Driveway On Neighbor's Land

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cashboy
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by cashboy »

based upon the facts as presented, get a lawyer. the neighbor has one; you should have one.
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sergio
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by sergio »

beyou wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:20 am 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.
Disagree - when it comes to dealing with unstable, irrational people like OP's neighbor, I'd rather (1) keep a paper trail and (2) minimize the chances for him to "blow up" in the heat of the moment and get violent or pull a weapon. But like you said, in the best case scenario, OP's would have an attorney that would deal with neighbor's attorney.

The biggest issue is the price discrepancy, land is $5k per appraisal but neighbor wants a minimum of $15k. If this drags out attorney's fees could easily make up that difference. Might be worth it to throw out an offer for $10k, hope he bites, and the problem goes away.
Last edited by sergio on Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
sergio
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by sergio »

cashboy wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:31 am based upon the facts as presented, get a lawyer. the neighbor has one; you should have one.
Even if OP pays him $15k I wonder how much neighbor will actually come out ahead after paying legal fee$$$.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by KyleAAA »

coalcracker wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:13 am 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?
The motivation is that if you don't assert your rights as property owner you will lose the property via adverse possession. Neighbor doesn't want to gift $5.5k worth of land to somebody else. Would you? Nothing petty about that.
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galawdawg
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by galawdawg »

OP...here is why you need an attorney:

OCGA 44-9-54 provides that "Whenever a private way has been in constant and uninterrupted use for seven or more years and no legal steps have been taken to abolish it, it shall not be lawful for anyone to interfere with that private way." OCGA 44-9-55 provides further that "When a person has established a private way and has enjoyed its use for as long as seven years, the right to use the private way shall become complete and the owners shall be barred from damages, provided that the owners have had six months' knowledge of such facts without moving for damages."

So if necessary you may have the ability to seek a court order prohibiting the neighbor from interfering with your use of the driveway AND the neighbor may have no right to any compensation whatsoever. An experienced attorney can attempt to negotiate a resolution where you agree to pay a very modest sum (significantly less than the actual value of the land) for a written and recorded permanent easement. That saves you the cost of litigation and gives the neighbor something for the use of his land.

But, if the attempts to negotiate are unsuccessful, your attorney can take legal action as appropriate. If your neighbor does interfere with your use of the driveway, then YOU may be entitled to money damages.

Don't attempt to do this on your own, you may unintentionally surrender legal rights or compromise your legal position and/or ability to prevail in any future legal action.

IANYL.
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cashboy
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by cashboy »

galawdawg wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:42 am
Don't attempt to do this on your own, you may unintentionally surrender legal rights or compromise your legal position and/or ability to prevail in any future legal action.
+1
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dpusa
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by dpusa »

galawdawg wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:08 am 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.
Agree about the Lawyer. I had spoken to one a few weeks ago; but will call him tomorrow. The driveway is not shared or common and was laid over an existing driveway 7.5 years.
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FIREchief
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by FIREchief »

dpusa wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:43 am When we had a survey completed, it indeed confirmed that about 10 sq ft of the drive way is on his land

he will build a fence on his land across the front of our home
If it's only ten square feet, how could he build a fence across the front of your home? I'm struggling to envision this. Is this only a single lane driveway (~8' wide)? Is there really no way to add to the opposite side of your driveway to preserve an acceptable width?
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by galawdawg »

dpusa wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:50 am
galawdawg wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:08 am 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.
Agree about the Lawyer. I had spoken to one a few weeks ago; but will call him tomorrow. The driveway is not shared or common and was laid over an existing driveway 7.5 years.
That's a wise decision! Hopefully your attorney can negotiate a settlement with the neighbor's attorney that is much more reasonable than they proposed. If you have a compelling case for easement by prescription in accordance with Georgia law (cited in my follow-up post), your negotiating position is much stronger.
hightower
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by hightower »

Wow. I'm sorry for you. Your neighbor is a POS. Plain and simple. I would move your driveway off his land, then I would sell your house and move away from him. What a scum bag. Whatever happened to people being decent to one another? Just goes to show that greed is what's ruining this country.
Chuck107
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by Chuck107 »

See a Lawyer.
Alas, I find moderation of this forum too restrictive for my tastes, farewell.
fyre4ce
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by fyre4ce »

The first thing I would do is contact your title insurance company. I'm not sure if they even handle these types of claims, but if they do it's your best bet. Frankly, you should have reached out to them early on in the process (if you have it), rather than have an ongoing discussion with the aggressive neighbor.

