WTH is wrong with neighbors these days??

fairygirl43April 24, 2008

First, let me say that a majority of our current and all of our past neighbors have been great, friendly, helpful and enjoyable.

Now on to the nuts at hand. We bought our house last summer and have spent a fair amount of time doing little things to update, remodel, clean out, etc. We had a lot of wet weather over the winter and early spring following the drought this past summer so lots of tree issues. We had a tree service come out in December to start cleaning up some of the tree issues and had a standing order to complete the work after the first of the year with weather permitting.

We have a shared space with our next door neighbors (really nice) and we're sharing the bill for this tree service to come out and clean it up so we can maintain the healthy trees and clear out the dead stuff.

So the problem comes in with our neighbors behind us. Back in February, right after a snow, I saw the whole family in our back yard cutting off a limb from one of the trees in this area. They didn't say anything to us and since DH was out of town, I didn't go down and confront them. This tree had died and the top branches were touching some of their trees. We're in a neighborhood where properties have a little less than 1/2 acre so lots of trees are touching each other. After this incident, I took pictures and called our tree guy who told us that the neighbors could cut anything that hung over to their side but they absolutely not allowed to come onto our property and cut on our tree. Nothing further happened and a couple of weeks ago when the weather finally started clearing up, we went back and cut off the branch that was touching theirs (for the record, the tree hadn't budged in all that time and was in no danger of doing any damage to their stuff). We figured that would solve any potential issues until the tree guys came out (they're coming on Monday - yea!!!).

Not so. Yesterday, I look out our window to see neighbor (I'll refer to him as "Jacknut") and a friend with a chain saw on our property cutting up the tree and chucking the pieces either into the communal area or into our next door neighbors' yard. I went down (very calmly) and asked what was going on. He got in my face about how he's tired of looking at this dead tree. I told him we had a standing order with our tree service to clear out the dead stuff and they would be here on Monday. Jacknut got all worked up and even though I remained calm, it was clear nothing was going to get solved. They did stop cutting and left our yard. My DH went down that night and said "what the hell" and to stay off of our property. Doesn't matter if we have 15 dead trees, nothing gives them the right to trespass and destroy our property. Jacknut finally admitted that he was technically in the wrong, but morally in the right. I guess committing a crime gives him the moral high ground.

Anyway, I contacted our little town's attorney about what to do, and we're going to get an official survey done of our property. Jacknut's wife said they were planning on putting up a privacy fence so I want to make sure they don't infringe on our property lines.

Any suggestions? Does anyone know if you can build a fence directly on a property line or do you have to build "x" amount of feet off of the line? Any assistance would be great!

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It depends on what the code for your town is. Some say it has to be X number of feet from the line other codes say it can be on the line. You will have to call your local zoning board to find out.
Experience says whatever you do make sure the land is surveyed, the markers put in with concrete so said nut job can't move them if the mood strikes him, and when you put in the fence make sure that there is room to do maintence on it without stepping on your neighbors property.
With neighbors like yours I'd strongly suggest if you can afford it you beat them to the punch and put up a privacy fence to your liking otherwise the fence will be under their control and chances are it will be something extremely cheap and takcy looking and not put in to code.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 3:49PM
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as far as the fence goes, contact your local building office. some places you build on the line, others you have set backs. and this can and does vary within a single area of town or even part of a lot. for example, in my parents neighborhood your fence must be set back a MINIMUM of 30 ft from the front street, can be on the line on either side of the property as long as you have a neighboring lot next to you and not another street, and is supposed to be no closer than 5' to your rear property line. the last part here is not enforced since folks figured out that they could run fence down the side of their lots and but up to the back neighbor's fence, thus giving them 10' of more fenced in area than if they used their own rear fence. other areas of town they can be on the property line, such as our office the fence sits dead square on it all teh way around.

