What is the best course of action and what recourse exists for a visible encroachment with property damage?

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What is the best course of action and what recourse exists for a visible encroachment with property damage?

My neighbor started construction without permits to extend his rear shed. It visibly appears that the extension encroaches on my property. Additionally, in order to accommodate the extension, he cut my gutter and moved a panel of my fence. I called Licenses & Inspectionsand they issued violations and a stop work order, however they will not require he obtain a survey to determine land lines and it has been over a year since any further action has been taken.

Asked on June 5, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Sue your neighbor--he has no right to encroach on your land, and no right to damage or destroy your property. You would sue him for a preliminary restraining order stopping him from continuing, if he's still doing work; for an injunction requiring him to remove any encroachment; and for monetary compensation for his misappropriation of some of your land, damage to your fence, and damage to your gutter. You will probably need to obtain a survey yourself, if you don't have a reliable recent one, but may be able to recover the cost thereof from your neighbor. This is not apt to be a simple case--you are best advised to retain a real estate attorney to help you. Good luck.


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