It's also not clear to me the impact of getting off his land to you. In one post you made it sound it's just a couple feet of driveway, but in another you made it sound like it would block off your entire driveway and a good portion of the front of your house. If you can be clear about the impact and, for example, the cost to move your driveway off his land, that would be helpful. If it's $1000 to slightly change the shape of your driveway, that seems preferable to me to a $5,500 land buy plus surveying costs.

Those issues aside, if it comes down to it, here's how I would handle a negotiation like this: If the guy has IRS liens he is probably in urgent need of money. You can use that to your advantage. I agree that hiring a lawyer is a good move, but that will be expensive, so I'd take one last pass at negotiating with him first. Tell him you're willing to pay $5,500 for the land plus the full $3,000 for the new survey (=$8,500) right now. Tell him you "can't afford" to pay any more than that, you're worried about the economic effects of the pandemic and what it might do to your finances, and that frankly his lawyer's proposed price isn't reasonable and you wouldn't pay it even if you had the money. He can take the $5,500 right now and sell the land to you, or you give him nothing now and go get a lawyer, which will be expensive and you might not have any money left over to pay him anything after that. Be calm and matter-of-fact, but subtly drop hints about the uncertainty of getting any money from you in the future if he doesn't take your fair offer (full appraised value) today.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by Jefferson »

I didn’t read all of the comments, so this may have already been addressed. GA has two time limits for adverse possession; 7 years for good faith and 13 years for bad faith. (These are by memory, so please consult a lawyer and look them up yourself).

I would definitely try to be a good neighbor to start and offer a reasonable amount. But if he wants to play hardball, just pay a lawyer to have the property lines permanently moved.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by bltn »

cashboy wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:31 am based upon the facts as presented, get a lawyer. the neighbor has one; you should have one.
Looking at this post and following posts from legal experts, I keep thinking about something I leaned about 10 years into my business career 25 years ago. One may have a strong position legally. But be sure that the probable outcome will be worth the expense of the legal assistance. In dealing with the legality of disputes, the operative word in many legal assertions is "may". This "may" be legal. That "may" be compensated. Or not. The only definite outcome in legal disputes are the legal fees.
Is the dispute over 8-10 thousand dollars difference in acquisition cost worth 5 thousand dollars or more in legal fees?
I agree that your neighbor is petty, and you ll probably have little to do with him in the future. But is this battle worth a big fight? Even if you re right? Does your neighbor have the right to remove you from his land or sell it at whatever price he places on it? If it was just recently discovered that the driveway was on his property? You can compromise with a lawyer, or compromise without a lawyer.
Contacting your title insurance company might be the easiest and best next step.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by bltn »

fyre4ce wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:31 pm The first thing I would do is contact your title insurance company. I'm not sure if they even handle these types of claims, but if they do it's your best bet. Frankly, you should have reached out to them early on in the process (if you have it), rather than have an ongoing discussion with the aggressive neighbor.

It's also not clear to me the impact of getting off his land to you. In one post you made it sound it's just a couple feet of driveway, but in another you made it sound like it would block off your entire driveway and a good portion of the front of your house. If you can be clear about the impact and, for example, the cost to move your driveway off his land, that would be helpful. If it's $1000 to slightly change the shape of your driveway, that seems preferable to me to a $5,500 land buy plus surveying costs.

