Are current surveys more "accurate than a survey from 20 / 30 years ago ???

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Joel in Morrow, Georgia

86 months ago

Surveying today is more accurate than it was 20-30 years ago. As technology advances, so does surveying. You can achieve better results with todays surveying tools as apposed to 20 years ago...with or without GPS.

I'm sure their are companies out there that will "tweak" the bounds of a property to fit the clients needs. This is not common though as its very unprofessional...not to mention illegal.

You'd be surprised how a better survey can effect a properties acreage. A few seconds/minutes 100ths/tenths +/- can go a long ways.

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Gagal in Southwest Brevard Cnty, Florida

37 months ago

HELP!! I have had two surveys done in six months. They don't even agree!! My deed has measurements that do not match what the surveyor marked in 1990. The lot was split off from a piece for family property at that time. Now my cousin has built a "reclaimed" fence along the side and it is on my property IF I get to own the property described in the deed. The difference in the survey measurements on one side is 1.6 feet (or .6 feet according to the second survey) and on the back side it is 4.49 feet (or 4.15 feet on the second one). The length of the property line is 250 feet. So we are talking about a considerable amount of land.
I retained an attorney when I had the first survey done to get the dilapadated fence removed. The second survey was the lawyer's suggestion to back-up the first one.
Which will stand up in court...the measurements in my deed or what a surveyor put on the ground???

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RAV

37 months ago

Gagal in Southwest Brevard Cnty, Florida said: HELP!! I have had two surveys done in six months. They don't even agree!! My deed has measurements that do not match what the surveyor marked in 1990. The lot was split off from a piece for family property at that time. Now my cousin has built a "reclaimed" fence along the side and it is on my property IF I get to own the property described in the deed. The difference in the survey measurements on one side is 1.6 feet (or .6 feet according to the second survey) and on the back side it is 4.49 feet (or 4.15 feet on the second one). The length of the property line is 250 feet. So we are talking about a considerable amount of land.
I retained an attorney when I had the first survey done to get the dilapadated fence removed. The second survey was the lawyer's suggestion to back-up the first one.
Which will stand up in court...the measurements in my deed or what a surveyor put on the ground???

The Warrantee Deed. Provided that the descriptions are in fact Bearing and Distance from a point. If they describe features or are ambiguous then that can be a problem.

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brooks in Grand Rapids, Michigan

37 months ago

I recently purchased 48acres +/- out of town, and part of the purchase agreement was 1. a warrantee deed and 2. a staked survey. Well, the survey was never done- even thought the seller signed off that it was, and after much hassle, I was able to get it completed this past week. The new survey just came in- and it's 1.36 acres short! Every property line was 11' to 24' short of the survey for the advertised sale. The same company did both surveys- and the seller's portion they kept for themselves came up perfectly matched, but every one of my property lines was short.

How is it possible that the surveys could be so different?! Should I ask for a new survey from a different company? This is more than a $5,000 loss :(

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wtd in Antioch, California

37 months ago

THe question here in NOT 'Which survey is correct?' - the question is 'Why don't the two surveys from the same surveyor match?' - so no need to pay for another one, won't answer the question.

Take the 2 surveys to another surveyor and ask for an opinion as to why these surveys don't agree - much cheaper than another survey and it's really what you need at this point. You don't need more data, you need to sort out the data you have.

Once you have that opinion - possibly something actionable against the first surveyor - you'll be able to make a decision.

If there is something actionable against the first surveyor, based on the opinion of the second surveyor, then you'll need a third survey and can pursue a claim against the surveyor. Cost of the new survey would be in any claim against the first surveyor.

To get another survey first would put you out of pocket for the new survey and no closer to the answer to the question 'why don't these two surveys match?'. You'd just have another question - 'How come none of these three surveys match?'

Just a note - normally surveys will vary slightly, but yours disagree by more than 2% which is pretty well out of the 'acceptable' range.

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brooks in Grand Rapids, Michigan

37 months ago

wtd in Antioch, California said: THe question here in NOT 'Which survey is correct?' - the question is 'Why don't the two surveys from the same surveyor match?' - so no need to pay for another one, won't answer the question.

Take the 2 surveys to another surveyor and ask for an opinion as to why these surveys don't agree - much cheaper than another survey and it's really what you need at this point. You don't need more data, you need to sort out the data you have.

Once you have that opinion - possibly something actionable against the first surveyor - you'll be able to make a decision.

If there is something actionable against the first surveyor, based on the opinion of the second surveyor, then you'll need a third survey and can pursue a claim against the surveyor. Cost of the new survey would be in any claim against the first surveyor.

To get another survey first would put you out of pocket for the new survey and no closer to the answer to the question 'why don't these two surveys match?'. You'd just have another question - 'How come none of these three surveys match?'

Just a note - normally surveys will vary slightly, but yours disagree by more than 2% which is pretty well out of the 'acceptable' range.

