justbreatheMay 30, 2010

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.

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It's HIS property! He tried to be nice about it by saying he was ok with things as they are, but you proceeded to push the issue with the fence thing. How can you accuse him of blackmail!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 11:39AM
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get someone to cut the blacktop to be within your property lines.

Problem solved.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 11:53AM
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"push the issue with the fence?" The fence is not going on the driveway, it's planned in the back of the property and I was going to give him back his 18" x 50'. He's basically going back on his word because he wants to choose our fence.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 1:43PM
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Maybe he doesn't want the 'extra' property in the back. Maybe he wants it where it is in the drive area. Maybe he has a right also to choose not to like whatever fence you put up.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 1:56PM
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Only in America would someone paint themself as the victim despite clearly being in the wrong. No one will accept personal responsibility anymore. *sigh*

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 3:19PM
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get the driveway cut.

Put up any type of fence you want.

Your drive being on his land is an issue. Period. Take care of that first and then you do not need anyones approval for what fence you put up. Just make sure the fence is within the specified limits. Do NOT put it ON the line. You need to maintain it without having to venture onto his property.

What is yours is yours. What is theirs is theirs. No matter how you try to spin it.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 5:49PM
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If he wanted the 18" x 50' area on the driveway he should have never given anyone the right to blacktop his property. Then he basically played possum until he could use his "chip." That's my point. He thinks he's going to paint me into a corner, but it's not going to work.

UPDATE: He said "there are many options, including a $$$ for an easement. Oh yeah, an easement and putting up a cedar fence to his liking was his option.

Personal responsibility? You're way off base my friend.
He wants it in the driveway area? Fine, he should have asked for it a long time ago.

I DID NOT BLACKTOP the driveway, we found it like that.

It really makes me laugh how some of you will not admit that he's wrong by caring when it's worth his while. He has a double lot, the 18" is a petty amount but I admit that we have been using it. I'm not an idiot, I know he could make a stink if 1/2" of our tires are on his land. I'm sure all of you think I should give him back his land and just hand him a fence catalog and have him choose our fence.

I'm going to give him back his land, no problem. I'm not breaking any blacktop on his property, it's his property. Correct?

Like the poster said, he has a right not to like the fence I choose. I have the right to choose whatever fence I like. ONLY IN AMERICA...

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 6:45PM
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justbreathe, you are correct.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 7:30PM
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A couple of questions before I comment. Why didn't you speak to your neighbor about this encroachment as soon as you found out about it? And did you ask the previous owners about the facts surrounding this issue? There may be factors you don't know about that will determine what you do. They may have paid him for the use of his land for all you know and he's just not telling you.


Justbreathe, how old is your home and how long has the driveway been there?

Isn't there a law that says after 7 years of occupying a piece of someone's land that it becomes your property through Adverse Possession? Perhaps someone here is familiar with real estate law and can chime in.

If you do intend to widen your driveway on your side, I would suggest cutting and removing the 18" of blacktop that's on your neighbor's property. I'd restore this strip so it looks like the rest of his lawn/yard. This way anyone on your driveway can't be accused of trespassing if a tire is anyplace on that 18".

I don't think the tone of his complaint was very neighborly and does come across as blackmail to me.

But I would have responded that the vinyl or stockade fences were within my budget and the cedar fence was not. But, if he were willing to pay the difference in cost a cedar fence would be fine.

If he were unwilling to pay the difference then I'd erect a fence of my choice and make sure it was inches inside my property line.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 7:36PM
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no, I think you should put up the fence you want. I also think you should stop using the 18" of his land.

Tell him he is welcome to have the blacktop cut if it bothers him. Then place the fence a lawnmower width inside your property line so you can run a lawnmowe down it and not risk adverse possession.

I would have an official survey done first though. Not just the plot map you are given at purchase. They are notoriously wrong.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 7:38PM
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Come on Monablair...how can 2 people who occupied the same property lay claim to it when one has a deed and receipts that they paid the property tax. Just as in your other posts, you seem to have no problem with people forcing themselves onto someone elses property.