Those issues aside, if it comes down to it, here's how I would handle a negotiation like this: If the guy has IRS liens he is probably in urgent need of money. You can use that to your advantage. I agree that hiring a lawyer is a good move, but that will be expensive, so I'd take one last pass at negotiating with him first. Tell him you're willing to pay $5,500 for the land plus the full $3,000 for the new survey (=$8,500) right now. Tell him you "can't afford" to pay any more than that, you're worried about the economic effects of the pandemic and what it might do to your finances, and that frankly his lawyer's proposed price isn't reasonable and you wouldn't pay it even if you had the money. He can take the $5,500 right now and sell the land to you, or you give him nothing now and go get a lawyer, which will be expensive and you might not have any money left over to pay him anything after that. Be calm and matter-of-fact, but subtly drop hints about the uncertainty of getting any money from you in the future if he doesn't take your fair offer (full appraised value) today.
I read this after I posted above. Good advice.
coalcracker
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by coalcracker »

KyleAAA wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:38 am
coalcracker wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:13 am 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?
The motivation is that if you don't assert your rights as property owner you will lose the property via adverse possession. Neighbor doesn't want to gift $5.5k worth of land to somebody else. Would you? Nothing petty about that.
Whatever happened to being a good neighbor? If I had not been using 10 ft.² of my neighbors driveway for 10 years, i’d be happy to accept almost whatever price they decided to pay me.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by Normchad »

I’d certainly be willing to pay $15K or more if I could fix the driveway and not give him a penny. He’s being a jerk; don’t give him anything.

He will probably get bounced out of there within a gear or two anyway.

Definitely call your title insurance people. This is part of what that insurance is for.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by KyleAAA »

coalcracker wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:45 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:38 am
coalcracker wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:13 am 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?
The motivation is that if you don't assert your rights as property owner you will lose the property via adverse possession. Neighbor doesn't want to gift $5.5k worth of land to somebody else. Would you? Nothing petty about that.
Whatever happened to being a good neighbor? If I had not been using 10 ft.² of my neighbors driveway for 10 years, i’d be happy to accept almost whatever price they decided to pay me.
Maybe the neighbor strongly prefers to keep the property for whatever reason. Donating thousands of dollars isn’t something anybody would expect a good neighbor to do. If the roles were flipped, by your logic you should also be willing to pay double market value to your neighbor because giving away money is what good neighbors do, right?
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by randomguy »

hightower wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:07 pm Wow. I'm sorry for you. Your neighbor is a POS. Plain and simple. I would move your driveway off his land, then I would sell your house and move away from him. What a scum bag. Whatever happened to people being decent to one another? Just goes to show that greed is what's ruining this country.
My reading of the situation is that the neighbor is in financial distress and is looking to get our OP to help them out. The drive way is probably covered by an easement at this point. I am not as clear about the whole fence situation. It sounds to me like the existing fence is just a couple feet on the wrong side of the property line but then their are the comments about building a fence across the front yard comments. Probably just an issue where I am struggling to visualize the property map. Does this fence gain the owner anything? Going back to the financial distress part this sounds like a bluff to encourage you to pay.

As other people have said, you are off in lawyer land at this point. No way to avoid it.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by KyleAAA »

hightower wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:07 pm Wow. I'm sorry for you. Your neighbor is a POS. Plain and simple. I would move your driveway off his land, then I would sell your house and move away from him. What a scum bag. Whatever happened to people being decent to one another? Just goes to show that greed is what's ruining this country.
Would you be willing to sell your property at market value right now? Why haven’t you done so? If not, why is OP’s neighbor greedy and you aren’t? Your position is exactly comparable in every way. Nobody is a scum bag here, obviously. The neighborly thing to do is to stop using the neighbor’s land when informed you have been using the land.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:28 pm, 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 »

The suggestion to contact his title insurance company is a good one, assuming the OP purchased an owner's policy when he purchased his home.

