If my neighbors won’t remove their building from my property, can I take them to court to get them to remove it?

We didn’t know to get a survey done before purchasing our home but a few years later when we did I found out our neighbors entire building is our property. The survey matches up to the

aerial photos from the tax assessor. They refuse to remove their property and have went as far as pulling up marker stakes. What should I do?

Asked on March 27, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

d on what you write, they would meet many of the criteria for adverse possession other than, it appears, time: you are correct in that it takes 20 years in your state. Until someone successfully gets property via adverse possession, the owner can re-assert possession and remove them. You have to file a lawsuit: in the suit, you should simultaneously seek a declaratory judgment, or court determination, fixing or setting the boundaries; an order that they remove the structure and pay any costs to remediate your property (i.e. they can't leave damage behind); and if you incurred other monetary costs, you can try to get compesation for those, too. This kind of suit can be complicated; you are advised to retain an attorney to help you, rather than doing this "pro se" (as your own attorney). Since you're not sure of exactly when this structure was built, file the case as soon as you can, before more time passes.


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