Driveway On Neighbor's Land

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dpusa
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Driveway On Neighbor's Land

Post by dpusa »

[Thread is updated for 2020, see below. --admin LadyGeek]

All; I wanted to get counsel from the smarter people on the forum. My wife and I built a home with a builder about four years ago on a plot of land that had a home there previously including an existing driveway. As part of the rebuild my builder re-poured the driveway. My neighbor and our homes are separated by a fence and our driveway was on our side of the fence.

About six months ago; our neighbor performed a survey and noted that about 0.02 acres of land on my side of the fence actually belongs to him and includes a part of the driveway. I spoke to my builder who was almost beyond non-helpful. I think the land would be worth very very little in actual use but likely pro-rated about $2k; plus I would imagine the surveys would have to be redrawn as he is 'happy' to sell the land to me. Would title insurance cover or umbrella insurance cover any of this? Any other counsel from the Board?
Wellfleet
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by Wellfleet »

I would certainly get my own survey performed and see where that goes.
Gropes & Ray
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by Gropes & Ray »

Title insurance would cover it if it wasn't excepted, which survey boundaries often are unless you actually got a survey. You don't need to "buy" the land, you need an easement. An easement avoids replatting and most plan approvals.

By the way, how confident are you that your neighbor's survey is correct? Have you seen a stamped ALTA survey? In some states, a fence denotes a property line agreement. Also, you can have a prescriptive easement on the basis of continuous use for a period of years. The period of years varies from 5 to 21 depending on the state. What state are you in?
clydewolf
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by clydewolf »

These things happen more than we want to admit.

I doubt any insurance would cover your expenses.

Who's fence is it? Was the fence there when you built the home? Did you put the fence up? Did the neighbor put the fence in place?

I would buy the land from your neighbor. Then you need a new survey and the tax maps adjusted to show the new property lines.

Just think, your neighbor paid the property taxes on this section while you maintained the property.
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dm200
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by dm200 »

dpusa wrote:All; I wanted to get counsel from the smarter people on the forum. My wife and I built a home with a builder about four years ago on a plot of land that had a home there previously including an existing driveway. As part of the rebuild my builder re-poured the driveway. My neighbor and our homes are separated by a fence and our driveway was on our side of the fence.
About six months ago; our neighbor performed a survey and noted that about 0.02 acres of land on my side of the fence actually belongs to him and includes a part of the driveway. I spoke to my builder who was almost beyond non-helpful. I think the land would be worth very very little in actual use but likely pro-rated about $2k; plus I would imagine the surveys would have to be redrawn as he is 'happy' to sell the land to me. Would title insurance cover or umbrella insurance cover any of this? Any other counsel from the Board?
1. I would urge you to get this all cleared up - while relations are friendly - to avoid a potentially BIG mess down the road.

2. Is it possible the neighbor's survey is not correct?

3. How and when did you buy the property? Was that purchase financed? It would seem that some kind of survey would have been done. Was one?

4. Did you purchase any kind of title insurance? Maybe there is coverage - all depends.

5. As far as the buider, it seems to me that may depend on the details. If you owned the property first, and engaged him later, it might be reasonable that he assumed the property lines were as seen.

6. It seems that the owner of the property that built the driveway in the past may have erred. I would get as complete a history as possible. What prompted the neighbor to get this survey?
miamivice
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by miamivice »

I would first discuss this with your title insurance, before spending anything on it. They may or may not be able to help you, but you should be able to have a conversation with someone about it.

I would not waste time getting a second survey done. Once an initial survey has been done, follow on surveys are required to use the monuments or pins installed by the initial survey, even if they are installed incorrectly. Only a court can order moving monuments that have been installed by a previous surveyor.

Umbrella insurance would not cover this.
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dpusa
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by dpusa »

Gropes & Ray wrote:Title insurance would cover it if it wasn't excepted, which survey boundaries often are unless you actually got a survey. You don't need to "buy" the land, you need an easement. An easement avoids replatting and most plan approvals.

