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The Home Ownership Thread - Page 80

post #1186 of 2459
Quote:
Originally Posted by texas_jack View Post

I just got the survey back for our new house and it's good news for me but bad for the neighbors. It seems my lot goes up to about 1 ft of their house. Turns out the people who built the two homes were relatives and the bigger house (mine) owned both lots and when they moved out it wasn't split up evenly or something like that. I'm not sure what this means exactly other than I have a bigger lot than I thought.

That's likely all it will mean. They probably could not start new construction so close to the property line but the ship has sailed on any setback for the current house.
post #1187 of 2459
It means you have a deed showing a bigger lot than you thought. The neighbors are probably going to argue that they own it through adverse possession (google it). The question everyone asks in these situations is: is there a fence?

This post is not legal advice. You should get a lawyer.
post #1188 of 2459
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ataturk View Post

It means you have a deed showing a bigger lot than you thought. The neighbors are probably going to argue that they own it through adverse possession (google it). The question everyone asks in these situations is: is there a fence?

This post is not legal advice. You should get a lawyer.

What would the other folks own though as TJ says the other house comes close to but doesn't hit the other lot. TJ, is there a driveway for the other house or something?

Isn't this that case of easement where a common owner severs lots?
post #1189 of 2459
There is no fence and no landscaping other than mowing that I can see. Question is, who has been mowing it? I guess when I move in I'll start mowing it just to let them know. If they want to get all legal on me I'll let them but I won't pursue it initially.
post #1190 of 2459
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

What would the other folks own though as TJ says the other house comes close to but doesn't hit the other lot. TJ, is there a driveway for the other house or something?

Isn't this that case of easement where a common owner severs lots?

I don't think there is anything on this part of the land other than grass and trees but I'm going to drive by tonight to get a better idea.

I don't know what this means, " easement where a common owner severs lots"
post #1191 of 2459
Quote:
Originally Posted by texas_jack View Post

There is no fence and no landscaping other than mowing that I can see. Question is, who has been mowing it? I guess when I move in I'll start mowing it just to let them know. If they want to get all legal on me I'll let them but I won't pursue it initially.

You ought to at least let them know the situation. If it was common-family ownership in the past the possession wouldn't have been adverse, it would have been permissive. The adverse possession would start once you know that they're using your land and you object to it. That's when you'd need to decide what you want to do about it.

You don't need to be confrontational about it. You could just nicely let them know that you are the actual owner of the lot space and that you don't have a problem with them using it, but that at some point that might change. That would preserve your rights for the future.
post #1192 of 2459
I am not a lawyer to really, really take anything I have to say with a grain of salt.

To my knowledge there is an "easement by prior use" but I'm not sure if it has anything to do with your situation. It's where a common owner severs two lots and one lot needs to use part of the other lot. The classic is two lots are created and one lot is land locked in regards to access. The only way the landlocked lot can get to public access is over the other lot. The logic is it was the original common owner meant to allow this necessary and beneficial access to the land locked lot.

As you say it's just empty ground not sure there's any type of easement to talk about there. If they start to build another structure that close to your lot line, or extend an addition over it, I'd get on that right away though.
post #1193 of 2459
Quote:
Originally Posted by VaderDave View Post

You ought to at least let them know the situation. If it was common-family ownership in the past the possession wouldn't have been adverse, it would have been permissive. The adverse possession would start once you know that they're using your land and you object to it. That's when you'd need to decide what you want to do about it.

You don't need to be confrontational about it. You could just nicely let them know that you are the actual owner of the lot space and that you don't have a problem with them using it, but that at some point that might change. That would preserve your rights for the future.

Yeah, I'm not going to be mean nor do I have any intention of building anything there (though I might want to cut a tree).

I suspect the main thing they will be unhappy about is when they want to move and can't claim the space next to their house as their own.
post #1194 of 2459
He's saying you need to be clear that you're giving them permission to use your land, so they can't claim "adverse" possession of it.

These rules vary from state to state; you really should consult a lawyer about your situation. Otherwise all you might get out of this is to pay the property taxes on the land...
post #1195 of 2459
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

I am not a lawyer to really, really take anything I have to say with a grain of salt.

To my knowledge there is an "easement by prior use" but I'm not sure if it has anything to do with your situation. It's where a common owner severs two lots and one lot needs to use part of the other lot. The classic is two lots are created and one lot is land locked in regards to access. The only way the landlocked lot can get to public access is over the other lot. The logic is it was the original common owner meant to allow this necessary and beneficial access to the land locked lot.

As you say it's just empty ground not sure there's any type of easement to talk about there. If they start to build another structure that close to your lot line, or extend an addition over it, I'd get on that right away though.

I think you're thinking of what we'd call an easement by necessity, which doesn't really have any application to land line disputes unless it completely cuts off access to one of the lots.
post #1196 of 2459
How long have the neighbors lived there?

If they haven't been there for the adverse possession timespan, then they can't make that claim. They don't inherit those rights when they buy the property.

I think the real question would revolve around exclusive use. If its basically a yard, and owners of both property have enjoyed looking at it, letting their dog/cat play in it, and occasionally wandered through it, then the neighbors have not been holding the land at the exclusion of the previous owner and thus can't claim adverse possession.

Will probably come down to some rule on surveying errors and grandfathered property lines...
post #1197 of 2459
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post

If they haven't been there for the adverse possession timespan, then they can't make that claim. They don't inherit those rights when they buy the property.

I don't know whether that's true in his state or yours, but it's definitely not true in mine. The concept is called "tacking" and can be employed in circumstances where possession between the prior neighbors and their successors is continuous.
post #1198 of 2459
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ataturk View Post

I don't know whether that's true in his state or yours, but it's definitely not true in mine. The concept is called "tacking" and can be employed in circumstances where possession between the prior neighbors and their successors is continuous.

Only if they deeded that piece of property (even erroneously). If they just bought the house and it was never specified that it included that land...I don't think you can tack on the claim. There has to be something in writing showing the change in possession of the property in question.
post #1199 of 2459
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post

Only if they deeded that piece of property (even erroneously). If they just bought the house and it was never specified that it included that land...I don't think you can tack on the claim. There has to be something in writing showing the change in possession of the property in question.

Not true in my state if it's a true tacking claim, only if someone purports to transfer adversely possessed property without continuous possession. Like, for example, if I sell you my house and you move in and occupy the fenced in back yard (that I didn't own but had occupied), you can tack your claim to mine. If I sell you my house after my neighbor knocks down the fence and reoccupies the back yard, you can't make a tacking claim based on continuity of possession (even if I had occupied the yard for the statutory period) and you would need color of title from me to assert my adverse possession claim.

I'd like to emphasize again that this isn't legal advice and that these rules vary from state to state.
post #1200 of 2459
I think it's probably all moot because we contacted the seller and he said he mows the area in dispute and that the neighbors know it's not theirs.
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