What to do about a fence encroachment and a claim of adverse possession?

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What to do about a fence encroachment and a claim of adverse possession?

I bought my home 9 years ago and my neighbors moved in 6 years ago. Both of us were told at our closing that the fence between our house is 8 feet on our property. This fence was in place before each of moved in. The neighbor wants to replace his fence next week. I questioned whether he was going to return it to the proper place and he said no. He said it is his now because we both signed our closing papers excepting the fence. Is this true? Is this land his because they have kept it up over the last few years. We both have surveys showing the error but never wanted to become “those” neighbors. Can I make his return to the correct lines without a lot of cost for lawyers. Who should I start to call?

Asked on September 6, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this coutnry to have a valid claim for adverse possession one or his or her predecessors must have used another's property for five (5) years in an open, hostile manner under claim of right and to the exclusion of the other party while paying the property taxes on the parcel claimed as being owned.

From what I see in your question is no claim of right or payment of property taxes. I suggest that if you want the use of the land you own that you contact a real estate attorney to press the matter and get the property line set as it should to set the fence in the right place per the survey of record. Good fences make good neighbors.


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