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JimR JimR is offline
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Default neighbor built over my property line

"Patches Forever" wrote in message
I have a fence that encircles my property and (I believe) it is built 6
inches inside of my property line. A few years ago one of my neighbors
poured a concrete walk right up against the fence, i.e. it is 6 inches
the line. I never said anything because it doesn't cause me a problem,
however he is now going to sell his house and I think he should cut the
walkway back to his edge of the line (at least) before he sells. I
talked to him about it yet but I will be doing so soon. I may need to get
surveyor to establish the property line. Then, if my neighbor won't cut
walkway back I may have to take him to court. Does any one here have

Bill S.

First you'd better go to the expense of getting a new survey for your
property to make sure you're correct. It seems to me you're trying to open
a big can of worms for no apparent gain, since you haven't lost anything.
You've let the sidewalk sit there for years, and now you want your neighbor
to go to the expense of removing part of it when he's already going to move
away. You can't lose that 6" through adverse posession, since presumably
you're going to be using it occasionally, if only for fence maintenance, and
are paying taxes on the property. If the sidewalk is actually causing you a
real problem rather than a perceived problem (ie, it's located where you
want to put a gate, or plant some shrubbery) you should be able remove it --
it's your property -- but it would be petty to do so without prior mention
to your neighbor.

What's more likely to happen is that the sale will require a new survey, and
that new survey will show that the neighbor's sidewalk runs outside his
property limits. That may even be an obstacle to the sale, and thus becomes
the neighbor's problem. Better that you should work with the old neighbor
or the new neighbor to solve the issue amicably rather than be seen as the
source of local problems.

If you're certain the sidewalk is on your property and you now want it
removed, you need to make 2-3 phone calls -- (1) to your neighbor to inform
him of the problem; (2) to the neighbor's real estate agent to tell them
that you want to protect your rights to the 6" strip in question, and
perhaps (3) to your city/county code enforcement to report a violation of
local code. But if you do, you'll come off as the bad guy in the scenario.

In our area, apparently several surveys mismarked property lines by 1' or
more. When the mistake was discovered it meant that at least one of the
houses was now built into the set-back area of the side boundary. A couple
of us just jointly planted a couple of shrubs on the line to give us a good
reference for any future construction, but one owner dug holes and put in 6'
tall 4x4 posts at several points along the perimeter -- they look silly --
like miniature undecorated telephone poles -- and he has essentially
isolated himself from the rest of this friendly community.

Of course, we're dealing with 1/2 or 1 acre lakefront lots that are 300+
feet deep. Misplacing something by 6" usually isn't going to even be
noticed. Just for reference, how big is the lot in question?