as far as them coming on your property to cut trees, send them a registered letter stating they are not to come on your property FOR ANYTHING. next time they do, do not even approach them simply call the cops and have them charged with criminal trespass. if you are lucky you may even get a charge of destruction of private property or vandalism thrown in as well. this is the hard line stance.

if you want to TRY and be friendly neighbors with them, if they will even go for it, then explain to them that it is your property and your right to have those trees. you do not wish them cut down by non-pros as they could get hurt. hwo knows, maybe the guy was jsut hot and tired and took it out on you.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 4:00PM
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As far as the fence goes:

Agreed, check with the town. Make sure the fence receives a permit (if applicable), is installed according to town code, and, if you want to take it a step further, have your own surveyor come out to make sure their surveyor correctly marked the property lines. Make sure you know which way the landlord posts are supposed to face, if the neighbors are responsible for keeping your side of the fence in as good a shape as their side (more on this a bit later), etc., etc.

Do you have and HOA? If so, some do not allow fences or put restrictions on the type of fencing used as well as height restrictions. Look into that if an HOA is applicable.

As far as delivering an attorney letter requiring these folks to stay off your property: Find out who is required to maintain that fence and exactly what you are allowed to do to it before you restrict these people from your property. If they are required to maintain it, and you are not allowed to touch it, weeelllll that fence is going to look pretty shabby in the near future if they are restricted from your property.

On a side note... Your neighbors really should have communicated with you regarding the trees. Nothing excuses their behavior. However, if the trees are dead and something does fall on their side, you could be held liable for damages and/or injuries. And if you do converse with them in the future do point out you were more concerned about their safety than the trees (even if it not true).

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 4:18PM
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Thank you all for your responses. We do have neighborhood/city rules about fences. They cannot be higher than 60" and may not come up past the front of the house. Most in this neighborhood do not have fences.

The hardest part is that we really did have a standing order with our tree service to come out and clean out the dead trees since December and have had to wait out the weather before that happened. The fact that our neighbors assumed our negligence before even having a conversation with us about it has been frustrating (DH pointed that out in his conversation with them last night).

I will definitely find out the codes regarding set backs on fences, etc. We have 3 attorneys in our family so it wouldn't be difficult to get a letter written. We're hoping it doesn't come to that as sometimes this can escalate rather than diffuse a situation.

In my correspondence with our town's attorney, I have mentioned their "mega" deck (I'm guessing the town may not officially know how big it got as they admitted to us it got out of hand last summer when they were building it - and by the way, they never gave us the heads up that they were putting on a mega deck that we'd have to see as part of our view and adjust our dogs' outdoor time based on the workmen being in their yard) as well as their comments about putting up a privacy fence. I hate to tell them, but a 60" privacy fence isn't going to block out 50' trees (they call the trees an eyesore - given that there are a ton of trees in and around this neighborhood, it's a stupid comment).

I know you can't argue with crazy, but when crazy comes in your backyard with a chain saw . . .

Also curious if something had happened to these guys while on our property doing damage, would we be liable? Even if they're trespassing?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 4:57PM
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if the trees are dead and something does fall on their side, you could be held liable for damages and/or injuries.

a slight explaination on that. IF they notify you that the tree is hazzardous you can be held responsible for any damage/injuries on their property. but if they do not notify before something happens, in most areas it is their problem to deal with. and i bet you this is the case in your area, since your arborist said they could legally cut limbs UP TO the line. most areas that made it the tree owners problem even if it crosses a property lien also made it so that the neighbor could not longer trim any limbs on their side without the owner's permission.

very few areas have changed from the old laws that said it was the tree owners responbility up to the proeprty line, and beyond that point became someone else's problem.

we had a neighbor beside our office( the main reason we have a fence now is this guy) that used a little known and unenforced city law to force us to clear out the majority of teh trees on our naturally wooded lot. none were due to disease, just that unmaintained property must be cleared in town so we had to remove about 200 trees and get it to where it was acceptable to teh city. anyway, a couple years later a storm blew down a big limb out of one of our trees. it landed right across his fence, half on our property and half on his. we simply took a chainsaw and cut the limb right above the property line and left the other part on his fence and property. when he complained, the city told him it fell on his property and became his responsibility as soon as it broke free from the tree. he did not like it, but that was the way it was!

