property ownership

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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property ownership

New neighbors moved in and informed me that my deck was in their property, i bought
the house 22 years ago and that deck was there already. would this be considered as
adverse possession or would i have to take it down?

Asked on March 2, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It would not be adverse possession if you thought it was your land: advese possession, as the term implies, is "adverse" or hostile--it requires that you know the land belongs to someone else and are actively trying to assert rights over another's land.
IF the neighbors are correct, they can require you to move or take down the deck: you can't intrude on their property. If you refused to do so voluntarily, they could sue you to make you do this. But you don't need to take them at face value: have your land resurveyed. If your survey agrees, you probably should remove the deck if they want you to, to avoid a likely losing litigation. If your survey shows it is your land, you may wish to fight the matter in court, if necessary.

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 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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