By the way, how confident are you that your neighbor's survey is correct? Have you seen a stamped ALTA survey? In some states, a fence denotes a property line agreement. Also, you can have a prescriptive easement on the basis of continuous use for a period of years. The period of years varies from 5 to 21 depending on the state. What state are you in?
I think the neighbors are looking for potential money as they see it as their land. I have seen a paper copy and the landed pins. I am in Georgia.
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dpusa
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by dpusa »

clydewolf wrote:These things happen more than we want to admit.

I doubt any insurance would cover your expenses.

Who's fence is it? Was the fence there when you built the home? Did you put the fence up? Did the neighbor put the fence in place?

I would buy the land from your neighbor. Then you need a new survey and the tax maps adjusted to show the new property lines.

Just think, your neighbor paid the property taxes on this section while you maintained the property.
The fence was there when we built the home. The builder owned the land and built the home and we simply purchased the home from them.
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dpusa
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by dpusa »

dm200 wrote:
dpusa wrote:All; I wanted to get counsel from the smarter people on the forum. My wife and I built a home with a builder about four years ago on a plot of land that had a home there previously including an existing driveway. As part of the rebuild my builder re-poured the driveway. My neighbor and our homes are separated by a fence and our driveway was on our side of the fence.
About six months ago; our neighbor performed a survey and noted that about 0.02 acres of land on my side of the fence actually belongs to him and includes a part of the driveway. I spoke to my builder who was almost beyond non-helpful. I think the land would be worth very very little in actual use but likely pro-rated about $2k; plus I would imagine the surveys would have to be redrawn as he is 'happy' to sell the land to me. Would title insurance cover or umbrella insurance cover any of this? Any other counsel from the Board?
1. I would urge you to get this all cleared up - while relations are friendly - to avoid a potentially BIG mess down the road.

2. Is it possible the neighbor's survey is not correct? I am sure its correct

3. How and when did you buy the property? Was that purchase financed? It would seem that some kind of survey would have been done. Was one? A survey was done

4. Did you purchase any kind of title insurance? Maybe there is coverage - all depends. Yes I do have title insurance - trying to see what it says on the actual driveway; however pretty sure the land is theirs

5. As far as the buider, it seems to me that may depend on the details. If you owned the property first, and engaged him later, it might be reasonable that he assumed the property lines were as seen.

6. It seems that the owner of the property that built the driveway in the past may have erred. I would get as complete a history as possible. What prompted the neighbor to get this survey?
They have a number of tree on their lot that are falling and caused damaged
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dpusa
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by dpusa »

Also; agree will call the title insurance company but not sure what next steps would be. For example; they have a mortgage we do not.

All counsel and welcome
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dm200
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by dm200 »

The fence was there when we built the home. The builder owned the land and built the home and we simply purchased the home from them.


So, the builder was also the owner of the property. It seems to me, then, that the builder should bear complete responsibility for this "problem". The builder "built" the home (as you requested/desired) and then sold the whole thing to you. Based on this detail, I would consider consulting an attorney (after giving the builder the opportunity to make it 100% right). It appears that you bought and paid for property that the seller did not own. [assuming the neighbor's survey is correct]
rkhusky
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by rkhusky »

dm200 wrote: It appears that you bought and paid for property that the seller did not own. [assuming the neighbor's survey is correct]
The OP paid for the property described in the purchase agreement. What the OP thought he was buying might be different than what he actually bought. And the builder may not have been selling what he thought he was selling. If the neighbor's survey is correct and the OP doesn't want to or can't invoke adverse possession, then he can seek an easement, which may or may not cost something, or purchase the property. Situations like this is why there is title insurance.

Edit: Here is a link about adverse possession in Georgia: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/ ... orgia.html. It appears that the builder would have made the claim for adverse possession, if he owned it for 7 years (or perhaps 20 years) prior. Not sure how that would work after the builder has sold the property. Doesn't appear that the OP can claim it.
Gropes & Ray
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by Gropes & Ray »

OP, schedule B of your title insurance policy should be called something like "exceptions." This will list the things that are not covered by your policy. Look for something like location of driveway or matters that would be disclosed bg alta survey.