Thank you!
One more question- of which I can't seem to find an answer:
1. How much variance is allowed "+/-", standard?
Looking back at the legal property discription on the deed, each property line is followed by those words. The surveying company stated that the first survey- for the land division- was based on the deed description, not an actually staked survey.

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wtd in California

37 months ago

Well, that makes a differnce.

THe variance isn't really 'set' or 'standard' - mostly it depends on what people are willing to fight for :)
It's a situational kind of thing, depends on the value of the land, the size of the parcel, occupational lines and such.

For example - if your town required you to have say, 6000 square feet to be able to build a house on your lot and one survey showed 6,002 sq. ft and a second survey showed 5,999 sq. ft that would be a very small variation, but would be significant.

If, on the other hand you had a 600 acre parcel for cattle grazing and you lost 10 acres, well, the only real result is your cows have to graze a foot or two short of where the deed says they can graze - no big deal.

Existing property corners and occupational lines and how long they've been accepted make a great difference. If a new owner gets their parcel staked and shows a neighbor's fence a foot onto their property and it's been accepted by everyone for 20 or 30 years or whatever - probably nothing would come of that. Everybody thought the yard only went to the fence this long - what's the big deal now?

One survey I did out here in CA the property corners were about 150' out of position - owners on both sides had accepted that since the middle 1800's, built fences and outbuildings using those corners - those corners were allowed to stand and the only thing anybody got out of it was a new idea about how much acreage they had.

Sorry so windy - but anyhow, with your two surveys being 'different', one a paper survey and another an actual survey - I guess in the second survey corners were recovered and they'll rule the day - so long as nothing of significance comes of it, i.e. your house is now in your neighbor's yard, etc. This isn't really that unusual and normally the physical monuments will govern, all other things being equal.

In short, accepted physical monuments will take precedence over deed calls generally.

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Jen in Palm Bay, Florida

36 months ago

I am also having a boundary dispute with a neighbor. I recently bought a house and have owned it for a year. The house next door was bought 6 months ago. The new neighbors say my driveway is on their property by over four feet and has asked me to move my driveway. They are going to put up a fence and it will begin in the middle of my driveway. My survey and their survey do not agree. They were both done within three months of each other. How can I know which survey to go by and can they make me move a driveway that has been used for 25 years (paved for the last ten)? The new owner called this into question even before she bought the property which is how I found out about her survey and how it doesn't agree with mine. I am afraid that one day I will come home to a fence built right through my driveway.
Recently my neighbor had a new survey done. I found a new pin marked with an orange band and orange flag next to my driveway. According to this mark, my driveway may be over their property up to 18 inches for about 30 feet. I was willing to "trim" the driveway. When I showed this to my neighbor he said that I was incorrect. That the new survey mark at the end of my driveway is off by four feet. This is his new survey mark. He is unwilling to show me where the survey suggests our boundary line is and says I need to get another one. However, I know from the previous responses there is no guarantee that they will agree this time either. What should I do?

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Jen in Palm Bay, Florida

36 months ago

Yes the survey that I currently have is 11years old. I do not believe there is a right of way for the driveway or an easement but this driveway has been used since the house was originally built 27 years ago and the driveway was paved 10 years ago. There is no knowledge of any issue of "encroaching" in the history of the property according to the previous owners account. He owned the property for 10 years and the driveway was put in soon after he purchased it. After completing a survey he paved the dirt driveway that had been in place since the original owner 25 years ago.

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wtd in California

36 months ago

Jen in Palm Bay, Florida said: I am also having a boundary dispute ...

I probably wouldn't sweat this too much.
This happened -
[quote]Recently my neighbor had a new survey done. I found a new pin marked with an orange band and orange flag next to my driveway.

But yet -
[quote]
When I showed this to my neighbor he said that I was incorrect. That the new survey mark at the end of my driveway is off by four feet.

Says who?

You've got an iron pin, set by a licensed surveyor and your neighbor simply says it's wrong.
I think I'd rely on the pin.
Some comfort might be taken in that the fence installer will too.
When the fence installer shows up, walks to the pin and gets ready to start work and the neighbor walks four feet into your yard and says 'No - start here', the fence installer's gonna have a problem with that.
So I wouldn't worry about coming home to find the neighbor's fence in your driveway ;)
If your neighbor's so sure he's right, have him show you the 'correct' pin at the property corner.
Sounds like you've been as reasonable as could be, offering to trim your driveway - I'd stick to that until he can actually put his finger of some type of monumentation that shows a different location for the property corner.