this same neighbor, less than 2 months after costing us thousands to clear out the lot, decided to have a labor day weekend cookout under the shade of our now park like back lot. it was funny to watch the cops run him and his family/friends(many of whom were member of the state house of reps like he was) off our property. they even made them pick up every scrap of paper back there, as there was no way to determined what they had dropped and what had blown in.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 5:00PM
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Too funny on running them off the property during their party! It's really amazing what people think they can do and/or are entitled to. It's the sense of entitlement that really gets me. Jacknut seems to think that we're all supposed to share his vision of what he wants his view to be from his backyard. If he doesn't want trees or neighbors, then he's in the wrong neighborhood/area for that. I guess he's complained about the sweet older guy living next door to them as well (we met him when he brought up an old home plate for our son when he saw us out throwing the baseball).

Whatever happened to common courtesy? Or common sense for that matter.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 5:16PM
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It looks like you don't have a good relationship with the neighbors for some reason or another. Do they not get along with everyone?

I can understand you are pissed he went on your property to cut the tree, especially if he got hurt. Since you are new there, do you know if he & the old owner had some sort of arrangement? I have a few neighbors, with one we've trimmed one tree on our side, never stepping foot in their yard; yet with another, if one of our branches was hanging in his yard, we'd be allowed to go in his yard if we needed to to cut it off. Same goes for if his tree was hanging in our yard, he wouldn't have a problem with us going in his yard to cut the branch if we needed to.

Did you ever mention to him that you had someone coming out to take care of it? Probably not, because it doesn't sound like you have that type of relationship with them. If a tree is dead, eventually it will either come down or start dropping branches. If nothing is around it, it is no big deal but if it is close to a house that's another story. I can see both of your sides of it and don't think either of you are wrong.. except for him coming onto your property.

Having a husband that is a truck driver, I also don't like dead trees as they always come down when he's on the road. We took out 2 huge Sugar Maples due to this. You'd be surprised at the damage a branch can do to even the lawn; in our "soil" anyway. I've had branches land on my roses and in my gardens. Last fall one of our branches came down on our last piece of chain link fence; thankfully, it just missed the neighbors pickup, landed right next to the tire.

If it was me, I would get my own fence and be done with it. I would rather pick what I was looking at then to have to look at their cheap fence, because that's probably what they will put up. I doubt you are moving any time soon, and a fence sounds like the best solution. You can make it higher in the back, then put a shorter fence on the sides. We have privacy fencing around our whole back yard, and in the one neighbor we were like family with, it has a gate so that we can both come through easily. It worked for us.

Good luck. Unfortunately we can't pick our neighbors, so we have to make the best of it.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 10:05AM
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding:
He was trespassing and cutting down YOUR tree with out having spoken to you.
BUT - the guy was cutting a tree that you were going to have cut down anyway.
You go to ask him what is going on and he gets all huffy.
Later your husband goes to ask him"what the hell" and he admits he should not have done it.

So, Now you are going to the county attorney.
Finding out where your property line is just makes good sense. You should have done that before you bought the place. But I would strongly advise you not to pursue a war with this guy. While I think you should of course protect your property rights, I get the impression that you are looking to stay at odds with this neighbor.