Justbreathe...You didn't cause the problem but you did inherit it. Get the official survey and eliminate any future property issues. If the driveway is on their property, a mistake was made that needs to be corrected. Get your driveway off their property and put up whatever kind of fence you want. If you are living on your property and paying taxes, no one can claim squatters rights. If they can, the next time my neighbor buys a new car, I'll wash it and change the oil and eventually lay claim to it because I "maintained it". Just putting up the fence in a way that gives them back square footage is not going to solve the problem. There are recorded and deeded property lines. You would both have to get the property lines legally changed and that's going to cost you more money than just fixing the problem.

Sure, he's coercing you to put up a fence he likes. It's his property. There are no laws governing people changing their minds on their own property. There are laws concerning encroachment. Do yourself a big favor and nip this and all future issues in the bud. Even if you put up the fence he wants, he'll use the same issue to try to encourage you (i.e. hold you over a barrel) to do something else his way. Nip it...all future discontent concerning it will be gone.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 11:44PM
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In full agreement, already have the plans on widening the driveway and giving him back his entire strip. Just not sure if it's my problem to rip up the blacktop. I would be destroying his property in essence. Believe it or not, I'm also considering getting a cedar fence because I don't want bad feelings to escalate into possible violence, which can happen in an instant. Not afraid of it, but have two young children and they don't need to see that.

Funny thing though, our town has no ordinance stating that the "nice" side of the fence must face our neighbors. I don't think he's going to have his cake and eat it too if I get a cedar fence. Oh boy...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 8:37AM
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That a tough one. Sure you can put up whatever fence you like unless there is some sort of ordinance. But I can also "feel" your neighbors pain. Maybe he feels the big white plastic fence would be an eyesore and is afraid he will have to see it for the rest of his life, maybe look at it from his perspective a bit. Will the fence be part of a major view from his home? Will he be looking at it everyday and it getting under his skin. Is it really that big of deal to you to alienate a neighbor. Is there a compromise? Do they make the plastic fences in a more natural color? I think they do. Can he go in on the fence with you to get a cedar fence to help cover the extra expense. Maybe he can't, he may be financially unable to. I live in an area with smaller yards and two neighbors have put us really ugly sheds in the past few years in the corner of their yards where they don't have to see it directly out their LR window, but that's my view now. My LR faces backyard in the area I have a flower bed that I could see from my window, now has ugly sheds as backdrop. You need to stop the war though and take a few deep breaths.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 9:28AM
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windslam, did you read my post? I suggested the blacktop be removed and the 18' of property restored in appearance to match the property owner's yard.

We don't know the history of this strip of land. We don't know what kind of agreement was made in order that the driveway be poured on this strip.

I don't make the laws. I'm simply stating that there are laws that give property ownership to the person occupying and maintaining the land for 7 years or more. I don't think it's a fair law, but it's on the books in some states...Florida for one.

We had a large lot in our previous home, 1½ acres. There was an oak tree partially on the property line, but mainly in our yard. The back yard neighbors wanted to erect a fence but the tree was in the way. We allowed them to jut the fence into our back yard so the entire tree is fenced within their back yard. We did this knowing full well that after 7 years that small piece of land would become theirs in the eyes of the law. And, in addition, we paid for half of the fence cost.

We knew what we were doing and those neighbors didn't steal our land. Isn't it possible some sort of similar arrangement existed with the previous homeowner and now this person is acting as though there weren't one?

