What to do if the new owner next to my home says part of my property is his?

New neighbor next to me had his lot and my lot surveyed. He then told me that approximately 9 feet of my property is legally his and that I need to move my fence or take it down; if not he will remove it. I have lived at my property for 13 years and the fence was up when I bought my house. He says he can legally do whatever he wants because it’s his property and I can’t do anything about it. Is this true? Do I have any options?

Asked on July 22, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If he is correct - and I would not rely on his survey to dispute the issue - the he can indeed force you to take down the fence.  If he damages the fence doing it himself then you have recourse.  What you would ask an attorney here is the law on adverse possession in your state.  That is where you obtain property that is not yours by meeting various factors.  But I believe that in Illinois the primary factor is that the possession must be for 20 years. Please speak with some one.  Good luck.

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