How do I know if my neighbor’s fence is in encroachment of my property?

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How do I know if my neighbor’s fence is in encroachment of my property?

I purchased a house 1.5 years ago. My neighbor’s driveway is adjacent to my driveway, however his guest house has a fence around it that is clearly about 8 feet in my lot. It takes an 8×15 area of the end of my driveway. I do not know the owner, he does not live there, and I am not sure how I can find out if there’s an easement clause on my lot or if there has been any legal papers allowing them to use my land. I have received copies of survey and records from the City, but in none of them I can see them mentioning the issue. What is my next step? How can I get help with this before the statue of limitation runs out?

Asked on May 5, 2016 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Contact a title company to have your land resurveyed, to confirm the boundaries on your deed, etc. with their survey results, and to do a compehensive search of recorded deeds and easements--you've already done some of that, but they are professionals and this what they do: let them render a professional opinion.
If the fence is on your land, retain a real estate attorney to contact the owner: having the communication come from an attorney will add wait to it. The attorney can try to negotiate an amiable settlement; if that's not possible, the lawyer can file a legal action to have the fence removed.


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