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

I purchased a lot in a subdivision 19 years ago. In order to build my home, a survey was done and submitted with the plans to the city, permit granted. The survey was done both before and after the slab foundations were poured. The lots behind and to the left were vacant, undeveloped. Near the completion of the house, we had a 10 inch wide retaining wall poured on 3 sides with its outermost edges two inches inside our property lines as established and staked by the surveyor. We erected a 6 ft wood fence on the retaining wall. A neighbor abutting one side of my property (second owner of the adjacent property since it was built) has stated that he is going to make me tear out my 295 feet of retaining wall and force me to erect a new fence because his survey says I am on his property. My initial survey was what both the city and my contractor relied upon when we built. If surveys can change or differ, what good are they? Are people suppose to move their retaining walls, fences, garages, etc. every time a new survey is done? He has raised the elevation of his property ABOVE my retaining wall, so it is below his ground level. Even if my survey is incorrect, It could not possibly be more than one inch over the line as I have a 5 foot servitude for the utility company and to move in any would interfere with the servitude and the utility company's access to their equipment. Is there a way for me to see a copy of HIS survey? Attempts have been made to discuss this with the adjacent neighbor to no avail. I would like to settle this but if surveys change from survey to survey and can not be relied upon, what good are they?

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wtd in California

32 months ago

First-I wouldn't worry too much. We've had nasty neighbors as long as we've had lot surveys :-).

If your neighbor is a second owner he may be relying on a 'paper survey' assembled from available public records just for property transfer purposes and aren't actually boundary surveys. It's not unusual for them to disagree with what's actually in the field.

Is your property - and your survey - monumented with pipes or other physical objects marking the corners that you can find and identify? If so take your neighbor out and rub his nose in them and rely on them. They carry the most weight in any property survey.

Ask your neighbor, if y'all are on speaking terms, to take you to his property corners and show them to you and if he can't ask him how he 'knows' you're encroaching.

If no physical cormer markers exist and your neighbor intends to take action against you - trying to make you move improvements, etc., he'll have to have more than a 'paper survey' to base it on - he'll actually have to get a lot survey and have his corners actually set in the ground.

In simple terms, he can't simply stand there with a picture in his hand, point to your wall and say 'That's in the wrong place'. He has to be able to point to something in the ground that marks the corner.

Most nasty neighbors 'come around' after realizing that it's more than just pointing at your wall and saying it's wrong, that they'll actually have to get a 'real survey', etc. and they consult a surveyor and find all this out.

Worst case, he's an idiot over an inch and does get the survey done and it shows your improvements over his line and takes you to court over it, the court normally works in favor of the 'accepted boundary' rather than the mathmatic boundary, adjacent property owner's who've improved up to and accepted what they think is the boundary is usually accepted as the boundary as long as no harm's done. This happens all the time and not many walls are actually moved.

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mateau in Tampa, Florida

32 months ago

Physical evidence in a first survey has precedence. If the evidence is there and it conforms to the first survey then build your fence.

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mateau in Tampa, Florida

32 months ago

Adverse possession is interpreted in not so funny ways. If you have a shared driveway that is not deeded but has been in common use for 27 years then chances are you have a shared driveway and your neighbor can not take that away from you. This is an instance where you really should find a good Engineering / Surveying FIRM who will support your position of adverse possesion through the courts. Tell them up front what the deal is and ask them if they have worked with legal representation in the past regarding the issue that you are bringing them. Also work this from the other end. Interview law firms willing to take property law cases and get a referral for a retracement survey. Prepare to dig in for the long haul.

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mateau in Tampa, Florida

32 months ago

Your neighbor purchased his property with your retaining wall already established. If in fact your retaining wall oversteps your bounds, it has for 19 years. 19 years is long enough to establish adverse possession. If in fact your retaining wall does not overstep your bounds then his backfill is on your property and should be removed.

If you really don't care than have a new survey performed to establish the retaining wall as the recognised property line. This is simply a property line adjustment and should end the problem.

Or just do nothing and this will probably go away as your neighbor probably won't want to spend any money to gain a negligible advantage. It sounds like he just wants to kvetch.

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

I am pretty sure I can locate the monuments in the front but since I moved my retaining wall 2 inches inside of the property line, the rear ones now reside inside the yard(s) of neighbors. If my surveyor was incorrect, I am guessing they would be UNDER my retaining wall. I have pictures that show the forms for the retaining wall with the orange flagged rods OUTSIDE of the forms. The certified, licensed surveyor that did my survey is now deceased and his firm was sold. I contacted the new firm by phone to learn this and was informed that they did not have any of his notes. They offered to prepare a new survey for me for an estimated cost of $550 but it would probably not agree with my original since the technology has changed over the past 19 years. My first objection with that is I can't afford it. Secondly, why get a survey done that may not support my position. If a survey is only an opinion, then why would ANY survey be considered valid as long as someone has one that differs. I could say the same of the neighbor's survey. His is only an opinion? Further research online seems to hold that the validity of his might carry more weight since there were more monuments and newer technology at the time his was prepared. The survey company I called said that I could not rely upon the rods placed at the time of my survey as they could have been moved and no longer have validity. The survey company has no interest in doing anything but collect more money from me and hold that only a new survey could determine the true boundary lines.