I respectfully disagree with those who are recommending OP negotiate further directly with the neighbor. OP titled the thread in part "Aggressive Neighbor" and from what I am reading in the OP's comments, the neighbor does not appear to be interested in reaching a mutually agreeable resolution. Also, the neighbor is represented by an attorney. So OP would be well-served to have legal representation both to advise him and to negotiate on his behalf with the neighbor's attorney.

It shouldn't cost OP an arm and a leg to retain an attorney for those purposes. If the negotiation is unsuccessful, the OP can then decide whether to pursue legal action or just continue with the status quo.

At the end of the day, assuming all of the facts are as OP stated and there are no contrary considerations, OP can just continue to use the driveway and ignore the issue unless and until the neighbor interferes with his use of the driveway, in which event OP would be able to seek damages from the neighbor as well as an injunction or restraining order.

IANYL and OP should obtain legal advice from his own trusted attorney.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by inbox788 »

dpusa wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:50 amAgree about the Lawyer. I had spoken to one a few weeks ago; but will call him tomorrow. The driveway is not shared or common and was laid over an existing driveway 7.5 years.
I don't understand the problem. Why not just give him back his land? Paint a line along the property line or build a fence 1" inside your property (I see neighbor is threatening to do just that on his side - how far from current fence would it be; how long?). Can you live with that? Do the cars go in and out? Or do you have to fix something on your side? Do you need to widen the driveway?

A drawing or schematic might be helpful if possible.

AFAIK, the fence belongs to your neighbor now. Who put it up and/or paid for it 10+ years ago? Any documentation?

"...or he will build a fence on his land across the front of our home..."

This is confusing, the front of your property doesn't border public street?
dpusa wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:03 amHey; 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 :(
What use is this land to him? I'm guessing it's not close to his home, so while he might play it up, he doesn't care all that much, and it would be financially foolish for him to build that fence. What would be his cost to build a fence? Without damaging your side of the driveway? Appears to me the main reason to do it would be to spite you, and no other immediate practical reason. Long term maintaining the property rights is more significant than any cash involved.

He's cash strapped (IRS lean) and wasting money on an expensive lawyer, which they (lawyer and client) are trying to recoup from you. Rather wasteful over a relative small dispute. Just be careful, as this neighbor is likely to have other problems (hopefully not involving you, but avoid).
Last edited by inbox788 on Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
egrets
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by egrets »

I'd like to see a drawing. I don't understand the bit about the fence in front of your house etc.

How much land do you have, OP? If it's enough, I'd forget about buying his land, live with an odd shaped lot, and buy the land from the next owner when this one goes bankrupt.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I'll first assume that you now know the exact boundary line.

I would:

Not offer a dime.

Find the law on fences. This is key. If a fence is allowed on the line, then fine....let him spend money putting in a new fence.
However....if like in my town, a fence must be 10 feet from any boundary, he's out of luck and can't build a fence on the line. If he does, simply call the town. They'll have an inspector who will look and likely recommend he be required to take down the fence.

Research and know. When he says he wants a bazillion dollars, tell him to kick rocks.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by stan1 »

It seems pretty clear to me this is going to cost some money to clear up. It sounds like the property is landlocked (no access to street) without this strip of land you need to purchase? Seems like you don't have a strong position to negotiate from.

You are going to pay the neighbor, his attorney, and your attorney. You'll need an attorney to draft up the paperwork for the transaction. Don't use his attorney. Did you buy a survey endorsement on the title insurance? Was a survey done when you bought the property? If not you may not get much assistance from the title insurer.

My guess is the other guys attorney has already figured out the costs to do this the hard way under any applicable Georgia laws and will eventually say it is cheaper for you to give them the $15-20K up front rather than paying more in legal fees later. Your attorney might say the same thing.

