What can we do if our neighbors won’t move a shed that is encroaching on our property?

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What can we do if our neighbors won’t move a shed that is encroaching on our property?

We had our land surveyed last week and the neighbor’s shed is 5 ft on our land. We went to the planning office and were told that it was trespassing and to call the police. So we did and they went over and asked our neighbors to move it, although they couldn’t force them to. The shed was up before we bought our property 5 years ago and they bought there home a year later. We told them it was on our land last year and they said prove it. When my husband told them they had 5 days and they still did not move it, they told us to sue them. Can we legally do to move it?

Asked on July 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Wel  the planning office was correct.  The encroachment is a trespass on the land and you can indeed bring an action to have them remove the shed.  And you really should consider doing it.  What I worry about is something known as adverse possession where a party knows that the property was not theirs and ties to possess it anyway.  There are many factors that need to be determined in adverse possession and although the facts here do not necessarily add up to it, it is always the unstated facts that matter.  So go and see a real estate attorney in your area as soon as you can.  Make sure that you discuss what the fees for the action would be.  Maybe ask them to start off writing a letter to see if that gets the neighbors moving.  Good luck.


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