Neighbors Encroachment on Property Line

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Latest post 03-03-2008 7:07 PM by adjuster jack. 6 replies.
  • 03-02-2008 1:46 PM

    • Ron19
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 03-02-2008
    • Posts 1

    Question [=?] Neighbors Encroachment on Property Line

    Four years ago my wife and I purchased (10) acres of land to build a house and retire. We just moved into our home this past year. When we bought the property there was a survey; however, on the west side of the property there was an old fence, and the survey never pinned anything but the N/S corners on that side.
    I had alway suspected that my neighbors to the west may have been using approx. (20) foot of my land (to the old fence), but I never knew for sure until I recently had it surveyed again, at my cost. All along the (1000ft) N/S perimeter on the west of my property, my neighbors have assumed to be their property to the old fence line, which is inside my property approx. (20) feet. And (3) of my neighbors have put materials (large dirt and wood piles), and old things (engine blocks, batteries, tires, swing sets etc.) on my property. As well as , one of them has built a small metal building (approx. 8x10) on my property.
    I have talked to several of them, and they seem skeptical that it is my property, and certainly reluctant to move their building, materials, and junk etc. I am planning on building a fence on the property line, but approx. (1/3) of this line will blocked by the materials, and junk that they have strewn in this area. What recourse do I have?
    I have spoken to the Sheriff's office, and they told me this is a civil matter, and they would not plan to do anything. They also told me I could not personally put this material back on my neighbors property, or haul it off. But they did say I could go ahead and build the fence?????
    I am confused on how I can legally proceed. Have my neighbors used the property so long that it is theirs??? If so what good is a Title Search, Title Insurance, and a Title Survey?
    How should I proceed????

  • 03-02-2008 2:43 PM In reply to

    re: Neighbors Encroachment on Property Line

    Sorry to have to tell you this but your neighbor on that side may just own that 20' X 1000' stretch as a result of adverse possession (google it).

    Don't expect any cooperation from your neighbors in moving that stuff.

    Basically, you've got two choices.

    Hire a lawyer.

    Or hire a backhoe and dump truck, shoot the dice and hope that your neighbors won't want to spend money on a lawyer either.

    With the first option, at 200 per hour you could run up a 10k or 20k legal bill pretty quick and still lose the property.

    With the second option, seems to me the worst that can happen is you end up getting sued, lose the property, and have to pay them for their junk. You can probably get to that point without even hiring a lawyer so it'd be a lot cheaper in the long run. Just take dated photos of all the junk so you have a record of it if somebody starts saying it was worth a lot of money.

    I'm not telling what do, just relaying a couple of options that come to mind.

    It's up to you.






    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 03-02-2008 8:59 PM In reply to

    re: Neighbors Encroachment on Property Line

    First, you should consult a real estate attorney.

    Send each neighbor a letter informing them the property is yours and that they have a reasonable amount of time, maybe two weeks, to remove their property from yours, otherwise you will move it for them, even if it means you're moving to the dump. Run the letter past your attorney first to check your wording and make sure you don't say something you shouldn't.
  • 03-02-2008 9:05 PM In reply to

    Disagree [)*(] re: Neighbors Encroachment on Property Line

    "Sorry to have to tell you this but your neighbor on that side may just own that 20' X 1000' stretch as a result of adverse possession (google it)."

    I disagree. If the neighbors didn't know they were using your land in the first place, and unless they actually hired an attorney, went to court and had a judge rule in their favor, you still own the land. You would know if that happened.

    BUT, don't sit and let it mature into an adverse possession claim.
  • 03-03-2008 12:51 PM In reply to

    Agree [=|=] re: Neighbors Encroachment on Property Line

    Also a good option.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 03-03-2008 1:14 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 48,237

    re: Neighbors Encroachment on Property Line

    Laymans take:

    How long has all this stuff, buildings etc been on "your lands" ?

    Adverse possession is a "mere" 10 years in MO---but how to count 10 is not always simple as the use often must be open and notorious and adverse such that somebody must know or have reasonable opportunty to know it was "wrong"-- thus if it was by mistake it may or may not count---but once the mistake is recognized the meter is sure to run!

    I have one very good attorney friend who takes the view he'd rather defend you after a bulldozer adventure than fight it thru a paper jungle to be polite--but thats a call you neeed to make with skilled MO counsel!

    There may be other ways to preserve your lands--by grant of permission which interrupts the clock back to zero.

    But above all do NOT snooze on the issues.

    And I would NOT discuss points of view with my neighbors or friends--just with my paid MO counsel!

    Its NOT up to the Sheriffs Office to make the rules--but you are unwise to ask for guidance lest somebody get a rule or order against you. (In my friends case he brough the heavy equipment in and cleared off his lands BEFORE anyone could react--had he blabbed all over town and the enemy gottin a restraining orer or stop work order then he could have been in brig trouble to proceed adainst such an order---but point is he made a surgical removal of junk and it was over with in a matter of hours.

    Given that there is a building--your choices may be more difficult-folks frown on just driving a dozer over buildings...-use good counsel up front.



  • 03-03-2008 7:07 PM In reply to

    Agree [=|=] re: Neighbors Encroachment on Property Line

    "Bulldozer Adventure."

    I like the sound of that.

    And with 8 x 10 metal sheds going for a couple of hundred bucks there's not much risk there.

    I'm still not telling you to do it.

    Just an option.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
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