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The Other Funk The Other Funk is offline
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Default neighbor built over my property line

Finding the keyboard operational
Patches Forever entered:

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 over 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 haven't talked to him about it yet but I
will be doing so soon. I may need to get a surveyor to establish the
property line. Then, if my neighbor won't cut his walkway back I may
have to take him to court. Does any one here have any suggestions?

Bill S.

I recently talked to a lawyer friend about this topic. This is what I
learned with the following caveats:
1. this is in NJ. Your state and local laws may not be the same.
2. this was a casual conversation, not legal advice. In fact my friend would
not represent me because he would rather have me as a friend then a client.

I wouldn't make an issue of this even if it were 6" by a mile. Just because
of the aggravation of maintaning it. In my neighborhood everyone cuts their
lawn up to the neighbors driveway ( one the one side) because it just makes
the lawn look neater. We also shovel each others snow if needed. Telling
your neighbor that you will take him to court if he doesn't cut the sidewalk
back is just asking for trouble IMO.
Everyone here ties their fence into their neighbors fence because it is
cheaper and easier. According to my friend this may be considered as an
"accepted practice" and be perfectly legal. Same as the fence issue.
Since the realtor and the buyer have both looked at the property, it is
their responsibility to bring the matter up. Since the walk encroaches on
the property line, it's the buyers problem. You might want to tell the
realtor just to be nice.
Title insurance only checks to see if there is a lein on the property, not
that the property bounderies are exact. If zoning laws have changed, they
may or may not check them.
You will only get a plat from the city for your lot when you buy. If you
want a survey as a buyer, you pay for it. I seem to remember that the plat
from the city has a notice that it may not be accurate and does not take the
place of a survey. Good luck trying to find the survey stakes. Mine doen't
Finally, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain property via
adverse possesion if the property owner is paying the taxes. If the propery
is not being cited for lack of maintenance, it's not necessarily eligible
for adverse possesion even if you cut the grass.
Just so you know, this conversation came about in regards to a railroad
siding that is abandoned and will never be used behind my property. The
conversation moved to my neighbors driveway, my driveway and the fences.
Based on the conditions and the legal expenses, that 6" may be high on the
lists of the most expensive real estate on the planet.
Hope this helps

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