Even if you find it, it may still be worth making a claim with the title company. At worst, they can say no coverage.

If you want to come to an agreement with your neighbor you need an easement. Your title insurance company may handle getting a survey and writing up the easement, but this shouldnt be terribly expensive to get from an attorney if you aren't covered.

My 5 seconds of google research says that you need 7 or 20 years to establish a prescriptive easement in Georgia, depending on whether the land is improved or not. You would need to know the history of your driveway. Maybe talk to the builder. There is also a possibilty of an easement by necessity, but that would require a full title search of your and your neighbor's property to determine. Obviously, given the uncertainties, your best bet is to negotiate a settlement with your neighbor, hopefully with the financial backing of your title insurance.

One reason that your builder may not want to talk to you is if he gave a warranty deed to you, he is potentially liable.
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by Carefreeap »

dm200 wrote:
The fence was there when we built the home. The builder owned the land and built the home and we simply purchased the home from them.


So, the builder was also the owner of the property. It seems to me, then, that the builder should bear complete responsibility for this "problem". The builder "built" the home (as you requested/desired) and then sold the whole thing to you. Based on this detail, I would consider consulting an attorney (after giving the builder the opportunity to make it 100% right). It appears that you bought and paid for property that the seller did not own. [assuming the neighbor's survey is correct]
I agree.

Make sure you contact a real estate attorney ASAP because there may be a statue of limitations. I find it amazing that a builder could build a new house without having a survey done. My city requires one anytime you build anything that changes the original footprint of the house as they are concerned about set backs.
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miamivice
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by miamivice »

If the cost for an easement is $2,000, you don't need a real estate attorney. You simply need your checkbook, and to write a check in exchange for a recorded easement on the property. Part of home ownership is random expenses pop up from time to time, this might be one of them.

Well, the checkbook only needs to come out after talking to your title insurance company.

A real estate attorney will cost at least that much, and make everything far more difficult to work with.

For reference .02 acres is about 900 square feet, or about a 30x30 (20x45) patch of land. Pretty small amount.
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dm200
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by dm200 »

One reason that your builder may not want to talk to you is if he gave a warranty deed to you, he is potentially liable.
Makes sense to me.
miamivice
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by miamivice »

One option would be to take your builder to small claims court (after sending him a certified letter asking for payment). $2,000 is small claims court value in most places, and it'd be pretty simple to make a case that your builder built a driveway, your builder built a fence, and it wasn't on the actual property line and you now had to purchase an easement from your neighbor.

No attorneys required.
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Watty
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by Watty »

It sounds like there may be something else going on since people rarely have surveys done after they move into a house.

The $2,000 price would mean that the land is worth $100,000 an acre. I would check to see what undeveloped land is selling for in your area to see if that is reasonable or not. If you see ready to build lots for sale the price of the lot may include the cost of improvements like bringing utilities into the property so that might not be a fair comparison.

The builder may be unresponsive because they know that it is their problem. I would think that to build the house and redo the driveway a survey would have been required to get the permits but I am not sure about that. I would check with a lawyer to see what the state laws say. The problem is that you could easily spend more than $2,000 in legal fees.

I don't have any good answers but a couple of things to consider;

1) If he has a mortgage then he may not have the right to sell the land or grant an easement without his mortgage companies approval. It is a lot easier for a mortgage company to just say "no" than to research it, have their lawyer review it, and than say "yes" so getting them to approve a sale may be hard. I have heard of people having a strip of their front yard taken by a city for street widening where there was no choice. In that case the mortgage company may have required a new appraisal(I think) and the mortgage company also required that the entire check be made out to them to pay down the mortgage. If you have a mortgage then you may need to let your mortgage company know what is going on too since they would likely be notified of any boundary change. Your insurance company would also likely need to be notified.

2) If your zoning required something like a quarter acre lot and his lot is exactly a quarter of an acre, then the sale might not be allowed. If something happens like his house burns down then he might not be allowed to rebuild it because the lot is now only .23 acre.

