If a neighbor has removed/done construction on my property and has not restored it, what can I do?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If a neighbor has removed/done construction on my property and has not restored it, what can I do?

A building next to my property was taken over last year by a new owner. During hisrenovations he removed a 2’x23′ section of my property with the promise of having everything back in order within a month or so. We are now over a year later and my yard is still left open and with holes

and a dangerous drop off. He never spoke with me about any of this work, rather speaking to a family member who was staying with us at the time. Additionally, the work that was discussed with the family member is not in fact what work was done. How do I get my property restored

without an expensive legal battle that I frankly cannot afford? I met this property owner for the 1st time yesterday and he is extremely rude, combative and aggressive.

Asked on August 2, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The only way to get compensation (e.g. the cost to restore the property) and/or a court order forcing him to do the restoration is to sue the new owner: a lawsuit is the only way to compel someone to act or pay you money. If you can't afford a lawyer, you can bring the suit yourself, as your own attorney or "pro se" (having a lawyer is strongly recommended, however), to save legal fees. You would sue based on tort--on damage to your property--and also breach of contract--violation of the agreement, even if only an oral (non-written) one about what would be done. When you sue, sue not only for the cost to restore, but also for compensation for having been deprived of use of some of your property for a year or more--you might base that number of a percentage or portion of your carrying costs (e.g. taxes, mortgage) for that period of time. While you might not get that additional amount, or might not get all it, you certainly will not get any compensation if you don't ask for it, and it is a reasonable thing (i.e. something the court will not punish you for asking for) to request.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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