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wtd in California

32 months ago

Heri in Kenner, Louisiana said: I am pretty sure I can locate the monuments in the front but since I moved my retaining wall 2 inches inside of the property line, the rear ones now reside inside the yard(s) of neighbors. If my surveyor was incorrect, I am guessing they would be UNDER my retaining wall. I have pictures that show the forms for the retaining wall with the orange flagged rods OUTSIDE of the forms. The certified, licensed surveyor that did my survey is now deceased and his firm was sold. I contacted the new firm by phone to learn this and was informed that they did not have any of his notes. They offered to prepare a new survey for me for an estimated cost of $550 but it would probably not agree with my original since the technology has changed over the past 19 years. My first objection with that is I can't afford it. Secondly, why get a survey done that may not support my position. If a survey is only an opinion, then why would ANY survey be considered valid as long as someone has one that differs. I could say the same of the neighbor's survey. His is only an opinion? Further research online seems to hold that the validity of his might carry more weight since there were more monuments and newer technology at the time his was prepared. The survey company I called said that I could not rely upon the rods placed at the time of my survey as they could have been moved and no longer have validity. The survey company has no interest in doing anything but collect more money from me and hold that only a new survey could determine the true boundary lines.

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For goodness sakes don't get another survey! You've not done anything that requires any action - your neighbor has. If he wants to show that your wall's in the wrong place - make HIM show YOU!.
There's no burden on you here at all.
You're absolutely right about the new survey company. If you ever need a survey, find a different one.

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

The neighbor purchased the house 9 years ago and had NO fencing other than MY fence which my survey of 19 years ago shows INSIDE my property lines. Not long after they moved in, they installed an in-ground pool necessitating that their property be enclosed. Instead of being grateful that a fence already existed to the rear, and they need only fence along their sides, instead of grateful, they became hateful. We got along very well until they installed a garden along the backside of my fence. It is built up much higher than my retaining wall and they basically made a retaining wall out of my fence. Mud and water constantly come onto my property. I asked them very politely to remove the mud from my retaining wall and the vegetation that was growing through, over, and under my fence. Their vegetation began pushing my fence boards off the rails and I replaced 9 of them. I actually got an estimate from a fence company, planning to replace my fence totally at MY cost last year but did not want to have them ruin a NEW fence. That idea was put on hold for the past year waiting for them to act neighborly. Their roots grow between the fence boards and the rails, trunks wrap around my fence posts, their watering system keeps the lower portion of the fence boards constantly wet. I asked again, not as politely as last year, for some coopertion. None. I began (with the city's permission) to trim the lower portion of the boards in an attempt to get the boards out of their wet mud and have space to place some concrete blocks to heighten my retaining wall. That is when things got nasty. They called the city on me stating I had no right to trim the fence. My fence is now in need of being removed. If I took my fence down, they would be required to put one up due to the pool. There is no more communication between us. That is no longer an option and they have made that abundantly clear. I would like to settle this like rational adults and neighbors.

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

mateau in Tampa, Florida said: Your neighbor purchased his property with your retaining wall already established. If in fact your retaining wall oversteps your bounds, it has for 19 years. 19 years is long enough to establish adverse possession. If in fact your retaining wall does not overstep your bounds then his backfill is on your property and should be removed.

If you really don't care than have a new survey performed to establish the retaining wall as the recognised property line. This is simply a property line adjustment and should end the problem.

Or just do nothing and this will probably go away as your neighbor probably won't want to spend any money to gain a negligible advantage. It sounds like he just wants to kvetch.

Thank you for ALL your comments. They are greatly appreciated.

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

wtd in California said: ===========================================
For goodness sakes don't get another survey! You've not done anything that requires any action - your neighbor has. If he wants to show that your wall's in the wrong place - make HIM show YOU!.
There's no burden on you here at all.
You're absolutely right about the new survey company. If you ever need a survey, find a different one.

You made my day. Thanks so much for your comment.

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

wtd in California said: ===========================================
For goodness sakes don't get another survey! You've not done anything that requires any action - your neighbor has. If he wants to show that your wall's in the wrong place - make HIM show YOU!.
There's no burden on you here at all.
You're absolutely right about the new survey company. If you ever need a survey, find a different one.

Thanks. I have read many of your comments not only to my questions but to others as well and you are extremely helpful.

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mateau in Tampa, Florida

32 months ago

Heri in Kenner, Louisiana said: Thanks. I have read many of your comments not only to my questions but to others as well and you are extremely helpful.

I should have explained what a Boundary Adjustment is. That is when you and your neighbor agree to adjust the property line with the help of a survey. This survey gets filed and new deeds are written to reflect the change. Generally this is by agreement and expenses are shared. However if you and your neighbor can not agree to this then do nothing. It's up to him to act.