3) If either of you have some sort of property tax protection that limits future property tax increases then then sale could cause both of your properties to be reassessed at the current market price.

4) To do it right the lawyer or title company that handles the sale may need to send him a 1099-S for the payment but that could cause him to be more upset with you.
https://www.irs.gov/uac/form-1099-s-pro ... ansactions

5) In addition to the driveway being on his property you may also need to worry about setbacks since in some areas you might not be allowed to put a driveway right on the property line.
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by mptfan »

Carefreeap wrote: Make sure you contact a real estate attorney ASAP because there may be a statue of limitations.
This made me laugh as I am imagining a statue somewhere that depicts limitations. :D
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by Gropes & Ray »

miamivice wrote:If the cost for an easement is $2,000, you don't need a real estate attorney. You simply need your checkbook, and to write a check in exchange for a recorded easement on the property. Part of home ownership is random expenses pop up from time to time, this might be one of them.

Well, the checkbook only needs to come out after talking to your title insurance company.

A real estate attorney will cost at least that much, and make everything far more difficult to work with.

For reference .02 acres is about 900 square feet, or about a 30x30 (20x45) patch of land. Pretty small amount.
Do you have a form of easement in your checkbook that meets the Georgia requirements? :P If OP and his neighbor have an agreement and all he needed was an easement and maybe a release of claims, I wouldn't charge $2k for that (but I'm not a Georgia Atty).
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ResearchMed
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by ResearchMed »

rkhusky wrote:
dm200 wrote: It appears that you bought and paid for property that the seller did not own. [assuming the neighbor's survey is correct]
The OP paid for the property described in the purchase agreement. What the OP thought he was buying might be different than what he actually bought. And the builder may not have been selling what he thought he was selling. If the neighbor's survey is correct and the OP doesn't want to or can't invoke adverse possession, then he can seek an easement, which may or may not cost something, or purchase the property. Situations like this is why there is title insurance.

Edit: Here is a link about adverse possession in Georgia: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/ ... orgia.html. It appears that the builder would have made the claim for adverse possession, if he owned it for 7 years (or perhaps 20 years) prior. Not sure how that would work after the builder has sold the property. Doesn't appear that the OP can claim it.
Not sure about Georgia, but in our state, if the "adverse possession" situation has continued without interruption through sequential owners, the time period for adverse possession claims can be continued throughout those ownerships. (That is NOT the actual legal terminology.)

I looked recently, because of other recent threads on this topic here, and a situation we became aware of some years ago, while a new home was being built next door on a previously forested lot, but one where an ancient fence had divided the properties. Fencing remains in place.
We know the previous owners, and the pre-previous owners (still in neighborhood), so can trace ownership/usage for about 40 years (statute is 20; we've been here just a few years short).

I'm not sure it's worth OP litigating, if a payment for much less than legal fees would be could settle the situation, but OP should at least be aware of the local statutes in case that comes up.

And yes, *why* did neighbor suddenly do a survey?

RM
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Topic Author
dpusa
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by dpusa »

All - the survey came up as they had trees on their lot (1+ acres) that were falling on another neighbour at the rear of their lot (we are to the side).
He does have a mortgage and the mortgage company need to be satisfied that the lot surveys can be redrawn and this does not materially impact the value of his home (probably worth $600k+).

I have reached for my title company and initiated a claim to see what they say. Thereafter; I may contact the builder again too.
Honestly; not sure of the process of how to even go about submitting it to the county for review which would have to be the next step to research.

All in all; a total pain in the backside.
Gropes & Ray
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by Gropes & Ray »

ResearchMed wrote:
Not sure about Georgia, but in our state, if the "adverse possession" situation has continued without interruption through sequential owners, the time period for adverse possession claims can be continued throughout those ownerships. (That is NOT the actual legal terminology.)
That is typical for most states. Not sure about Georgia though. Keep in mind that adverse possession is a claim of ownership, which may be supported by fencing in the property. A prescriptive easement is the cousin of adverse possession, but it is a claim of a right to use property for a specific purpose (like a driveway), not outright ownership.

