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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    3

    Default My Neighbor Wants to Dig a Drainage Ditch on My Property

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Tennessee

    We live in a small subdividsion. the road is private, and the half in front of our property is owned by the homeowner across from us. She claims she owns two feet beyond the road and is planning on digging a drainage ditch. Even though they have one now in front of their house. they have filled in half of the ditch up the road closer to the other neigbhor already. I think she wants to fill it in so she has a flat yard and have the drainage ditch on our side.
    The issue is that according to the plot plan our property line ends on the edge of the road. there is a ten foot easement for utilities and drainage. But she thinks that gives her the right to build the ditch. I was understanding that it is only for the county to do so.
    I informed her that we plan on putting a fence up and she told me I am required by law to place the fence ten feet inside the property line.
    I spoke with another neigbhor about this and they told me this particular neigbhor has been pulling this for the last 15 years and she is always picking fights with neigbhors.
    I am already to call the police if I see equipment on my property digging a ditch or if she gives me any problems!
    What is my legal rights here?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default My Neighbor Thinks She Owns My Land and Wants to Dig a Drainage Ditch

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Tennessee

    I live in a small subdividson. the neigbhor across from us owns the road and there is an easment. According to the plot plan, our property line is on the edge of the road. We both have ten foot easments for utilities and drainage.
    However, she thinks she can fill in the drainage ditch on her side of the road, and create one on our side of the road. Then informed me she owns two feet beyond the road.
    I told her we plan on putting up a fence, and she said Im required by law to put a fence ten feet inside the property line. However, she is not a attorney but an unemployed middle aged housewife. My other neigbhor said she has been pushing it for the last 15 years and tried starting a fight with the previous owner of our house over the same issue. we bought the house five years ago, and do have the plot plan. But she keeps argueing differently.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    75,031

    Default Re: My Neighbor Thinks She Owns My Land and Wants to Dig a Drainage Ditch

    Quote Quoting BelleCat
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    The issue is that according to the plot plan our property line ends on the edge of the road. there is a ten foot easement for utilities and drainage. But she thinks that gives her the right to build the ditch. I was understanding that it is only for the county to do so.
    And the survey says?

    No, I'm not trying to invoke the Family Feud, but do you have a survey? Have you read the easement? The survey helps you establish property lines. The easement will establish whether the neighbor is granted any rights and, if so, whether her proposed action is consistent with her rights.
    Quote Quoting BelleCat
    I informed her that we plan on putting a fence up and she told me I am required by law to place the fence ten feet inside the property line.
    I doubt that, although it likely violates the easement to fence the easement holder out of that area. You will have to investigate local ordinances to see what sort of setback is required for a fence.
    Quote Quoting BelleCat
    I am already to call the police if I see equipment on my property digging a ditch or if she gives me any problems!
    The police may not be very helpful, particularly if you can't establish the location of the property line.
    Quote Quoting BelleCat
    View Post
    However, she thinks she can fill in the drainage ditch on her side of the road, and create one on our side of the road.
    The rule against double-posting questions isn't only for other people.

    Do you have a "drain commission" or similar entity with authority over drainage issues in your county? If so, she may have to get a permit from them before she makes any modification to roadside drainage.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: My Neighbor Wants to Dig a Drainage Ditch on My Property

    Excuse me? I posted twice, because I thought the first one didn't post at all. Im new here!!

    I have a plot plan that we obtained from our county. It shows the property lines and easements. On it it states a ten foot easement on either side of the road for utilities and drainage.

    My dad just had a fence installed on his property, just around the corner from us. He was told the fence only had to be inside the property line six inches.
    My neigbhor next door has the same easment as we do, and she has a fence right on her property line. It's a cow fencing type fence.

    My question is if my neigbhor across from me can come on my property and start digging without me being notified at first?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: My Neighbor Wants to Dig a Drainage Ditch on My Property

    Quote Quoting BelleCat
    View Post
    I have a plot plan that we obtained from our county. It shows the property lines and easements. On it it states a ten foot easement on either side of the road for utilities and drainage.
    This only shows you how things are defined in relation to each other, but the "facts on the ground" may actually be different than the definition in the plot. the plot plan may show the easement right up against your property line but the driveway may in fact have been put in so it does not go to the edge of the easement, which would mean that the neighbor would own some property on your side of the driveway.

    What she can do with this easement property that is outside the existing roadway? That's why you need the easement granting language.

    A survey marker will allow you to stand outside and point to the marker and say "no, the property line is here and you can't do what you want on my property" That's why you need the survey.

    Quote Quoting BelleCat
    View Post
    My question is if my neigbhor across from me can come on my property and start digging without me being notified at first?
    Sure, why not what's to stop her if you aren't there? Can she legally, probably not. But as mentioned above the most the cops "might" do is tell her to stop what she's doing till the two of you go to court over the issue. They will not get involved in your dispute with the neighbor, they will say it's a civil matter and wash their hands of the whole thing.

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