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Would like opinions- property line issues

Posted by lsst (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 4, 07 at 23:33

We live on some acreage and 2 years ago paid to have our property lines remarked and extra rebar added because we had a neighbor planting trees on our property.

Today, a different neighbor on the other side of the property began clearing brush right on the property line at the main road. My husband drove by and stopped to chat with this neighbor and the neighbor asked if my husband minded if he cut back the blackberry bushes. The neighbor was standing at the property line. The property line was marked with rebar and red tape. My husband said fine. He thought the neighbor meant the plants shared at the property line.

I drove by about 5 hours later and the whole area was bush hogged 12 feet into our land. The rebar property line mark had been covered up by raked dirt. I took my husband to the site and he was shocked at what was cut.They cut back the blackberries and cut down trees that we wanted to keep.

We spent about 45 minutes finding the rebar stake and remarked it. We left a message on their answering machine stating we would like to discuss it with them. We went to their door and no one was home.

The neighbor's wife had mentioned she wanted stone columns at her driveway like ours. Our property line is at their driveway. There is no way they can add columns without building one column on our land.

We have an cordial relationship with these neighbors. We remarked the property line. We left a message to discuss what happened. If we do not get a response, we plan on planting trees in about a month on the cleared land.

What bothers us is that the neighbor had no intention of asking permission of cutting what was at the property line even though it belonged to both property owners but when my husband drove by the neighbor, the neighbor casually asked my husband about the blackberries.

I did mention to my husband that in the future to not allow the neighbor or anyone to cut unless we knew exactly what was being cut.

Again, we want to remain cordial with these neighbors and do want to handle it in a friendly way.

Thanks in advance.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

nothing at a property line belongs to both neighbors, the part on your side is yours, the part on their side is theirs.

could this have been a case of a hired contractor cutting too far over? we hired a guy to bush hog the back lot at work and he cut 2 passes, about 12 feet, into the neighbors lot. luckily for us the neighbor just said glad you cut it for me.

i would not jump to conclusions until you talk to him.

and yes, from now on tell your husband not to approve any cutting unless he supervises.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

Your husband said "fine", he didn't say, but only a foot into the property line. He said fine.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

No, the owner did it himself. I thought if a tree trunk is centered on the property line then both property owners have to agree to have it cut down.

gammyt- I agree my husband should have been more specific or said no. He learned a valuable lesson.

The neighbors have no intentions of returning our call as when I have called them in the past and left messages. They never return calls. The only time we can catch them to talk is if we happen to run into each other picking up the mail at the road which is only about once every two months.

Right now I am tempted to drop it as I know they think-- well, he said we could cut them.
The wife flies off the handle at the least things and I do not want a confrontation with her.

We will plant some trees in the area this spring.

Thanks


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

send them a certified letter requesting they contact you by a certain date to discuss this issue. detail in teh letter that you have left numerous messages concerning the tree removal. if anything comes up, you have it in writing.

anything that overhangs a property line can be trimmed back by the party whose property it overhangs, to the extent that you cannot mortally wound the tree. so tecnically, yes, if the tree was centered on the line they could cut down their side but not yours without proper authorization. when we put up a fence at work a few years back we had to take a chainsaw and split a pecan tree at a fork for this very reason. the adjacent property owner did not want it cut down, but it was blocking our fence from going up. we cut a notch 10 inches deep and 8 ft tall from the tree.

your husband gave permission for them to remove the common trees, so the only issue you can raise with them is the removal of the trees that are farther back on your property. anything else you MUST take up with your husband.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

My husband gave permission to only remove the blackberry bushes. The neighbor was standing there with loppers. We had no clue he was going to clear everything to raked ground 12 feet in.

The neighbor had no intention of telling us. He just happened to run into my husband on the road where he started cutting. It was an afterthought for the neighbor to say, " you do not mind if we cut back some of your blackberries do you?"

We have learned these neighbors are very rude and selfish. My husband now knows to say no. Funny thing is if the neighbors had called us first, my husband would have been happy to look at it and selectively bushhogged it himself keeping our trees.

Thanks for the replies.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

What is with these inconsiderate people? And then you exercise your property rights, and YOU are the bad guy... I have heard so many stories on these forums about these types of neighbors. (mine being one)

DON'T be afraid to assert your property rights, you are paying for that land.

Thanks for sharing.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

IMO...you had better notify them in writing ASAP via registered mail that all of the bushes/trees that they cut back on your property will be re-installed...and nicely but firmly educate them on the meaning of the property marker.

The error was already made in not being clear with these folks in the first place....compounding it will only foster additonal problems....the old "silence grants consent".... and the only way you can prove that you were not silent about what they did (short of involving an attorney) is to document it in writing.