He cut down a tree that you were going to have cut down anyway, let it go.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 10:09AM
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He cut down a tree that you were going to have cut down anyway, let it go.

the problem with that is how will HE act inthe future. give soem folks an inch and they take a mile.

the way i treat my neighbors is directly related to the way THEY act towards me. the property next to me is 1.5 acres, the lot behind him is 2.5 acres deep. my neighbor beside me i get along fine with, but the one behind him is a butt hole. our properties share jsut .5 acres of property line. mine has 8 large oak trees just to my side of the line. 2 years ago i was in my garden doing the spring planting. he drives his 4 wheeler RIGHT INTO MY FRESHLY PLANTED GREENS and demands that i trim my trees because when he uses his big tractor to cut the grass his ROPS gets caught inthe limbs. i told him he was free to cut the ones on his side of the line, but if he ever drove onto my property again he was going to jail. the jackass has 6 tractors, from small Craftsman up to a big JD and a big Kubota. only the Kubota has a high enough ROPS to hit the limbs, yet he insisted on driving it under there every time, even when his wife was using a smaller one to cut right next to him. just to see how high it was, i drove my truck under the limbs on my side and standing on the cab of the truck the limbs were right at my eye level, a good 10 ft up!

we originally bought 2 acres on the same street as this same guy. when we bought it, it had at least 20 cottonwood trees that were all dead. he pulled up one day and told me he had ringed them all to kill them since the cottonwood lint played hell with his sinuses! no respect for other peoples property at all. 1 of those trees fell shortly afterwards and if my neighbor had been home it would have destroyed his van. imagine a 120ft tree that was close to 3ft across at the base when it fell.

saying all that to say this, some neighbors are just asses. if this guy had not gotten huffy with her, i would think it was a misunderstanding, but since he got huffy abotu it when he knew he was wrong, that tells me she has a neighbor like i do.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 11:18AM
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I mentioned to my neighbor that I wanted to cut some large branches overhanging my roof and property from two large trees. He said not to worry as he "was going to do some tree work" and would take care of the problem! After months and months - nothing happened.

So with storms headed our way I got a tree guy to come and take off the section of the tree (split trunk Hickory) which was right over our roof. Well the neighbor blew his top and complained that I had removed "half the tree" - which was correct as it was an unsafe split trunk.

He eventually did get removed three branches from a huge maple at the back of the property that extended 25 feet over our back yard - but not the extent that I had mentioned was necessary to let some light in. So I got another tree guy to cut the large branches which remained overhanging my property.

Well the neighbor goes beserk and threatens to take me to court. I hired a lawyer and he told me I can cut anything over my property. To try to stay friendly I gave the neighbor a bottle of champagne as a peace offering - he refused to take it and now refuses to talk to me. He has dug up three trees along the joint border and thrown them onto my property. The hemlocks I planted along the border - the reason I cut the branches at the back was to permit enough light for them to grow - have suddenly started to turn brown.....I suspect with interference from the neighbor.

What to do?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 11:27AM
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There are positive ways to try to handle any situation. We haven't even lived here one year yet so we really don't have much of a relationship with these people behind us. I certainly would've been well within my rights to call the police while neighbor is in my yard with a chain saw. I chose not to because we DO NOT want to escalate this situation. We have great relationships with the neighbors on both sides of us and, in fact, when we've had tree issues (one on their side and one on ours), we resolved it easily by just talking to each other.

The dying tree was in no danger of taking out any buildings and only the tips were touching (and I mean barely touching) some of the tops of his trees at the back of his property.

I'm not talking to the county attorney about suing or anything like that (both DH and I believe that our society is litigious enough without us adding to it for something as trivial as this). I'm talking to him to find out about how to get an appropriate survey (we have one from the previous owners but there are no permanent stakes in the yard at this time) done and if there is any advice he has on handling this situation.

Where our concern lies is that even though he admitted he was wrong eventually, he felt justified in coming over to our property and hacking on something that wasn't his just because he didn't like it. It sets an unwanted precedent.

If he had come up to us from the very beginning of the situation and told us his concerns, we could've told him about our agreement with our other neighbors (the property line runs right down the middle of this "wilds" area with next door neighbors, not neighbors behind us) and our tree service about cleaning up the area and that we were waiting on the weather to clear up.

