What can I do if I just bought a house and my neighbor’s driveway and fence are 5 feet into my property?

I found my property markers as per the survey map, I know for a fact they are my markers, I measured carefully. I called the surveyor who did the survey 6 years ago and he also remembers finding those markers in my neighbor’s driveway. Is there anything that I can do to protect them from gaining a prescriptive easement? How can I protect my land from?

Asked on December 17, 2015 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A prescriptive easement, in your state, can be earned by five years continuous (i.e. regular--doesn't have to be every single day), "open and notorious" (i.e. obvious) use that is "hostile" to your possession--which basically just means without your permission. The letter your realtor suggests may help prevent an easement if one has not accrued already, but if the neighbor has already qualified for one, will not make a difference. You are advised to consult in person and detail with a real estate attorney about this situation.


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