In either case, negotiating with the neighbor for a written easement is the fastest and cheapest option. The neighbor has already stated that he is willing to deal. $2.23/sqft for land in most places is a bargain. I only mentioned the technicalities of prescriptive easements and easements of necessity to point out that there are fail safes in the event that negotiation fall through (and to pat myself on the back for remembering first-year property class).

If you want to actually change the property boundary, rather than use an easement, call the local planning department. In most states this is with your city, county or township. They will tell you how to submit a plan, but it probably involves hiring a surveyor. You will need approval, and this can sometimes come administratively from a city planning director, but sometimes requires a hearing by the city council/township board/county commissioners/whatever body exists in your area.

If you use an easement, you can get a subordination from the mortgage company, if they insist on approving the easement and you want to avoid any risk of foreclosure. Different companies have different requirements for subordination, but typically it's easier to get than a partial release (which you would need if you bought part of your neighbor's property). Most mortgage companies don't even require a reappraisal for an easement subordination.
WhyNotUs
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by WhyNotUs »

Does the legal description of your property in your deed match the findings of the neighbor's survey. If so, then there is not a title issue. You bought your property but a portion of the access was on an adjacent property. If this is the case, then purchasing an easement is in order or relocating the driveway. Work for valuing an easement or lot line adjustment is in order.

If your property description does not match the neighbor's survey, then you have a potential title insurance issue.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by ResearchMed »

WhyNotUs wrote:Does the legal description of your property in your deed match the findings of the neighbor's survey. If so, then there is not a title issue. You bought your property but a portion of the access was on an adjacent property. If this is the case, then purchasing an easement is in order or relocating the driveway. Work for valuing an easement or lot line adjustment is in order.

If your property description does not match the neighbor's survey, then you have a potential title insurance issue.
If the legal descriptions/survey match, then there might also be the "adverse possession" situation.
However, this seems to be a more expensive way to deal with this, if an easement, or modest sale price of the small portion, is acceptable to both parties.

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surveyor
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by surveyor »

Lot's of incorrect information here. You get the advice you pay for.
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by ny_knicks »

Took a property law class in school (feel like I am saying I stayed at a holiday inn express last night)...can't remember much of it as it was P/F and I just needed the credit.

I think it depends on how long the fence/driveway was there but adverse possession or prescriptive easement might mean it is actually your land now. Talk to an attorney.

I'd tell my neighbor to shove it if they tried to hit me up for cash after a survey...sounds like they just want to make a quick buck.
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by N1CKV »

Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land
You are in the United States, the proper spelling is "Neighbor".
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by lazydavid »

You say a survey was done when you bought the property, and that you are sure the survey your neighbors did is correct. This leaves only two possibilities:

1) The survey taken when you purchased the home was incorrect.
2) You purchased the home informed that the driveway was on your neighbors property

If #1, then as others have stated, you have a claim against your title insurance, especially if (as is typically the case) they commissioned the survey. If #2, how did this not come up during the purchase process?
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by susa »

mptfan wrote: This made me laugh as I am imagining a statue somewhere that depicts limitations. :D
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pshonore
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Re: Driveway On Neighbours Land

Post by pshonore »

Perhaps he can trade .02 acres of his land to his neighbor for the .02 of driveway. One of my neighbors built a shed on his property. When he went to sell his house, it was discovered he built over the property line. (He thought the side property line was at a right angle to the street,when in fact it was not, as a lot of folks have trouble interpreting plot plans - which way is North?) Everyone was on good terms so they just traded a small piece to each other. Surveyor came out, marked everything, land records were updated. End of story - although I'll bet it cost the guy who built the shed some amount to make it right. Probably at least 1-2K, maybe more.

