What to do about an encroachment and a terminated rental agreement?

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What to do about an encroachment and a terminated rental agreement?

I’m part of a family owned business. For over 40 years our business has owned a piece of property. 40 years ago the Railroad company claimed according to their records there was a small encroachment onto RR property, so an agreement was put into place for the business to pay the RR rent each year. This past year we put the property up for sale. The new owner was going to try and buy out the piece of RR encroachment. After 2 survey, we have come to find out that there never was an encroachment. The RR terminated the rental “agreement”. Is our business entitled to a refund and, if so, how far back can we go? Is there a statute of limitations?

Asked on November 15, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

Terence Fenelon / Law Offices of Terence Fenelon

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I frankly don't know whether the is a statute of limitations in your jurisdiction.  The question which arises in my mind is whether you had ever taken any action to validate the claim of the railroad?  What did the railroad base their claim upon?  I believe that you also carry some of the blame for not using due diligence in substantiating the claim of encroachment. 

I would advise you to seek local counsel.  Depending upon the amount involved, you would likely have to establish that the railroad perpetrated a fraud upon which you REASONABLY relied.  Can that be done in your case in the absence of proof to the contrary?  I don't know.


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