Contrary to what you believe, my husband and I are good neighbors. We maintain our property; we are flexible when it comes to neighbors' requests and we mind our own business. I certainly don't believe anyone should steal from a neighbor, encroach on property lines or impose restrictions on neighbors. I never said I did.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 12:42PM
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Most areas have rules on fences and many require a setback. If after so many years the other person gains ownership of the strip of land in the setback, the fence is no longer set back from the neighbors property so then the fence has to come up and conform to codes for the setback. Then after so many years, it belongs to the neighbor....and so on and so on. I really don't think so.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 7:11PM
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I can understand the feelings towards PVC white privacy fences, and in his case it would be about 87 feet of white privacy fence that he would see but he has a lot of bushes/trees so it wouldn't be that bad. I'm pretty sure that we're going to go with cedar, I don't mind how it grays over time. However, I do believe that he should pay for at least 1/2 of that 87 feet that he would sort of benefit from. That's not a fortune I'm asking for. I don't think that's an unreasonable request on my part.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 8:43PM
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Justbreathe, it would be nice if he's willing to pay for 1/2 the cost of the fence, but I don't think it's his reponsibility to do so. You're the one who wants to build the fence, not him. If you ask him and he doesn't want to share the cost, then you need to make the choice of adding the fence on your own or just not building it at all.

The issue of the driveway is something else. Fix it so he no longer has any leverage over you, your fence or your parking.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 9:51PM
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JB - you just don't get it. How have you managed to convince yourself of all this - that it's reasonable that he pay for anything, when you bought the house owned by people who appropriated his land and in doing so, knowingly or otherwise, took on the responsibility of whatever came with the deal. It's how it works, fair or not, and there is no justification for his paying for your fence or anything else, though there is certainly one for your paying to fix the driveway. It's the way grown-up business works.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 5:19AM
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When you bought the house, was a Title Company involved,a home inspector, sellers disclosure statement? If so, these things should have been made known to you and it is those people you should be going after.

I agree with the others, you need to fix the problem so you can't be held hostage in the future and, because it is only right.

Also, your neighbor has the RIGHT to tear up any part of the driveway on his property. But since it is obviously your driveway that has overlapped onto his property, it is your RESPONSIBILITY to remove it and return his property to it's original condition, before the encroachment.

Despite your unfortunate situation, I think it is totally unfair for you to expect to hold your neighbors feet to the fire and hold him responsible for ANYTHING associated with the issue.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 4:00PM
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so, if I understand, you have a house with a driveway that extends 18" onto your neighbor's property. You perhaps did not pay for a survey *before* closing and I guess just realized this encroachment. Your neighbor knows its on his property, he probably was once a nice guy with some jackball neighbor who screwed up when putting in his driveway. He's likely tired of being Mr NiceGuy because he does not want to see a big white plastic fence running between the homes.

This is where I am confused. This fence will set to the back of the driveway separating the two yards right? I mean we are not talking about running the fence along the driveway right leaving him with 18" of driveway on his side of the fence...right! You essentially want a fence in your yard, on your property postitioned at what the setback is for your town...right? Note those plastic fence sections are 6' long. Regular wood sections are 8' so though the wood is more expensive, you would need fewer wood sections. Also, those HD plastic fences are not the best quality...just an FYI.

So we have two issues here. The first one is easy, put up your plastic fence if that suits you. He has no say in that unless he wants to pony up the difference for a cedar fence..Oh btw, will he be paying for the stain to restain it every few years?

The next issue is that of the driveway. Explain you are sorry that he he 'gave up' his 18" of driveway but he is welcome to have it back since you are expanding your driveway on the other side (if I understand correctly) anyway.

Tell him you are willing to do whatever is *legally* necesary to *return* the property. I'll assume he'll want the property back in its original condition. To me that means 1) The old owner of your house did not (?) diclose this and is legally responsible, likely your neighbor would need to sue this the originalowner to get the $$$ to put things back to their original condition---good luck on this being legally the case. 2) You *return* the property and walk away. I guess you say..'Here, this 18" is now yours again, do what you will with it...maybe line your bikes up along it" In this case it's your neighbor's cost to cut the driveway, replace the grass etc. etc. I doubt legally this will fly either either but if it did he'll likely leave things the way they are and never speak to you again...that would be fine by me! 3) You split the difference, 4)You must pay to put things back.