Here's another one - a friend owns a house and wants to build an addition. It was discovered there is a 6 ft strip of land next to his lot that was never conveyed to anyone the he needs for a side variance. This is in a 75 year old subdivision in New England where deeds can reference trees and stone walls that no longer exist.
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dpusa
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Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by dpusa »

[Thread update for 2020 merged into here, see below (Page 3). --admin LadyGeek]

Boglehead Guru, asking for some advice. My wife and I bought our home 7 years ago and all is well. Two years ago our neighbor who moved in after us; said that a part of our driveway is on their property. Our homes are separated by a fence which has probably been there 10+ years and the driveway is on our side of the fence so we assumed part of our land. When we had a survey completed, it indeed confirmed that about 10 sq ft of the drive way is on his land (he has a total of 50000+ sq ft in his land/1 acre) and another 1500sq/0.03 acres ft on what I thought was my land on my side of the fence does belong to my neighbor. We started down the path of land acquisition, however my title company stated the neighbor had an IRS lean and we could not proceed. I have tried to be amicable but his aggressive response has always been we either buy the land or he will build a fence on his land across the front of our home (over text messages).

Fast forward to now, we have gone back down the process as the IRS Lien is paid off on their home. We agreed I would pay for an appraisal as that is required for his mortgage loan modification process and that just came back this week. It values his land at $5500; however his response over text is that he spoke to his attorney (who has sent me a letter saying his client would like me to stop using the land or amicably buy it from him) and two local real estate agents and he values the land between $15,000 - $21,000 and he would only like offers on that range plus the cost of the surbveys which would be around $3k on top. We are based in Georgia...

I am hesitant to spend thousands on legal fees and this feel like extortion so wanted to get the Gurus on this forum to give their thoughts.
Thanks in advance.
coffeeblack
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by coffeeblack »

I'm sorry for you troubles. I'm not a lawyer or real estate professional.

I changed my response after I read you had an appraisal. If you have an appraisal it is going to be hard to argue price.
Last edited by coffeeblack on Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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dpusa
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by dpusa »

Coffeeblack - Completely agree. We actually had a professional appraiser do just that and thats how I calculated the $5500 value for the land. They values his home and land using comps from other local homes and thats how they got to that value. The neighbor i assume has money troubles given the most recent cleared IRA lien for three years of unpaid taxes and i assume is looking for a pay out. Yet, he is now asking for $15-$21k :?
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8foot7
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by 8foot7 »

Do you have an alternate to acquiring the land? Can you reroute your driveway, etc?

I would basically tell the neighbor you’ll pay him 5500+1000 for his trouble = 6500. Or otherwise you’ll reroute your driveway at your own expense and he will get nothing. In other words, make it clear you’d rather pay 13k to someone else rather than give him a penny more than 6500.

Acquiring the land is a right move but stopping using it is also a right move too and would eliminate your neighbor’s “payout”

I’d also get an attorney. There is probably some statute that says he can’t build a fence over what you are productively using even if it is his land. His leverage may be smoke and mirrors.
Last edited by 8foot7 on Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by livesoft »

You need to get a great negotiator on your team. Just because their attorney states the real estate folks say the value is $XX does not mean the value is $XX. Also just because you say the value $Y does not mean the value is $Y. Clearly, you are over barrel by what you apparently did not do many years ago and it will cost you some money to fix your problem. In this situation, I would not blame the neighbor nor call them aggressive. I would be nice and get the problem fixed.
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AZAttorney11
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by AZAttorney11 »

Did you buy title insurance? It's not entirely clear from your post above. If so, I would give formal notice to the insurance company that there is a dispute and let them sort it out with your neighbor's attorney.
coffeeblack
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by coffeeblack »

dpusa wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:56 am Coffeeblack - Completely agree. We actually had a professional appraiser do just that and thats how I calculated the $5500 value for the land. They values his home and land using comps from other local homes and thats how they got to that value. The neighbor i assume has money troubles given the most recent cleared IRA lien for three years of unpaid taxes and i assume is looking for a pay out. Yet, he is now asking for $15-$21k :?
I personally don't think he will get his ask but you may have to negotiate and the final price will be somewhere in the middle of the two numbers.
KyleAAA
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by KyleAAA »

It doesn’t sound like you’ve been using the land long enough for adverse possession to exist. Your neighbor is under no obligation to sell to you at market value. I’m not sure you have any options, other than to lawyer up and try to argue you have a prescriptive easement based on some factor. You wouldn’t be able to fence in such an easement, though. But neither would your neighbor. Other than that, rerouting your driveway or paying the elevated price are your 2 best options. If you’re going to spend the money anyway, owning a bit of extra land is probably preferable.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
coffeeblack
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by coffeeblack »

8foot7 wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:58 am Do you have an alternate to acquiring the land? Can you reroute your driveway, etc?