If he was still concerned on Wednesday, he could've come up and said that he was doing some yard work and if it was okay, he'd cut up the tree and take the wood out with the rest of his yard stuff. BUT HE DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING. He and his friend just went back there and started cutting away and chucking the pieces back into the wilds or onto both ours and our neighbors' yards. That's hardly neighborly.

I think he blustered at me 1) because he got caught and 2) I'm guessing he has issues with women because while he was irritated with DH, he wasn't nearly as huffy (of course DH is 6'3" and this guy isn't).

We absolutely DO NOT want to have a war with these people over this. But we do want to make clear that this type of behavior it is wholly inappropriate as well as illegal to trespass on our property and vandalize and/or damage/remove/cut, etc., anything on our property. They certainly would've been within their rights to trim branches that were overhanging their property. BUT THEY DIDN'T.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 12:25PM
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I do want to clarify a couple of things. It isn't the county attorney I'm talking with but our little town's local attorney (we're a subdivision/town within a larger city - they divide things up that way here) and the only reason I'm talking to him is that initially in February when the first cutting happened, I asked him about the rules on fencing. That's how we found out that all fencing must be approved by the city, must conform to the style in our area and can only be 60" high. In other words, the plans for any fencing and the type of fencing going in must be approved by the city. In February, I did not mention the tree incident, only that we were interested in putting in a fence and wanted to know the parameters. I also wanted to get information on getting an official survey done of our property.

DH has talked to them a couple of times (they haven't talked to me when I'm outside working in the yard) and my understanding is that most of those conversations were them complaining about the previous owners of our house and the neighbor next to them (really nice guy). They don't know the neighbors on either side of us. I get the distinct impression that they're the issue, not everyone else. It wouldn't surprise me if one of the factors in leaving for the previous owners were these folks.

The previous owners were clearly not gardeners, but I am. So I worry if they don't like something I've planted or the plans we have for our backyard, that they'll come over and destroy our hard work. DH doesn't seem to think they'll be bothering us again. He tends to be a bit more optimistic about people than I am.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 1:15PM
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davidandkasie is right, and I would document any time I found these people on my property with a video camera and a call to the police.

Chester_grant, if your hemlocks don't survive, I'd like to suggest planting bamboo. If you use a plastic liner, you can prevent it from shooting runners into your yard, but I doubt your neighbor will know how to combat the bamboo roots. The daily growth rate can be measured in feet for some species, and every root must be dug up or it will come back.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 2:12PM
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fairygirl ... don't worry about the poster who thinks you are trying to start a war. I think most of us don't think or see that.

Sounds like the guy is a jerk, and jerks need to be told the boundaries. I think you have now done that.

I am VERY thankful I have wonderful neighbors. I didn't at the other houses I had ... it makes life so much more enjoyable.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 2:20PM
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First of all, it was wrong for your neighbour to come onto your property.

My neighbour has a dead tree on their property, about 6 feet from our property line. They moved in over a year ago. They never brought up the dead tree; why not, I wonder? They had more than half a dozen trees cut down on their property, but never cut down the dead tree. Why not, I wonder?

I also wonder why *I* have to approach them, and say, Excuse me, but gee that dead tree there could fall on my propertyÂ. Chunks of it already have fallen on my property. But, alas, I had to bring it up. I was assured last year it would be taken down first thing this spring. IÂm still waiting for that dead tree to come down.

What IÂm saying is, it would have been a considerate thing to approach the neighbour, that indeed, you are aware that the tree is dead, and on such & such a date, the tree will be taken down. Just to let them know you are concerned and aware. It does work both ways.

This doesnÂt excuse what he did, though. And, he does sound like a disagreeable neighbour.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 6:52AM
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We're hoping that the tree work we're having done on Monday (all in this "wilds" area) will go a long way towards better relations with these particular neighbors.