I think the $$$ you perhaps saved by not having the property surveyed before closing might now be best spent on an hour with a lawyer to get these questions answered.

I'd get it right now because you do not want to have to live the next bunch of years regretting a bad decision...like your neighbor probably has done when he let the original jackball get away with encroaching on his neighbor's land to begin with.

Let us know what happens, maybe post a picture....

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 11:33PM
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Our friend is a surveyor (he did the original) and we looked at the stakes on adjoining properties, tax maps, file maps, etc. and we are 99% sure that we DO NOT encroach with our driveway onto our neighbor's property.

The craziness surrounding our closing forced us to get a quick survey (lawyers had originally said that existing survey was fine) and our friend did a very quick one using whatever info he had.

I can't blame him, he did us a favor and I took the survey as being fact. Our neighbor's to the south side just staked out their property and lo and behold, the stakes push our property past our paved driveway and about 2" onto what we thought was our other neighbor's property (the guy who wanted yearly fee.)

Waiting for another officially done and correct survey, having property staked in multiple locations and then will proceed with fence.

Mr.Cedar fence has lived here a long time and according to a stake in his property corner I roughly (VERY ROUGHLY) measured that our driveway is maybe 2" on his property. I THOUGHT we were 18", but of course he didn't correct me when I stated this.

I have done research on PVC vs. CEDAR and I'm not really to keen on the cedar guys. We live in a multiple season environment and I'm not sure that cedar is going to withstand the elements as much as PVC will.

I understand his dislike of PVC, but I think I have a right to choose what I like. It's my property and we are not choosing something obscene or irrational with a 6' white privacy fence.

and to be honest with you, he's shown a "low level" disdain and irritation that rubs me the wrong way. He sees fences and paved patios (we just put one in) as anti environment or something. It's also obvious that he was under the impression that we encroached about 2" onto his property but he was fine with me thinking it was 9x more and was ready to use this to extract $ from me. He also proposed that we pay for the encroached land, but that I should understand that I would be breaking up a "build-able lot" so the price would be reflective of that.

Is this guy insane? He has a build-able lot but he would be willing to sell a tiny portion and negate that? And that I would spend the $ to do that? The insulting of my intelligence meter is way off the charts.

WELCOME all comments.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:32AM
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Your neighbor sounds like a real winner. I'm glad he lives next door to you and not us. "Blackmail" isn't the right term; how about "Flat out deception" with intent to steal?

Let us know what the final survey shows; I hope you're right and that no part of your driveway is on his property.

In an earlier post I suggested you contact the people you bought the house from because there might be info that would determine your next course of action. Seems like I might have been right.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 3:44PM
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I am glad you are getting a fresh survey done. When you find out where the line is for sure, proceed with whatever fence YOU want. I would also do any landscaping that YOU want, but keep in mind that whatever plants go over on this jerk's side, he can cut. Select a fence product that reduces or eliminates maintainance so that you do not have to go over on his property at all. I would also face the side of the fence the way that you want for your enjoyment.

I wouldn't fight with this guy, but stand up firmly and politely for your rights in this case. I would go out of my way to minimize any further contact with this fella. You don't owe him any explanations whatsoever. Go inside if possible when he starts to come over. If you don't engage in any unpleasant happenings or conversations, they most likely won't happen at all.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 6:40PM
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I've seen this scenario before. Some people nudge their way onto other peoples property and then after a few years, actually believe it is theirs. Be prepared for, when after the survey is done and markers placed, that the 2 neighbors might dispute the placement of the markers. This will be especially true if someone moved the original markers to nudge themselves onto your property. Once the survey is done and the markers are placed and they dispute it, just kindly let them know it was done by a certified surveyor and you can only view it to be correct and they can hire their own surveyors if they would like. Surveyors today have a lot of tools at their disposal including GPS that are very accurate. Make sure you get a surveyor who backs up their work. I hope the survey is in your favor, please let us know!!!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:52PM
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Thanks for the comments. Definitely going to have certified and backed up survey done ASAP. I believe they're also going to measure from beginning of street down past us (about 5 homes) in an effort to more accurately place the markers. I'm really starting to think that he is one of those people who was convinced that certain land was his. The previous owner was a widowed mother of 5 and she only had the driveway paved about 5 years ago, and I guarantee that she wasn't to keen on where her property line was. I'm sure he was being a good neighbor to her and thought he was allowing a "friendly encroachment." Our incorrect survey only fueled his notions. I'm going to try my best not to elevate this to an argumentative situation, but I guarantee bad feelings if we choose a white PVC 6' fence. 100% we will place fence safely in our property line to avoid issues when cleaning and doing yardwork.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 11:08PM
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I have to say the vinyl fences do, in general, look tacky. The picket ones are the worst.