I would basically tell the neighbor you’ll pay him 5500+1000 for his trouble = 6500. Or otherwise you’ll reroute your driveway at your own expense and he will get nothing. In other words, make it clear you’d rather pay 13k to someone else rather than give him a penny more than 6500.
I like this response. :)
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dpusa
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by dpusa »

8foot7 wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:58 am Do you have an alternate to acquiring the land? Can you reroute your driveway, etc?

I would basically tell the neighbor you’ll pay him 5500+1000 for his trouble = 6500. Or otherwise you’ll reroute your driveway at your own expense and he will get nothing. In other words, make it clear you’d rather pay 13k to someone else rather than give him a penny more than 6500.
Hey; unfortunately not. His property line essentially creates a triangle on what i thought was my land despite the fence being there was 10+ years. Also not thrilled with the thought of him building a fence on my driveway and across the front of our home :(
Dottie57
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by Dottie57 »

I am not sure your neighbor is right. If the driveway has been there for years (decades) you may have implied right to use.

My parents bought a tract home in late 50’s. The builder didn’t Keep track of of the borders and not one person owns all f their driveway. So most have exchanged easements to make all legal. No money exchanged. They were told by lawyers that after long standing use by non-owners it would be difficult to deny access.

See a lawyer.
Last edited by Dottie57 on Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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galawdawg
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by galawdawg »

Do I understand correctly that the driveway is not a shared or common driveway but is utilized exclusively by you, your family and your guests and is within the fenced area of what you believed to be your property? If so, how long has the driveway and fence been there? If it has been in place and in continuous and open use by you and your family and guests for at least seven years, you may have a viable adverse possession claim or at least a claim of an easement by prescription.

IANYL and I recommend that you talk with an experienced and trusted real estate lawyer. if you have a valid claim of adverse possession or a claim of easement by prescription, your lawyer can likely negotiate a more reasonable settlement with the neighbor's attorney. Your lawyer can also take legal action, if necessary, to preserve the status quo on use of the driveway until the matter is resolved.

Good luck.
kimura king
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by kimura king »

Obviously the guy has money trouble, he might lose his house in this economy (would be lucky for you). How will he build a fence if he is broke and cannot pay property taxes? You could tear it down when he gets forclosed. I thing that fence thing is an empty threat.

As an aside, this is why I give my phone number out to personal friends only. I have never given a neighbor my phone number. I am mowing or playing with my kids outside 4-5 evenings a week. Neighbors can talk to me about their concerns at that time. Tell the guy you will work it out in writing since he has an attorney that your phone is for work/friends/family only.
Last edited by kimura king on Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
Globalviewer58
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by Globalviewer58 »

You could rent a concrete saw to cut a slot in the concrete driveway and then break off along the slot the 10 SF encroaching on the neighbors land. Let your neighbor know when your driveway modification is complete and let him know you are no longer using his land. You could acknowledge in writing that the fence is on his property. Since the fence is already on his property just leave it where it is. I can’t imagine the neighbor will tear down an existing fence and erect a new fence to gain access to 0.03 ac of land.
coalcracker
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by coalcracker »

Were you friendly with a neighbor before this?