My guess is that they've been angry about this area for many years (long before we moved in). Last fall when DH was chatting with them, they complained about the previous owners putting in a vegetable garden (how dare they have a veg garden in their own backyard) and a compost pile (that's in the wilds as well) and how their other next door neighbor hasn't removed some of the dead parts of his tree and "what are you going to do about that" (meaning the wilds). DH told them that we have every intention of cleaning out the dead/sick stuff so we can preserve the healthy trees. But that we had 3 years of tree work and were doing it in stages (it's also $$$ so we had to budget for that as well). We had only just moved in July 1, 2007 (and our Tucson house didn't sell until Oct. 2007 so money was very tight until then).

Even though the tree service had been putting us off for a while, when we did have a chance a couple of weeks ago (weather finally cooperating!), we were able to take down the one "offending" branch that was touching their tree and figured that should help until we could get the service in to do the rest.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 11:40AM
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We're hoping that the tree work we're having done on Monday (all in this "wilds" area) will go a long way towards better relations with these particular neighbors.

My guess is that they've been angry about this area for many years (long before we moved in). Last fall when DH was chatting with them, they complained about the previous owners putting in a vegetable garden (how dare they have a veg garden in their own backyard) and a compost pile (that's in the wilds as well) and how their other next door neighbor hasn't removed some of the dead parts of his tree and "what are you going to do about that" (meaning the wilds). DH told them that we have every intention of cleaning out the dead/sick stuff so we can preserve the healthy trees. But that we had 3 years of tree work and were doing it in stages (it's also $$$ so we had to budget for that as well). We had only just moved in July 1, 2007 (and our Tucson house didn't sell until Oct. 2007 so money was very tight until then).

Even though the tree service had been putting us off for a while, when we did have a chance a couple of weeks ago (weather finally cooperating!), we were able to take down the one "offending" branch that was touching their tree and figured that should help until we could get the service in to do the rest.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 11:43AM
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Put up a legal fence where you know you're entitled to construct it. Make sure it is on the property line and however tall the city says it can be. The building department, city, county, or whatever will not get involved in a property line dispute. It is a civil matter between you and your neighbor.(I have been through this all before) Is the property line ambiguous? Then get a survey. It will cost $1K or more. Make sure you pay them to put the stakes at the corners of your lot. Also the survey must be filed with the county assessor as an official "survey of record" The surveyor or civil engineer can do that for you, But it will cost more $$. Probably double the cost. If you know pretty well where the property line lies (you can obtain the lot subdivision parcel plan at your county assessor's office along with any official surveys of record of your property that have occured since the subdivision) That is a good place to start. Start measuring from the center of the street. Add half the width of the street as it shows it on the parcel plan to your lot dimension, and you can conduct a pretty accurate survey of your property. Give the neighbors a foot and build your fence there. If they dispute the property line, they can pay for the survey just to prove you're right!

I have experienced this, but my neighbors ended up paying for everything. They buried an older survey stake and built a fence about 2' over on my side of the property. This was an attempt to prevent me from constructing a retaining wall which was in the building permit process. I went to the assessor, got the maps and did the survey myself. It took me about 2 hours total. I then sent them a letter copied to my attorney stating that they had to relocate the fence or face a civil suit. They paid for the survey, hoping I was wrong and then could sue me for the cost of the survey (which they can't even if I WAS wrong because THEY CHOSE to get it done) Their survey showed I was right, so they paid to move the fence over to the property line. Then they paid to plant like 20 trees along the property line, so I have a sweet privacy wall of trees now. I didn't pay a dime! They were so shamed they moved away the next year never to be heard of again. The whole neighborhood was happy. This story is 100% true, I an completely serious.

You may be thinking, what if they had decided to go to court and not pay for a survey? Good question. In court, the Judge would have ordered a survey to be performed on the properties in question. The party found at fault would end up having to pay for the survey, the court costs, and attorney fees, if any. I would not have used an attorney, so i would still not have had to pay a dime.