If it's in the front, who really needs a fence, anyway?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 4:52AM
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I think I'd consider moving, but then I like to get along with my neighbors. I agree with the many many folks who feel the blackmailing neighbor is doing nothing wrong at all, and I'll add that I was entertained that he even offered up some solutions. Seems to me that the OP is as unwilling to consider the issues of the neighbor as the neighbor is being accused of doing to the OP. There is no win in this one, sadly.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 1:25PM
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This is exactly why I live way out in the country, on a dirt road. We have neighbors who wave when they go by when we are outdoors and near the road, but most of the time we are all snuggled on our own property enjoying the trees we built our homes near. I love it. I would absolutely never go back to the neighbor close by thing. I don't care that I have to drive an hour to find a mall. I hate malls now too.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 4:58PM
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"If he wanted the 18" x 50' area on the driveway he should have never given anyone the right to blacktop his property. "

So you have an easement in writing allowing use of the strip?

ALL transactions for real property MUST be in writing.
Words have ZERO value.

It sounds like you may luck out and have not actually encroached, but NEVER settle on property that has not had at least a boundary check done for encroachments in OR out with a surveyors seal on the plat.

Even title insurance does not cover defects that a correct survey would have found (it is in the fine print of the title insurance policy).

Do not go through life giving clubs to folks and then complaining when they choose to use it.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 3:17PM
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If you think the guy is going to be a problem be sure to have the new surveyor put some markers deep into the ground/buried that can be found with a metal detector in case he decides to remove or move the markers that will be placed. I have heard of people moving/removing them.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 9:31AM
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zzie is right, I'm in CA. & I know of people that have had markers removed after they paid for survey. Take pics of the people doing the survey with date on pic & the property line with surveyor standing there so you have proof. I've seen crazier things on fences, went to friend's & the fence,wooden was torn down while they were at church, had been there couple of years & they had it 2 ft in on their property & took lawnmower & mowed strip on neighbor's side, probably reason they tore it down, I certainly wouldn't want someone coming over whenever he felt like it, mowing that strip. Once fence is up seems like that is property line whether it actually is or not. Get something that doesn't require much maintenance & put it 2 in. on your side.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 11:23AM
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The neighbor gave permission to use the 18" strip. When it's permission he can revoke that permission for any reason. How is that blackmail?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 10:48AM
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"The neighbor gave permission to use the 18" strip. "

Unless there is an easement in writing there is no "permission."

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 2:09PM
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The reason this poster felt it was blackmail, is because the neighbor is acting flaky about the whole thing, and dictating what type of fence this person has to buy. It is the whole context in this situation, and not just the property strip in question. I would take it as "blackmail" in the literal sense of how the word is defined, as well.

I would not pay for a fence that was not actually on my propety. In many cases, depending on property law in that location, this neighbor could get the fence paid for by someone else, pretending to be a "nice" neighbor, at which time he could claim it as his own, because it is on his property.