What are his motivations: he wants to use the land for some reason? He’s just being petty? He has a long-standing issues with you about something else?
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by Mr. Rumples »

There a number of issues that need to be clarified. The fence and its location, the driveway. But I would start by pulling the deeds at the court house which are open to the public. Are there any easements and rights of way? GA is like VA in having a colonial history. Sounds strange to some, but in at least two cases I know of, the landowner disputes in VA were settled only by looking at the charters granted under Kings George II and George III. Some provisions of these charters still prevail even when the property is sold and subdivided into suburban lots. In another, a fence dispute was going back to a law from 1862...wouldn't it be a kicker if GA fence law was like VA fence law and he could be required to pay for half of your fence! (Yes, I get carried away with history, but my power of attorney was annoyed when her neighbor got chickens and a rooster. I pointed out to her that her lot and the three adjoining others were still zoned agricultural due to the grant given by Charles II.)
Last edited by Mr. Rumples on Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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beyou
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by beyou »

It is meaningless to say there is a correct market value. Market value is what the market is willing to pay.
How many would be willing to pay even what you offered ? It is worth more to you and your neighbor than anyone else.
How much would it cost him to put in a fence that he threatened ?
What will it cost him to hire lawyers when you accidentally run over his new fence ?

I would definitely get a lawyer to speak to his lawyer over texting.
That or speak face to face and hash it out.
But this text/email is no way to settle an issue.
aristotelian
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by aristotelian »

8foot7 wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:58 am Do you have an alternate to acquiring the land? Can you reroute your driveway, etc?

I would basically tell the neighbor you’ll pay him 5500+1000 for his trouble = 6500. Or otherwise you’ll reroute your driveway at your own expense and he will get nothing. In other words, make it clear you’d rather pay 13k to someone else rather than give him a penny more than 6500.

Acquiring the land is a right move but stopping using it is also a right move too and would eliminate your neighbor’s “payout”

I’d also get an attorney. There is probably some statute that says he can’t build a fence over what you are productively using even if it is his land. His leverage may be smoke and mirrors.
I like this but emphasize getting attorney. Otherwise the issue will come back again, if not with this owner the next one.
bltn
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by bltn »

dpusa wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:43 am Boglehead Guru, asking for some advice. My wife and I bought our home 7 years ago and all is well. Two years ago our neighbor who moved in after us; said that a part of our driveway is on their property. Our homes are separated by a fence which has probably been there 10+ years and the driveway is on our side of the fence so we assumed part of our land. When we had a survey completed, it indeed confirmed that about 10 sq ft of the drive way is on his land (he has a total of 50000+ sq ft in his land/1 acre) and another 1500sq/0.03 acres ft on what I thought was my land on my side of the fence does belong to my neighbor. We started down the path of land acquisition, however my title company stated the neighbor had an IRS lean and we could not proceed. I have tried to be amicable but his aggressive response has always been we either buy the land or he will build a fence on his land across the front of our home (over text messages).

Fast forward to now, we have gone back down the process as the IRS Lien is paid off on their home. We agreed I would pay for an appraisal as that is required for his mortgage loan modification process and that just came back this week. It values his land at $5500; however his response over text is that he spoke to his attorney (who has sent me a letter saying his client would like me to stop using the land or amicably buy it from him) and two local real estate agents and he values the land between $15,000 - $21,000 and he would only like offers on that range plus the cost of the surbveys which would be around $3k on top. We are based in Georgia...

I am hesitant to spend thousands on legal fees and this feel like extortion so wanted to get the Gurus on this forum to give their thoughts.
Thanks in advance.
I had an interesting situation when I bought a home about 25 years ago. My home and my next door neighbors’ home were on 5 acre lots, thickly wooded. Prior to the purchase , I was walking the land boundaries with the realtor, and we discovered that half of one of his storage buildings and part of his driveway were on my property. Because of the dense woods around the houses, this had not been known before my inspection. I conservatively estimated the land value at 60,000/acre and offered to sell him the quarter acre his driveway and storage building occupied for 15,000. I had no appraisal, and by being conservative in my offer, I wanted to maintain a good relationship with my new neighbor. He accepted. Had he not accepted, I was going to have him remove his structures, but that issue never had to be raised. I actually would have preferred to keep my land.
In your position, I would offer to split the cost of the survey and the appraisal with him, and pay him 15,000 for his property. I would figure that I have to keep my structures, and he can charge whatever he wants for the land, or refuse to sell. The sooner I could work out a compromise, the better, even if I paid a bit of a high price.
Good luck.
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