If not, you will come home one day soon to see a driveway pillar on your property.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

I'm curious what happened on this issue.

I think they were wrong. Your husband gave him permission to cut the blackberries not trees!

A friend of ours was sued for several thousands of dollars because he cut the branches of trees off to the tree trunk rather than leaving the stubs on their side of the property

These trees were planted on the neighbors property, but the branches were hanging over his driveway so he cut them off at the trunk for asthetics and for the trees health, rather than leaving stumpy branches. The owner was furious and sued him and won.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

I can't believe he won, because I have always heard that you can trim the branches off trees that are overhanging your property, if you trim them in a way that doesn't harm the tree. Who did the neighbor buy off in that case?

I don't think you are required to ask permission... but maybe I am wrong?


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

You can only trim to the property line.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

I think a lot of property owners have no consideration of what the effect will be of their actions, or don't care. I have neighbors on both sides who have either planted or let grow trees only two feet away from the property line. Where I live the properties are only 50 feet wide, so if someone plants a tree like a eucalyptus that will be over a hundred feet high at maturity with a spread of 70 or 80 feet it will be overhanging more than half of their neighbors property at maturity, and they grow fast, plus blocking out the light depending on its location with respect to the sun. Someone said its OK to cut branches as long as it doesn't harm the tree. Who determines when the tree has been harmed. A lawyer could probably prove cutting off the tip of a twig harmed the tree. Also, roots from the eucalyptuses on both sides of my property are sucking all the moisture out of the soil on my side and I can't even grow anything in their vicinity, plus they poison the soil. I am trying to stay on good terms with my neighbors but they don't seem to care, in fact one keeps planting more trees and large bushes a foot or two from the property line. When I plant my own fruit trees I always read what the mature height and width of the trees will be and plant them far enough away from the property line to where they will never enroach on my neighbors property. BTW, there are some old Eucs within a few hundred feet of my house that are more than 125 feet tall and 125 feet wide, so I know what will happen.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

I planted several trees on the cleared land.

We are in the process of having the private road that all the neighbors share resurfaced and all the neighbors met to discuss it.
My neighbors(the ones that cleared our land) asked what kind of trees we had planted and we told them.
The wife actually asked my opinion as to where her columns should be placed and I showed her the property line marked with rebar and flagging tape. She has a two foot area where she could put the column and it would be on her land. I showed her where the footing could go and she remarked she did not like that location. I told her that she was limited as anywhere else would be on our property. She totally ignored the comment.
She does have one location left and it would be at the tip of the road and it could be easily sideswiped by horse trailers. That is where we think they may put them and technically it would be right at the edge of the properties.

I wish we could afford to do a fence but the cost would be too high as it would be very long.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

californian,
Be sure to stay out of any shade created by those hated trees.
If the weather is not harsh, at least you do not have to rake leaves.
Oh the horror.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

Californian - you're saying they're 'inconsiderate', but have you considered where there real interests may lie? If they take control of any part of your property, over time (years) they may be able to claim it for themselves IF you do nothing... it's a bit like squatter's rights! A right-of-way can be established on your land, for instance, if you do nothing to prevent it by allowing it to go on for years, and very often the law recognizes their 'right' and you've lost land. I'd definitely do something before you end up in a situation like that!


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

I agree--it's a bit dangerous to let this go. Whatever the cost, even if you have to install it yourself, a little at a time, I'd have the property line re-measured and marked and install a fence right on it. Whatever, the cost for the fence, it will cost less than the legal problems you could be facing if these folks continue to use your land, cut down your trees and bushes, and/or cost you legal fees in the future. A fence seems pretty cheap in comparison, doesn't it?

Good luck.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

We paid to have the property lines remarked two years ago.I even paid to have extra rebar placed in areas that spanned too far a distance between pins.

The area that was cleared had the rebar brightly marked with flagging tape. The neighbor covered it up while raking the land ( we do not know if it was an accident or not). We spent 45 minutes finding it and uncovered it and left a phone message stating we had uncovered it.

She mentioned that she could not wait to get her columns in and we knew they would start the project and ask permission after the fact. We bought large plants and some tress and completely landscaped the area. We added mulch, large landscape rocks and basically "took it back". I even entertained doing a corner column of our own that matches our columns.

The neighbors drove by and saw us digging and planting. The wife had a very surprised and disappointed look on her face.