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

I do not believe the neighbors would be willing to agree to anything. They will not even discuss the matter with me. I have made several attempts to handle the situation in an adult neighborly fashion to no avail. Thanks for the information.

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

Been there. Done that.
Permit NOT required to demo fence, only to replace or erect new.
Because I set my concrete wall and fencing INSIDE my property line, the monuments are actually outside of my fencing and only accessible through neighbors yards. Why should I pay for anything when I already have certified survey? It has been my wall and fence for years. Shouldn't the burden fall to the neighbor to prove otherwise?

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

mateau in Tampa, Florida said:

I would love nothing more than to resolve this matter with the neighbor without either of us incurring any expense but they have made it perfectly clear that is not an option. Although I am willing to continue attempts at resolution, they are NOT. We could play the game of calling bldg. inspectors on each other but that is NOT my style. I took the road to ASK them to stop and prevent futher intrusion from their higher elevation. They called the bldg inspector on me for trimming the fence. Instead of a court ordered cease and desist, all I need do is call the bldg. inspector and report them without any cost to me. The bldg. inspector can enforce orders to have them stop the intrusion. Should that be my next step before a court ordered cease and desist?

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wtd in California

32 months ago

Heri in Kenner, Louisiana said: Been there. Done that.
Permit NOT required to demo fence, only to replace or erect new.
Because I set my concrete wall and fencing INSIDE my property line, the monuments are actually outside of my fencing and only accessible through neighbors yards. Why should I pay for anything when I already have certified survey? It has been my wall and fence for years. Shouldn't the burden fall to the neighbor to prove otherwise?

============================================================
Exactly right.
One thing you might do, cost you a few minutes and the price of a phone call ...
I've worked in 17 states, none of them were Louisiana, so I'm not sure how it works there, but in most of the places where I've done grading plans the building code says that a property owner is responsible for keeping water generated on their property ON THEIR PROPERTY until it is conducted to the street in front of the property.
Storm water and irrigation run-off are not normally allowed to go onto another person's property - for the very reason that you're finding out.

So it might be worth your while to give the local building department a jingle, they might just come out, take a look and make your neighbor regrade his property to contain his drainage.
I remember one site in Nevada where I couldn't get the grading to work properly considering the adjoining sites and actually had to design a shallow retention pond in the rear of the lot to hold the water until it could evaporate. Was much less expensive for the owner than a piping system.

If your building code's similar that'd fix your neighbor's wagon - he starts giving you a hard time about your wall and you wind up costing him a few grand to have his whole lot regraded. Might shut him up too - he might just wonder how much it'll wind up costing him next time he gives you grief for no reason.
The added advantage is wouldn't cost you a dime, nothin' but a phone call.

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

To wd in California
Have I mentioned how on point and helpful your comments have been? If not, then I want to thank you NOW and mention how beneficial ALL your comments have been not only to my specific concerns but others that you have replied to as well.

I have some other comments but can't seem to be able to word them properly at the moment to convey what I want to say. Maybe it is because it is the middle of the night. I will attempt to make my additional comments tomorrow when my mental capacities may function better. Please stay tuned. I look forward to your comments.

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mateau in Tampa, Florida

32 months ago

You did not say that you had intact monuments or maybe I just forgot that I read them. Your neighbor has NO case regardless of what his "survey" says. Intact cadastral evidence trumps a paper survey ALWAYS. The logic is pretty simple, when you bought your property you walked the lines and knew the meets and bounds as they were visually evident. There may have even been a blunder by the original surveyor. Even then, set monuments establish the intent to convey the property defined.

Your neighbor may not regrade his property to use yours for runoff. Towns also require a small setback for fences and decorative walls. In fact the decorative side of a fence must be placed facing outside of the property. The aforementioned is usually in the planning and zoning enforcement code for you State, County or Town. I'm from New England and usually these issues are addressed by the town.

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mateau in Tampa, Florida

32 months ago

Building Inspectors don't usually mediate property arguments, their responsibility is structures and maybe how the structure relates to the setbacks etc. A Zoning Enforcement Officer, Planner of Town Engineer may be more helpfull.

But here is the crux of it. If what you are saying is correct and you have intact evidence that is offset from your retaining wall or fence then your neighbor is overstepping his bounds. This is a legal matter and to keep or regain possession may require an Attorney and most assuredly a Retracement Survey back to the first survey of your property. Of course how you proceed is your decision but damages for keeping possession can include legal fees to remove the encroachment. So perhaps it is time to involve the Attorneys. Sometime all it takes is the cost of a Certified Letter and a postage stamp. Allowing this encroachment can or may, in effect, grant your neighbor your property through adverse possession. Every state is different but this not something to ignore and hope that it goes away.

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

mateau in Tampa, Florida said: Building Inspectors don't usually mediate property arguments, their responsibility is structures and maybe how the structure relates to the setbacks etc. A Zoning Enforcement Officer, Planner of Town Engineer may be more helpfull.