If I were in this situation, I would get a good survey done (as the poster seems to be doing), and put what fence I wanted on my own property. I would not consult with the neighbor further, and I certainly would not get his approval for the type of fence I was putting there. In fact, I wouldn't have anything to do with the neighbor again, beyond a polite nod.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 2:24PM
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We got a new survey with stakes and we are not encroaching on our neighbor's property at all. In fact, we have about 4 inches past our driveway. and there was seriously about 8 feet of growth encroaching onto our property in our backyard area, the length was about 30 feet. We widened our driveway, had all the growth ripped out and are now in the process of putting up a cedar fence which we are staining. The neighbor actually apologized for questioning the property markers. I have been nothing but cordial with them and didn't gloat or play the "I told you so" card. I'll post pics of the fence once we're all done. The stain looks amazing on the cedar and the neighbors have actually gone out of their way to tell us how nice it looks. We are using ReadySeal by the way, excellent product.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 9:26AM
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I'm happy to hear your situation worked out for you. Sometimes nice guys do win!!!!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 4:23PM
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CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I also admire you tremendously for taking a stand to ensure your rights. On top of it all, you didn't cower in a corner and let the bully push you around!!! This is absolutely fantastic. Now they are the ones who are embarrassed to face you every day.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 5:24PM
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In some neighborhoods, even most, anything done to one property affects the other, particularly "undersized" properties.
Think 50 x 150 is bad, try 25 by 150/28 by 50.
Thank goodness, I hope that we may be moving to 0.6 A where inches matter not.
And another properly we considered was 1.3 acre and the neighbor planted 30 beautiful trees on the property line..
In this dispute, the fence vs the asphalt strip, I think both parties were wrong....this is usually the case.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 3:01PM
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Hi, I am the other person with the fence problem. My opinion is if its on your property and you are willing to pay for it yourself. You can choose whatever fence you want. My neigbours put up the white vinyl, we didn't want it as we wanted natural. They put it up anyhow, we just told them to keep it on their property. So we could build in front of it if you choose. They still want money for it. So if its on your property and you are paying for it. Your neighbour can build something that doesn't bother him besdie it. Thats my opinion. And whats the expression, Opinions are like A.. holes everyone has got one and everyone thinks theres is right. Good luck, I feel for you.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 6:48PM
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Just as an FYI, not commenting on the validity of either side of this dispute: I learned from a slightly similar experience, that in the case of encroachment by a drive, fence, gate etc that a written lease agreement (ie "you can use this strip of land for your gate as long as you pay me $xxx for the use, valid only as long as we both own the properties") clearly establishes permission for the use and also clearly preserves the ownership rights.

I had a neighbor that was trying to claim a large strip by adverse possession. Fortunately, by contacting the previous owner of my property, I was able to obtain written communications between that owner and the encroaching neighbor that established that the encroachment was by permission and meant to be temporary.

Presented with this, and with an offer to lease the strip, the encroaching neighbor abandoned his claims to, and use of, my property.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 1:51PM
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in re: race

That is a risky game. Some states still have homesteading laws and an agreement like that could have resulted in the loss of property and the only one who would have been left holding the bag was you because all the professional and governmental services you were coerced into paying to determine title and land rights are not responsible for anything including their own incompetence or criminal behavior. If your neighbor sells to a more savvy individual they can obtain free access to the questionable piece of property through a right of way while preventing you from doing anything to alter it including reducing your setback should you ever want to add on to your structure..

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 3:45PM
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Aside from fence issues which I prefer not to comment on any longer, are the various issues that should be followed in purchasing a home. When we purchased our home in 1971, first there was a complete official survey of our property with promiment markers put in place. Then there is the warranty deed investigation to make sure there are no liens or other incumbrances against the home. An insurance policy is issued to this effect. ONLY after these procedures are followed to the letter, will the lender finalize the loan.

This procedure was followed with three homes in Ohio, one in North Carolina, and two in Texas.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 11:40AM
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Oh, I'd forgotten about this post--but I want to clarify that the actions that I took, that resolved the situation, were under the advice of a RE lawyer and complied with the laws of the state. There, permission for temporary use protects against adverse possession; permission can be revoked. If he had been using the property without permission but also without protest, he would have had a valid claim on the land.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 2:04PM
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