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

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Heri in Kenner, Louisiana

28 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

28 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

28 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?

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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

28 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

28 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

28 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

28 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

28 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

28 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

28 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

28 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

28 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

28 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

28 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

28 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

27 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

27 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

27 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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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

18 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

6 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

6 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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