But here is the crux of it. If what you are saying is correct and you have intact evidence that is offset from your retaining wall or fence then your neighbor is overstepping his bounds. This is a legal matter and to keep or regain possession may require an Attorney and most assuredly a Retracement Survey back to the first survey of your property. Of course how you proceed is your decision but damages for keeping possession can include legal fees to remove the encroachment. So perhaps it is time to involve the Attorneys. Sometime all it takes is the cost of a Certified Letter and a postage stamp. Allowing this encroachment can or may, in effect, grant your neighbor your property through adverse possession. Every state is different but this not something to ignore and hope that it goes away.

Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate them. Yes, I totally agree that this needs to be resolved and not just ignored or swept under the rug. The time frame for adverse possession is 10 years here. I built 19 years ago. They purchased 9 years ago. I feel that action needs to be taken before they reach 10 years. I think the pendulum swings both ways and adverse possession could be a problem on either side.

I am seeking legal representation and hopefully the letter you suggest will end this matter. Thanks again for your input. It is very welcome and appreciated.

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wtd in California

32 months ago

Just a word on adverse possession. lots of people get this backwards.
Heri, you have no adverse possession claim - your neighbor does, or may have
in the future, since your neighbor encroaches 2" onto your property. He may
after the statutorally required period of time make a claim to that 2". He may or may not do so. If he does it would be up to you to prove that you took notice of the encroachment, or potential encroachment and were aware of it and allowed it to stand. By doing this you simply state that he's on your property and you know it and that you give up no claim on the property. If you wish to protect yourself against future adverse possession claims, you simply have to send your neighbor a letter, provably delivered, that says that you are aware of the encroachment and allow it, but give up no claim to the property.

So, here's a preview of what's about to happen here, taking into account what I've mentioned above and you latest post - you'll find a lawyer, probably not a good one, since there's no money in this case, and he'll charge you somewhere north of 125 bucks and he'll send the letter I mentioned above. Nothing else happens.

If it's worth it to you to go to this trouble and expense to protect a 2" strip of your lot that you're not using anyways, have at it I guess, won't change anything worhtwhile, it simply introduces a third problem to your situation and solves neither of the two existing problems.

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wtd in California

32 months ago

Your two problems are -
1) Your neighbor has made an unsubstantiated claim that your are encroaching on his property.
Solution: Tell him to put up or shut up. NOTE: Waving a survey map around is not 'putting up'.

2) Your neighbor's runoff and lack of maintenance of his property are causing damage to your property.
Solution: Call the local code enforcement department and report the problem.

It's really no more complicated than that - running it off into the weeds with surveys, attorneys, encroachment and adverse possession claims and counter claims doesn't really provide any benefit to anyone and doesn't actually solve the problem.

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

wtd in California said: Your two problems are -
1) Your neighbor has made an unsubstantiated claim that your are encroaching on his property.
Solution: Tell him to put up or shut up. NOTE: Waving a survey map around is not 'putting up'.

2) Your neighbor's runoff and lack of maintenance of his property are causing damage to your property.
Solution: Call the local code enforcement department and report the problem.

It's really no more complicated than that - running it off into the weeds with surveys, attorneys, encroachment and adverse possession claims and counter claims doesn't really provide any benefit to anyone and doesn't actually solve the problem.

to: wtd in California

WOW, you really get it. No wonder I appreciate your comments so much. You are terrific. The idea of getting an attorney to write a letter as was suggested by someone else in this forum is the only way I can think of to make them "put up or shut up" since ALL communication with them has been denied by them. Would you suggest that I just take the fence down, leave it down, and let the chips fall where they may? (That works for me.) I have permission from code to do just that. Secondly, code has seen firsthand, the intrusion of soil and water onto my property. Should I wait until they take action? IF, they do indeed take action.

You are really terrific. I have been concerned about all the what-ifs and possible reprocussions as it appears they are adamant that I have no control over my own property and fence and will surely attempt to retailiate. I am trying to be prepared for the fallout and have my ducks lined up before I am left swinging in the wind.

As far as the adverse possession... If my surveyor was drunk or something when he did my survey and I actually am encroaching upon THEIR property, I was considering that as a possible remedy for me....to claim any encroachment by me as not encroachment but adverse possession.

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

wtd in California said: Your two problems are -
1) Your neighbor has made an unsubstantiated claim that your are encroaching on his property.
Solution: Tell him to put up or shut up. NOTE: Waving a survey map around is not 'putting up'.

2) Your neighbor's runoff and lack of maintenance of his property are causing damage to your property.
Solution: Call the local code enforcement department and report the problem.

It's really no more complicated than that - running it off into the weeds with surveys, attorneys, encroachment and adverse possession claims and counter claims doesn't really provide any benefit to anyone and doesn't actually solve the problem.