Are you sure all utilities (electric, natural gas, water, sewer, phone, cable) are under the driveway and within this strip of land? You don't want to find out in a few years they are elsewhere and go through this process a second time.
Last edited by stan1 on Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
HomeStretch
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by HomeStretch »

Have you checked your property deed to see if an easement for the driveway already exists?
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by Mako »

stan1 wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:10 pm Seems like you don't have a strong position to negotiate from.
Unless he has an adverse possession/prescriptive easement claim, which definitely seems possible. He needs a lawyer, and it seems he’s going that route so good for him.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by stan1 »

Mako wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:23 pm
stan1 wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:10 pm Seems like you don't have a strong position to negotiate from.
Unless he has an adverse possession/prescriptive easement claim, which definitely seems possible. He needs a lawyer, and it seems he’s going that route so good for him.
Maybe, there's probably a sweet spot that would minimize OP's total cost to resolve the issue if that's what he wants. Threatening a resolution through adverse possession/prescriptive easement will help bring the negotiated price down. Hopefully OPs attorney helps him figure out the lowest cost way to resolve.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by denovo »

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.
Contact your title insurance company stat
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jfn111
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by jfn111 »

As others have said start by calling your Title Insurance company. That's what you paid them for.
eagleeyes
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by eagleeyes »

If the neighbor was being neighborly, I would bend o over backwards to be helpful.

For example, my neighbor recently informed me he is thinking about replacing his fence. The fence belongs solely to him. But he is a nice neighbor and the current fence is over 10 years old and falling apart. He said it would cost 6k to replace. I immediately offered to split the cost 50% with him.

If he had been unpleasant and demanded I pay for half, I would have said feel free to pay for your own fence. Not a penny from me.

The OPs situation is different. I would try to resolve it amicably as possible. Amicably to me doesn’t involve the use of lawyers, appraisers, surveyors, and threats to build a fence across someone’s front line.

Sure I don’t have to sell for market value; I could try to wring every last dime I could get from my neighbor, but that’s not how I would operate.

If the land isn’t important to me (doesn’t seem like it’s a narrow lot issue where building close to the line is a problem) I would let the land go for a fair price. I would not charge 3-4 times market value. It’s not how some people are made up however.

If it were me, and I felt the neighbor was being malicious, I would not offer to purchase the property. I would just reroute my driveway.

I would however remember the incident. Especially when the neighbor goes to sell his house and has an open house. I would remember to park my beater car outside, put in on blocks, play excessively loud music, maybe rent an ATV and drive it up and down the street, rev the engine lots! Make sure I do have unpleasant conversations loudly when prospective buyers are looking at his house. I kid, I kid, but only partly.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by NewMoneyMustBeSmart »

dpusa wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:43 am 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.
Neighbor problems are the worst. Can you move?

You're willing (I think) to pay $5500. He wants $10k. I'd offer him $6500 and say that I might be able to go to $7200. If he doesn't take it I'd send him a letter and say that I tried to negotiate with him and will no longer talk with him, he is ordered to stay off my property and communicate with me only by post.

Then I'd let him sue me and go to court over it. He wants that less than you do I suppose.
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inbox788
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by inbox788 »

eagleeyes wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:53 pmIf it were me, and I felt the neighbor was being malicious, I would not offer to purchase the property. I would just reroute my driveway.

I would however remember the incident. Especially when the neighbor goes to sell his house and has an open house. I would remember to park my beater car outside, put in on blocks, play excessively loud music, maybe rent an ATV and drive it up and down the street, rev the engine lots! Make sure I do have unpleasant conversations loudly when prospective buyers are looking at his house. I kid, I kid, but only partly.
The neighbor is malicious as far as I'm concerned. It's sad, but OP needs to be defensive. That doesn't mean a lawyer automatically or not negotiating and going to court, but be skeptical as to the neighbor and his lawyers intent, because they're likely trying to take advantage at every turn. Don't trust anything you haven't verified and get everything in writing.
BillWalters
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by BillWalters »

I would try to avoid the expense of a lawyer, at least to start. Once you hire one, the expenses can skyrocket. I once saw a legal bill for $50k over removal of a small tree.

