)

Thank you so much for your answers.
 

prana

Cyburbian
Messages
565
Points
17
Bonnie- I would definitely have a professional surveyor come out and simply set your property corners. He will look at the legal description for your land, as well as the original plats or map of dedications or whatever was used to divide the land originally, and then set 1/2" rebar with a cap on them that will have his RLS number. When your neighbor sees them, he will probably do the same or give up. Surveyors will calculate and set property corners almost identical. If it goes this far, don't get caught arguing about tenths of a foot that the surveys may vary. Remember, a tenth of a foot is only an inch more or less and the second surveyor should accept the first rebar as being correct! We would charge about $1500 to do this, but we are a large civil/ survey firm that does mostly larger jobs. There are small (2-4 people)firms that only do simple boundary work like this that should only cost $200-300.

If it turns out that there is indeed an overlap or hiatus in the property lines, then there might be some issues to settle, but again if the difference is minor and just open land, it's most common to split the difference unless there are specific reasons to do otherwise.
 
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