Totally AGREE. The fence will need to come down at some point as it is old. I do not want to supply them with another fence to destroy. I don't need to be fenced. No pets, pool, kids, etc.

What would your next move be if you were me?

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mateau in Tampa, Florida

32 months ago

The job of the Town Code enfocement is to enforce planning zoning and building codes. The will not mediate problems between neighbors. That is not why they are paid. That is NOT their job. Go ahead ask them. Their job is to ensure that Town Residents build and occupy their property according to the Codes and Ordinances established by the Town and State.

Your problems with your neighbor is NOT a Town or State Code or Ordinance probelm. It is a legal problem.

I am advising you to see competeant legal advice for several reasons.

1. You have too much to loose if you don't.
2. This is a website where anyone can render an opinion including myself. Many folks have rendered opinions however the most dangerous are those that tell you not to seek professional help. You do need to speak to an attorney.
3. Go back and reread opnion number 1.

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wtd in California

32 months ago

Heri in Kenner, Louisiana said: Totally AGREE. The fence will need to come down at some point as it is old. I do not want to supply them with another fence to destroy. I don't need to be fenced. No pets, pool, kids, etc.

What would your next move be if you were me?

Get whatever permits or city blessing is required, if any, and knock the fence down.

RE: Problem #1 -
Forget encroachment, adverse possession and everything else, those things were brought up WAY too early and just confuddle things at this point.
Before anything else happens regarding any of those things your neighbor has to do something other than wave around a document and say you're encroaching.

Your neighbor can say anything he wants - means about as much as if he said your dog was ugly. You'd probably tell him to go soak his head, you wouldn't start trying to prove your dog WASN'T ugly :-) Same here. At this point your neighbor is an annoyance, not much you can do about that.

The other suggestions you've gotten here might be very good suggestions IF -
1) your neighbor pursues his claim.
2) your neighbor's claim prevails.

I make no such assumptions - I'm just making suggestions based on what's happened so far and how this is going.

Here's pretty much the whole thing in a 'nut-shell' -
There can be no action for adverse possession if the boundary is in question.
There can be no encroachment if the boundary is in question.

Your neighbor is threatening to bring the boundary into question.
You have to see whether he does or not. Meanwhile nothing to do but wait.
Have some iced tea, it's hot out today :-)

RE: Problem #2 - Follow up with the building department and find out if they're doing anything about your neighbor's runoff onto your property.

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wtd in California

32 months ago

mateau in Tampa, Florida said: The job of the Town Code enfocement is to enforce planning zoning and building codes. The will not mediate problems between neighbors. That is not why they are paid. That is NOT their job. Go ahead ask them. Their job is to ensure that Town Residents build and occupy their property according to the Codes and Ordinances established by the Town and State.
...

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It was never suggested that a boundary dispute was to be resolved by a building inspector. It was suggested that this was the appropriate solution to the water runoff problem.
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mateau in Tampa, Florida said:
Your problems with your neighbor is NOT a Town or State Code or Ordinance probelm. It is a legal problem.

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At this point there is no boundary problem at all or any sort of a legal problem.
At the moment, there is only an idle threat by a nasty neighbor.
Personally I don't see the need for a lawyer to deal with that, but of course it's up to Heri.
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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

wtd in California said: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It was never suggested that a boundary dispute was to be resolved by a building inspector. It was suggested that this was the appropriate solution to the water runoff problem.
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At this point there is no boundary problem at all or any sort of a legal problem.
At the moment, there is only an idle threat by a nasty neighbor.
Personally I don't see the need for a lawyer to deal with that, but of course it's up to Heri.
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To Tampa and California
I did not mean to cause a rif between the two people that are trying to help me. Sorry. I think all three of us agree that any potential boundary line dispute is outside the realm and responsibility of any local code enforcement agency. That is a legal matter for the courts to decide. Code enforcement was brought into this by the neighbors, not me. The only involvement I have had with code enforcement was to request a copy of the complaint filed against me by the neighbors. I appreciate both points of view given to me. I really am glad to have your input.

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Greg in Del Mar, California

32 months ago

Stephen in Tupelo, Mississippi said: HELP!!! Just bought 6.63 acres of land in the country. My new neighbors are complaining that I am on his property by about 50 ft. which will come out to about half an acre in the long run. Well we just had the land surveyed about 4 months ago. We paid $2500 an acre. The section that they are complaining about is worthless just an old drive with a huge ditch in it. The taxes are cheap about $45 a year. But if the surveyor got it wrong by over 50ft. what can I do? If it is that far off it cost me about $1250 to much. He says he has a survey that shows the line where he says and I have one where I say it is. HELP!!

You're crazy if you spent nearly $14,000 to have a small 6.6 acre lot survey. I had my two plots (3 and 3.82) done for a little over $1,000.