If you have owners title insurance, start there. Remember that you are under no obligation to do anything right now. Unless he sues you, you can do nothing. And he seems broke or close to it. IANAL, but the statute cited above seems very favorable in the event it goes to court, which may further dissuade him from filing.

This is clearly adversarial and texting with him is a bad idea.
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Watty
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by Watty »

I am not a lawyer but here are a few more things to add to your list of things to consider.

1) I once heard of a situation where a city paid to take a few feet off the front of someones lot to widen the street. They had a mortgage and the lender required that all that money be used to pay down the principal of the loan. You neighbor may not have a good understanding of how it would work in his situation but I would suspect that if he has a mortgage then he will not actually get all of the money that you might pay him since his lender would have to sign off on any agreement.

2) Be sure to look into setbacks and minimum lot sizes for your area. Your house may be located too close to the property line but I am not sure if that would cause you any problems or not. That might be an issue if you have a major remodel and need permits or need to rebuild after a fire. If the minimum lot size is something like a quarter of an acre and your neighbors lot would be less than that if he sells you some land then he may not be able to sell you any land even if he wanted to.

3) Be sure to check the property boundaries on the other sides of your lot. There could be problems with that too.

4) After talking with your lawyer I would consider just moving the fence to settle the problem with the 1500 square feet. That would leave a dispute of 10 square feet and I can't image that would be worth his while to try to take any legal action over.

5) Neither of you will be able to sell your property until this is resolved. With the pandemic going on the courts and any other needed government offices could be very backed up.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by senex »

Several people have said it, and to reiterate: lookup the adverse possession statutes in your area and cease all communication with neighbor, unless through a lawyer you hire. Don't offer money, don't say anything, don't text anything, etc. Who knows what could be used against you.

If the fence & driveway have existed for 10+ years, in many states you now officially own that property, regardless of the survey & deed. That's how adverse possession works.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by Sandtrap »

1 Stop communication. Disengage from the matter. Let your legal counsel handle everything.
2 Or, Get a survey and move your driveway and be done with it.

People will almost always do as they do with no obligation to be civil, fair, or nice.
And, once empowered and enabled, even moreso.

Aggression comes from unhappiness, anger, resentment, jealousy, frustration, Insecurity, and fear.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by TheDDC »

I wouldn't pay him a cent. I wouldn't pay an attorney a cent. Reroute as necessary to call off the dogs.

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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by MissHavisham »

dpusa wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:43 am Boglehead Guru, asking for some advice.
Make a new driveway. In my opinion this is black and white. The land is not yours, period. When you first moved in you should have looked at your parcel details and known that. I hope that doesn't sound harsh. My sister and I shared a room growing up and we literally had a line of masking tape down the center separating our sides lol.

Although I do agree that it sucks you didn't know, and that it is an inconvenience etc at the end of the day the land simply does not belong to you. It was probably uncomfortable for the neighbor to bring this up to you in the first place, and you most likely were in disbelief and then maybe defensive. From their perspective they told you 2 years ago, and you still have not made yourself a new driveway.

Think of it this way: You are out to dinner with your neighbor and the waiter sets down a plate of food. The plate is the dish your neighbor ordered and you start eating from it. He points it out, and instead of apologizing and passing the plate back, you continue to eat the entire meal. Sounds crazy when we replace property with food, but is it? Sure you can argue that legally since the plate was put nearer in front of you and not clearly labeled etc etc..
Good Luck!
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FIREchief
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by FIREchief »

The OP seems to have retired from this thread after being asked about how ten square feet could lead to the “crisis” he’s dealing with. Hmmmmm. :?
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by Kennedy »

This needs to be cleared up legally one way or the other. OP would have to disclose the driveway issue when/if he sells his home. No one would buy that hornet's nest with such an unresolved issue.

As mentioned numerous times, hire a real estate lawyer.

Have you checked to see if there is already a recorded easement?