I did do research and found out the legal info I need to do . The survey we have is very clear on the property markers.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

Californian may also be concerned about those eucalyptus trees because they can turn into torches in brush fires. They are not native trees. Californian has valid complaints about not being able to plant desirable plants because of the big trees using all of the water, leaving their lot dry. The sun is blocked, changing the gardening prospects of their lot. These sound like valid concerns, Brickeye, even if they are not able to do anything about them because the trees are on neighboring land.

lsst, it sounds like you handled this problem well.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

"She mentioned that she could not wait to get her columns in and we knew they would start the project and ask permission after the fact. We bought large plants and some tress and completely landscaped the area. We added mulch, large landscape rocks and basically "took it back". I even entertained doing a corner column of our own that matches our columns.

The neighbors drove by and saw us digging and planting. The wife had a very surprised and disappointed look on her face."

What a shame that the wife looked disappointed. Too bad. Your neighbors know exactly what they are doing. Trying to steal your land out from under you. Why else wouldn't they return your calls? I'm glad you completely landscaped the area and with some big rocks as well.

Your OTHER neighbors planted trees on your property? Doesn't anyone in your area (besides you and your DH) know where their property lines are? With neighbors like this, I'd have a fence up before I spent another dime on ANY other home improvements.

logic said: "IMO...you had better notify them in writing ASAP via registered mail that all of the bushes/trees that they cut back on your property will be re-installed...and nicely but firmly educate them on the meaning of the property marker."

Good advice.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

dreamgarden,
Exactly as you stated.

My husband jokes that I could find our property pins in my sleep!LOL

After the first incident where the other neighbor planted trees on our land, I made several copies of the survey.I keep them handy just in case I need to show the neighbors wher the pins are located.

In the wooded areas I still have the flagging tape up from all the surveys. Our property lines are very obvious.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

Exactly why I will never own property unless it has a fence again. Too much neighbor hassle otherwise.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

"Californian has valid complaints about not being able to plant desirable plants because of the big trees using all of the water, leaving their lot dry. The sun is blocked, changing the gardening prospects of their lot. These sound like valid concerns, Brickeye, even if they are not able to do anything about them because the trees are on neighboring land."

Then they should move away from all those annoying neighbors and trees.
When you live in a dense area you have to put up with neighbors.
i keep hearing all about those horrible eucalyptus trees, but have yet to see anything that actually has documented they are a worse hazard than any other tree.

A lot of it may be that they can actually grow in the arid areas, while most other trees remain stunted.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

Now I have proof that Eucalyptus roots are stealing my water and drying out my lot. I was just digging holes to plant some tomatoes and came across roots from that Euc that were 40 feet away from where the tree is and reaching into the middle of my lot. I know they are from the Euc because I have no trees in the vicinity and they are coming from the direction of the Euc. No wonder nothing will grow there.
Eucs are hardy trees that will grow where nothing else will, so they have their place. But they are also enormous trees that can grow 20 feet a year and shouldn't be planted in neighborhoods where the lots are only 50 feet wide. There is a Euc three houses away on a larger lot that is 125 feet tall and has branches 70 feet long. Each major branch is bigger than any of my fruit trees will ever be. The answer is to do a little research before you plant something as to what it will look like 10 years later.
Well anyway, I paid fifty dollars for a pruning saw mounted on a 14 foot pole and am starting to cut off any branch thats enroaching on my property that I can reach, before they get too big. The older Eucs branches are already too thick for me to cut and I would have to hire a pro to cut them. The three year old Euc the other neighbor cut down but then let it keep growing when it resprouted as five trunks is already 40 feet tall so I can't reach most of the branches already. I expect it will be a eighty feet tall within ten years. The older Euc has been topped twice since I have been living here, the last time cut down to 4 trucks 25 feet tall, and five years later is already 60 feet tall again, and thicker than ever to where it completely blocks out the afternoon sun.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

"themselves IF you do nothing... it's a bit like squatter's rights! A right-of-way can be established on your land, for instance, if you do nothing to prevent it by allowing it to go on for years, and very often the law recognizes their ...."

Lucy, what you're talking about is called "adverse posession".

That's why I make it my point to make sure I'm careful about planting (and that my neighbor is also)

Here is a link that might be useful: Adverse posession


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

I don't know about the law where you live but here it's against the law to cover or remove markers surveyers have put up.
vickie


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

We have a very odd shaped lot, on one side of us we have neighbors that mowed down my daffodils because they thought it was their lot. We pulled out the survey to show them it was actually our lot and since then no problems with them. We got new neighbors on the other side of us and they mowed the lawn a good two feet over on our property for the first month or so that they lived there. I told my hubby he should say something to them, he said if they want to mow my lawn let them. I had a sinking suspicion that they just didn't know the property line. I came home from the grocery store one day to see the neighbor measuring and putting in stakes. I asked him what he was doing, he said putting up a fence. Only problem was it was 2 feet onto our property. I went in the house and got a copy of our survey and showed it to him, he didn't believe me, continued to mark off his fence on our property. Finally when my hubby came home he showed the guy the survey markers and the neighbor finally believed him. I'm sure if we get new neighbors on either side again that we'll be struggling with the same issues, so we keep a copy of our survey and know where the surveyor's markers are and my hubby has learned to head off any problem early so as to prevent misunderstandings.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

Yes, we also had a neighbor that "didn't know where the stakes were"... yeah right. Do these people think we are complete idiots?