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

I do not understand the responder's money amount mentioned. I understand you to say that if your survey is wrong, you paid for land that you did not get. The first thing I would do since the survey was done recently is contact your surveyor and notify him of the discrepancy and have him explain or verify his findings. I think I read somewhere that you have a window of time that you can hold the surveyor to explanation or verification of his work.

Secondly, you mention that the neighbor SAYS he has a survey that contradicts your survey. Has the neighbor shown you his survey? Ask him to show it to you. Get the date the neighbor's survey was done and the name of the company. Have YOUR surveyor contact the neighbor's surveryor and let them put their heads together to clarify the issue.

I have a similar issue with a neighbor as you have probably read. My neighbor CLAIMS to have a survey that contradicts mine but has not produced it nor shown it to me so I do not know when or by whom the contradictory survey was performed or it one even exists.

Hopefully for you asking your neighbor to see his may work for you. My neighbors are not willing to communicate with me.

Good luck and keep posting to let us know how things progress.

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

32 months ago

wtd in California said: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It was never suggested that a boundary dispute was to be resolved by a building inspector . It was suggested that this was the appropriate solution to the water runoff problem.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
At this point there is no boundary problem at all or any sort of a legal problem.
At the moment, there is only an idle threat by a nasty neighbor.
Personally I don't see the need for a lawyer to deal with that, but of course it's up to Heri.
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You are SUPER smart and have GREAT advice. Using Tampa's advice, I consulted with an attorney (FREE) consult only to have them offer to sue on my behalf which would cost me a fortune. Ten fold or better more than the cost of the stupid fence. How ridiculous. Only sought FREE legal advice in an attempt to cover ALL the bases but you are so spot on with everything you said. You are extremely insightful and helpful. I will let you know what happens as time will tell. Just as an aside... the attorney was unwilling to send a letter or mediate, only wanted to sue so he could make BIG money. (And would only take a case on an hourly rate.) If it does come down to a legal battle, he will not be getting my money... I will seek different counsel.

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Huntingohio1 in Mansfield, Ohio

22 months ago

Joel in Morrow, Georgia said: Surveying today is more accurate than it was 20-30 years ago. As technology advances, so does surveying. You can achieve better results with todays surveying tools as apposed to 20 years ago...with or without GPS.

I'm sure their are companies out there that will "tweak" the bounds of a property to fit the clients needs. This is not common though as its very unprofessional...not to mention illegal.

You'd be surprised how a better survey can effect a properties acreage. A few seconds/minutes 100ths/tenths +/- can go a long ways.

We just had a neighbor in WV do a survey and he was breaking up his farm into 5 ac parcels. his surveyor made an easement that was never in either of our deeds and is TAKING our land to do so, is that legal? the terms used in the deed reads right of way up by the main road (fine) but in the back area of the farm where the dispute is it reads by way of, It goes back to the 1800's property line is not wide enough for an easement. Surveyor change line in couple of areas my more than 30 feet.

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Robin12rr in Frankfort, Kentucky

10 months ago

I have a new neighbor that had their property surveyed to build a fence in the backyard. According to their results I am losing up to 30 feet of my side yard. Our backyards are pie shaped because of living in a cul de sac. According to the subdivision plot this is not the correct line. The neighbors said they were expecting the property line to be in the place where we have considered it to be for years, but after getting the survey they got a big bonus from my yard that they are excited to have. They are going to re-check with their surveyor, but if they get the same results they plan on going forward with the fence. They said the surveyor will stand by their work, but how can they give away my property? What do I do? Does the subdivision map hold any weight? (it matches my version of the property line)

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

10 months ago

If your state has an adverse possession law, even if their survey is correct, you may still claim the property that has been considered as yours if you have openly and notoriously used it as yours for the required time frame.

I would not just concede your property to another without first finding out your rights. Do NOT allow a fence to be installed until this is sorted out.

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mendocino777 in Fort Bragg, California

15 days ago

Not sure how to make a new post here ? so try reply .
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
CALIFORNIA
A 10 Acre undeveloped Property has had a registered Survey preformed 2015 that says my Registered Survey preformed 2004 is wrong by some several feet approximately 10 to 15 feet off
along our property line .
This New Survey places the boundary right in the middle of My Private road my access road that leads to a county road.
This undeveloped Property has a Title insured undeveloped access along a State highway in CA.
New owner wants to use my private road as a access and to obtain a permit to develop the property Rather then pay a costly amount to develop a access at their Title Insured access along the state highway Previously applied for but then withdrawn by Previous property owner.
My Questions :
(1) How should I proceed ? I expect I can ask my Surveyor how the survey's differ and what could be wrong ?
(2) If my Survey is wrong how can I hold my Surveyor accountable ?
(3) the boundary line in question is some 300 feet long so some say 12.5 feet off from the previous Survey would that be a + or - Normal difference in measurements ?
thanks for any help

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