We moved into our home exactly 3 years ago. Shortly thereafter, we realized (by looking at our survey) that our driveway extended 18 inches onto our neighbor's property (50 ft driveway.) Our lot is 50' wide x 150' deep. Recently we had a landscaper come over to give us some ideas on planting trees down our property line. My neighbor comes over to me and says "Do you know where your property line is?" and I respond "yes, I'm aware that 18 inches of our driveway is on your property." He said that he was being a good neighbor to the previous owner and allowed it and hinted that he wanted to continue being one. I replied that if we planted trees down the property line that I would give him back the 18" x 50' towards the back of the property. He said he was OK with this. Seemed to be a pleasant conversation.
Just yesterday we had another guy over to the house for an estimate, this time it's a FENCE guy. He goes through the entire measuring process and I see my neighbor "hovering" nearby. We start to have a conversation and I mention that we're thinking of putting in a fence, and that we were considering a white vinyl fence. He thought it was "obtrusive & didn't match well with the natural environment." I told him that we were also considering wood fences, and said that we had also considered putting up a stockade style wood fence. Well, Mr. Neighbor said he didn't like stockade fences and suggested a CEDAR fence. Then he springs this on me.
He said we could go at it in two ways. He could have his attorney draw up a legal document stating a yearly $ fee that we would pay to use his property (18" of driveway) or he would force us to dig up the 18" x 50' of blacktop because we were encroaching on his property.
He's basically trying to BLACKMAIL us into choosing our fence AND we would still have this DRIVEWAY issue hanging over our heads like a guillotine.
Well, well, well. Here's the deal. Our front yard has a rock retaining wall on the other side of our driveway. We plan on breaking down this wall, extend our driveway (on our property of course) and create just enough space for our 2 cars. Then we're thinking of putting up our maintenance free (cheaper than CEDAR!) vinyl fence on our property and give him back his 18" x 50'.
We get our fence and remove his BLACKMAIL leverage and at the same time answer his ATTORNEY or RIP UP BLACKTOP ultimatum.
I know it's sound petty on our part, but I think he elevated the situation by his actions and I don't think it's right for him to try and use this to choose our fence and at the same time STILL have that leverage hanging over our heads.
Sorry for the long post.