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

It is amazing how common this is.
My mother has an elderly homebound neighbor who is going through the same thing.
A new neighbor has moved in next door and has removed this elderly neighbors fence and is in the process of tearing down a beautiful rock wall that is on the elderly woman's property.
He has removed the property survey stake.
This woman is so upset and has no family to stand up for her. The elderly woman has asked my mother to talk to the new neighbor.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

It's illegal to remove property stakes. After we had our property surveyed, my "new neighbor" offered to permanently install the corner markers in the ground by digging a hole the size of a 3-pound coffee can, filling it with cement and placing the stake in the middle. The cement and stake were flush with the ground. He then painted the top of the cement and the top of the stake florescent orange. Granted, you may not be able to see them if weeds grow but you can find them with a metal detector. We're thinking about doing this along the property lines between the corner pins because the corner pins are 1300 feet apart and I don't know what's mine in between.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

If it is illegal to remove property stakes, what are the recourses if the neighbor did that? Must you take them to small claims court and make them pay to have it resurveyed and restaked?
How long must one leave the stakes there? If you paid for the survey, can you remove them?


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

while it is illegal to remove them, in most areas this is one of the non-penalized laws. most people remove them thinking they are just trash, and the courts won't do anything about it. i know for a fact that it happens here.

most likely, unless you can prove other wise, the person who removes them will claim ignorance.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

Like you, I have a neighbor who is very controlling of MY property. Problem is, we live on less than 1/4 acre and we're practically on top of eachother. In no time, we put up a fence, but he was really bitter because of that. He liked having access to our yard, and would always comment that he comes in our yard when we are gone - very weird. He was upset that he had to trim the grass along our fence, so instead he started spraying grass killer. In the process my plants along the perimeter of my fence started dying. We also put a LOCKING gate at the back of our property, and keep it locked at all times. Who actually goes into their neighbors property all the time like it is their own? He would also yell at me (he's an older guy) because I over fertilized my own hostas one year and they started dying. What business is it of his? He has also sprayed my basement windows with his hose because they get dirty after it rains. In the process, he cracked one of my window panes. Luckily, I was getting the windows replaced with glass block anyway, but he wears on me at times.

Trying to be "nice" to people like that who are inconsiderate in the first place is not the way to handle it. You have to be very frank with them. I told him to never spray along my fence again because he's killing my plants. Enough said, he got the point.

I agree - send a certified letter outlining dates, times, take pictures and tell them that if they continue to destroy your property you will consult with an attorney regarding your rights. This is a civil matter. You may also want to consider posting "no trespassing" signs. we have a woodpile behind our garage, and found out that a neighbor, who happens to be an ATTORNEY, was helping himself to our wood. We had to cover it with a tarp and post a NO TRESPASSING, PRIVATE PROPERTY accordingly. The message is clear.

They have no regard for your property, and people like that will eventually try to take it over.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

I have lived here for 30 yrs there is a property dispute between my neighbor and her live in boyfriend he has only lived there 1 year.
she has been there 15 yrs we have a peice of property betwwen my side of the house and her garage we have cut THIS 20' of grass for 30 yrs now all of a sudden he calls my house if anything he thinks is sitting on HIS PROPERTY he doesn't own it she does. I have asked her why are you letting him call my house leaving threathing messages if I don't move a snowmobile trailer off his property he will have it moved another message saying he had a peice of paper all he has to do is make one phone call and call it off unless I want to pay he wants this trailer off the property . it is on my property he has stated 3 times he had THIS surveyed . once with a can of white spray paint, another he was out there with a metal dector and I watched him bang the stakes in the ground which were wrong to stop this madness and harressment we had it suryved and stakes put it he still calls my house and says things our on his propertY.
I called the police he was charged with harrassment.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

And you added this disjointed message to a four year old string.


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RE: Would like opinions- property line issues

texasredhead-"And you added this disjointed message to a four year old string."

Why do you care?

Either add something useful yourself or stop sounding like the neighbors these people are complaining about.


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