Was the driveway in existence when you bought the property? For adverse possession claim purposes, it's important how long the driveway has been there.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by White Coat Investor »

Lawyer is obviously the right answer. But it would be fun to start parking/driving on the lawn just on my side of the property line starting tomorrow. The next offer might be a lot closer to the appraised value once he realizes it really doesn't bother you to stop using the driveway.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by vested1 »

Sandtrap wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:53 pm 1 Stop communication. Disengage from the matter. Let your legal counsel handle everything.
2 Or, Get a survey and move your driveway and be done with it.

People will almost always do as they do with no obligation to be civil, fair, or nice.
And, once empowered and enabled, even moreso.

Aggression comes from unhappiness, anger, resentment, jealousy, frustration, Insecurity, and fear.
j🌺
+1

I would be careful about escalating this situation on a personal level. Leave it to the lawyers. I moved from my long term home last year, relatively near where the linked story occurred.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2007/02/04/ ... ns-tragic/

All that over a driveway dispute. You never know what someone who is under a great deal of pressure, along with an aggressive attitude will do.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by Sconie »

cashboy wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:31 am based upon the facts as presented, get a lawyer. the neighbor has one; you should have one.
My thoughts as well. Plus, this is sounding as though it is becoming quite contentious and, accordingly, it may be best to have a "third party representative" handle it for you, lest this turns into a conflict which will carry-on for years and years and destroy the "peace and quiet" around your home.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by halfnine »

White Coat Investor wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:44 pm Lawyer is obviously the right answer. But it would be fun to start parking/driving on the lawn just on my side of the property line starting tomorrow. The next offer might be a lot closer to the appraised value once he realizes it really doesn't bother you to stop using the driveway.
This is the answer. And de-escalate.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by gd »

Re: title insurance. I discovered a pre-existing boundary problem years ago caused by an amazingly bad surveying error compounded by overly-casual neighbors. My (new) neighbor and I worked out an amicable solution and invested several thousand in a new survey and deeds. I inspected my title insurance carefully, and I believe consulted with the lawyer we were using for the deed correction paperwork, and the title insurance was useless. I see no use for title insurance beyond saving what used to be a trip to the county records office to ensure ownership is unblemished, and nowadays is a half-hour internet search. It's for the mortgage companies, not you, and it doesn't cost them anything. If anyone has actual evidence that title insurance covers such surveying and boundary matters, I'd be interested in seeing it.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by Sandtrap »

De-escalate
Dis-engage
Resolve
. . .
Then move to a better home with better, or better yet no, neighbors.

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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

It's 10 square feet.

The more I read here, the more I'd tell the neighbor to pound sand.
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by shell921 »

Sandtrap wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:53 pm 1 Stop communication. Disengage from the matter. Let your legal counsel handle everything.
2 Or, Get a survey and move your driveway and be done with it.

People will almost always do as they do with no obligation to be civil, fair, or nice.
And, once empowered and enabled, even moreso.

Aggression comes from unhappiness, anger, resentment, jealousy, frustration, Insecurity, and fear.
j🌺
I agree with this!


If it were me, and the neighbor was being this nasty, I would not offer to purchase the property. I would just reposition my driveway.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Land Border Issues & Aggressive Neighbor - Help Wanted Please

Post by ResearchMed »

vested1 wrote: Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:21 am
Sandtrap wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:53 pm 1 Stop communication. Disengage from the matter. Let your legal counsel handle everything.
2 Or, Get a survey and move your driveway and be done with it.

People will almost always do as they do with no obligation to be civil, fair, or nice.
And, once empowered and enabled, even moreso.

Aggression comes from unhappiness, anger, resentment, jealousy, frustration, Insecurity, and fear.
j🌺
+1

I would be careful about escalating this situation on a personal level. Leave it to the lawyers. I moved from my long term home last year, relatively near where the linked story occurred.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2007/02/04/ ... ns-tragic/

All that over a driveway dispute. You never know what someone who is under a great deal of pressure, along with an aggressive attitude will do.
:shock:

RM
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