Strange property line issues

lsstJune 9, 2005

We finished building our house about 7 months ago. I posted quite a bit on the building forum during that time.

I have a situation concerning one of my neighbors and our adjoining property line.

We bought 6 acres in 1999. It is a long and narrow piece of property. The property line in question is approx. 879 feet long.

When we bought the land, we planted leyland cypress trees to create a future privacy screen. We planted over 100 trees. The land next to us was still for sale. We planted the trees 8 feet into our property line to allow for growth and spaced them 8 feet apart. This way the trees would not be crammed on top of each other as I have seen in other areas.

The land next to us sold a couple of years later.

Fast forward to 2004. We start to build our house. Our Leylands are about 12-15 feet tall and are doing great.

One day while out at the building site I noticed the neighbor planting leylands next to ours. He planted some

right on the property line and several were on our land. He planted the Leylands 2-3 feet apart. Leylands grow 60-70 feet tall and 12-15 feet wide!

He also began to cut down beautiful hardwoods trees to plant leylands. He cleared out a large portion of oaks, maples, and poplers.

Our leylands will touch and create total privacy within 3-4 years.

After we moved in the house, I would see him planting more and more leylands. I very nicely told him some of his leylands were on the property line and some were on our property. I suggested he move them back on his line as to create a better air flow around the trees. Leylands have problems with bagworms and spider mites and need some space between them. I mentioned we would have the property line remarked. He moved the trees 18 inches.

I just paid $200 to have the lines remarked. While examining the property line markers, I noticed the neighbor had cleared some of our land. In one area he encroached our land by about 3 feet. He cut down several poplers that were on our land.

This is the strange part. This area had some heavy shrub growth. Our Leylands are only about 4 feet tall due to less sunlight. My neighbor decided to plant more little Leyland cypress trees in between our trees. He knows this is our property. My husband did not believe me. He said they must be trees we planted 6 years ago that did not grow.

Well, I showed him the trees and pulled them out of the ground. The roots were fresh and shaped like a 4" pot.

I can not tell if when he cleared his land he may have accidently run over some of our trees and decided to replace them and not tell us. I can find no evidence of our Leyland cypress trees being accidently mowed so I have no clue as to why he decided to start adding trees in between our trees.

When he cleared his hardwoods we now have a direct view of his house. His house is built about 300 feet away in the woods. We do not understand his obsession with his leyland cypress trees and our property line. He has ignored the rest of his property. There is trash all along the front of his property.

I am at my wits end with all the problems with my builder and our house and I just do not want to deal with this neighbor again. My husband has agreed to talk to him this time.

My other neighbor just loves our trees and has left everything alone.

Thank you for letting me vent. The whole thing is just so strange and it is adding to the tension of this whole building process.


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Sorry to hear about this LSST. I know you have had your challenges with your build. All I can say is people get weird when it comes to property lines. Our neighbor dug about 6 huge holes 30 yards into our property to plant some trees. She wanted to block our house from their view. We put up a fence and she hasn't meddled on our property since. We just have these huge holes to deal with. What are these people thinking? I guess I would talk to the guy and/or put up a fence if you can.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 2:44PM
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Thanks Margerie.
When the land was remarked yesterday, I was not home. When I returned the front of our property was marked 20 feet in from the road for the full length of the property. There were wood stakes at these pins marked "property corner".

I called the survey company and mentioned we thought we owned to the road and was told that someone else owns that 20 foot x 300 foot strip in front of your property! Well, I was quite upset thinking about right of way issues and just who could own this strip of property. I had major landscaping plans for it.

Back when we bought the land, we had an attorney do extensive research to make sure all right of way and access to land issues were accurate.

I had the survey company back out to question the front and thank heavens they found two more pins at the road so we actually do own the 20 footx 300 foot strip.

So, when I wrote my message last night not only was I dealing with this strange neighbor and his trees but I thought someone else owned the land we thought was ours!


    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 3:21PM
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LSST- wow. sorry to hear of your troubles. we are having similar if not smaller issues w/ property lines & trees being planted, and trespassing on one side (an issue because federal law prohibits cutting of wetlands fauna and our neighbor still continues to think that our land is their land...but now WE would be liable for his cutting & clearing). it's weird... our neighbors on the left and the right still feel that our property is a 'commiunal' property. it is rather awkward at times. in our case we are installing split rail fences on each side for now. i feel this is a nice if not upfront way of setting boundries without being so obvious. (would love to do a row trees like you, but we do not have the room, and the neighbors on each side already planted tall psipheas (sic?) when we went forward on purchasing the lot 4 yrs ago.

if all does not go so well (and we have major privacy problems on one particular side. read: we are in a fishbowl!) we might have to install a larger stockade fence. this might have to be a solution for you?? hope you can sort it out otherwise.

congratulations on your build - best wishes for this latest bs.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 10:20PM
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Nokeysyet, I would love to do a split rail fence but I can not talk my husband into it yet.

My husband thinks that why put up a fence if in a couple of years our trees will grow together to form a privacy screen.

It is amazing how many people have problems with their neighbors and property lines. Mine seem little compared to you guys.

Tonight about 8:30 a tree service truck passed our house and turned into the neighbors driveway. I wonder what trees are to be cut next. sigh.....


    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 11:05PM
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Any updates on your situation?

What trees were cut down in the latest visit from the tree service?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 12:25PM
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Mee Too,

We paid $200 to have the property line remarked and extra pins added. I have left the wooden stakes up.

The trees are planted about 6 inches from the line. We suggested he move the ones directly on the line ( before we had the lines remarked). He moved them 6 inches back!

The trees are only about 2-3 feet tall and are already crossing over our line and crowding our Leylands which we planted 5 feet into our line.

I pulled out the trees he planted amongst our leylands.

Every Sat, I hear the chain saw. He originally built in the woods but apparently decided he no longer wants the trees near his house. Our house is about 400 feet away and even with all the summer leaves we now look directly into his garage. I am sure this winter with all the leaves gone we will see the whole house. (sigh)

OT, I used to post quite often on this forum but after 8 months in our house we still are having a time even getting our builder to complete the 30 day punch list.

We still are having problems with getiing our scratched windows replaced. ( another long thread-along time ago when the window washers hired by our builder scratched 16 windows).

We have a failing paint issue on our exterior wrought iron-minor hardiplank issues-electrical issues- air infiltration issues- carpet issues etc.

I am so sick of waiting on contractors who do not show up.
I have 4 months left on the one year warrenty and now have to begin a more aggressive approach. If these items are not repaired within the one year mark, I am retaining an attorney and filing a complaint with our state licensing board.

Sorry for the vent

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 3:26AM
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Our trees are currently 5 feet from the line at 16 feet and with the property line remarked the neighbor's trees that he did not move are 6 inches from the line.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 3:31AM
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Sorry that the joy you should be experiencing from your new home is being clouded with these issues!

Hope you have a speedy resolution of them!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 9:30PM
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Thanks, Mee Too.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 10:48PM
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