Can our neighbor prevent us from recovering our land and not let us removea fence?

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Can our neighbor prevent us from recovering our land and not let us removea fence?

We had a survey done and it locates our good neighbor fence into our property by 1-2 feet. We sent a letter to our neighbors informing them that we will have the fence removed. In return they had an attorney send us a letter telling us explicitly not to move the fence unless a judge were to order it. Also, it said that they thought they were entitled to to our land and should the fence be moved we should be paying for their plants and drips to be replaced onto their property. Other than small plants, shrubs and irrigation line there is nothing of real value that they build on our side.

Asked on July 26, 2011 California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

How long has the neighbor's fence been encroaching on your land? If more than 5 years, your neighbor's have a claim for a prescriptive easement to use your land if their use was not given by permission, was under claim of right, open and hostile. Also, who installed the fence? If you or your predessors in interest, you have a good defense that the fence was not placed at the property line as the intent.

The fence is in a fixed location. If you try to remove it at this point, your neighbors could file a lawsuit for an injunction stopping its removal and requiring its replacement at the location it was at to maintain the status quo.

If you want the use of that property you own behind the fence, you should contact a real estate attorney experienced in easement disputes sooner rather than later.

Good luck.

 


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