The point here is know the laws, your rights, and play the cards so the party at fault has to eat the costs.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 12:43PM
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sorry, but recommending you do your own survey and base installation of anything off that is just reckless and stupid. yes, you can figure out your aprroximate lines yourself USUALLY, but never think it will stand in any court. heck, 2 different surveryor can come up with 2 different lines on the same property.

just measurign fromteh middle of the road does not work either in all cases. i know of MANY places where streets were widened to creat a turn lane and they only did it on one side of the road.

ANYTIME you have a property line issue the only recourse is a good survey by a pro. i have always prefered to use the crew the county/city use, in my area they are usually the best of the best.

i am glad that it worked out for you, but it was NOT because of your measurements it was because of their survey.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 11:30AM
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You are totally right about estimating a survey. I was lucky enough to have a survey monument located in the street in front of my property, tangent with the side prop line. The survey monuments are identified on the subdivision map and may be convenient to your property, like mine, or may be only locatable by a licensed pro

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 12:57PM
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have to partially agree and disagree about the survey. We had a copy of our plat when we moved in. We had a survey done, but the next door neighbor removed the marker in the front yard. We still had the other three markers in place. For a few years we really didn't bother about the property line on that side. We had good neighbors. they landscaped their front yard, complete with trees and sprinkler system. All was well until we decided to landscape our front yard. We were looking to move the driveway and therefore needed accurate measurements. We checked the length of the back of the property between the two markers and it was correct. We checked the length on the other side of the property and that was correct too. So we measured across the front of the property - and found our neighbors had planted and put in their sprinkler system ten feet onto our property!! We talked to them about it and they thought that they were ok with what they had done (they had not had a survey done before landscaping). So I said that I would get the survey redone. Well, I was correct. The surveyor was putting the marker in "their" front lawn and the wife came running out of the house asking what he was doing. He explained about the marker and said that they were encroaching on our property. The marker was about three feet from the roadway. At this point I painted the marker on the curbstone, so that if the wooden marker disappeared again I would not have to get another survey done. When her husband came home, I went to see them, and explained the problem. We agreed that they needed to move the trees as soon as possible, which they did. They were reluctant to move the sprinkler system, but agreed that when we started our project or if they decided to move, then they would get the sprinkler line moved. This they did when it was needed. So, first of all if you have a plat record with the measurements on, and a couple of the markers you should be able to double check where you think the property line is. If you appear to be correct, get a survey done. Then mark the line from front to back temporarily with string or rocks, sticks whatever until you can get a more permanent boundary in place. We just used rocks and planted on our side of the boundary.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 7:59AM
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It sounds like you had relatively normal neighbors bmmalone. The tree work has been completed and we still have some cleaning out work to do in the "wilds" area but it's coming along nicely. I see the neighbors have their stakes and line set up for fencing. I appears to be hugging their landscaping but we're going to get a survey done anyway just to make sure.

We do have a copy of our plat but haven't been able to find any kind of markers anywhere.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 8:39AM
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Get a copy of your subdivision restrictions that are filed with the county clerk. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 8:18PM
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Survey markers are often made of metal and slighty buried below the surface. In my area, they are about 6 to 8 feet setback from the street in the front yard on both sides. The ones in the rear, if you have side fences and rear fence, should be within an 8 foot or much less square foot area in the rear on both rear sides of the fences. I would rent a metal detector. Look for those original plat/survey stakes. If you can find three of the four, a surveyor's job will be easy. Your plat should state degrees and distnaces. Buy a compass. Anyone, who has ever been in the military especially Army and Marines, can read a compass and help you. It is very easy to shoot an azimuth and measure, Most Infantry types know how many of their paces are 100 yards. Tape measures are easy to find in home improvement stores.

State laws vary as to what type of survey is legal in court.
I found out that my initial survey was worthless in my our State's Courts.

I would visit the Registrar of Deeds or wherever property records are kept in your County. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 6:41PM
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