I purchased a lot and house three years ago with an existing fence line that extents some 5-7 feet (around 30 feet in length) into the next vacant lot and has done so since around 1972, with the fence being maintained and the landscaping kept up and improved during this time. I have just found out that this vacant lot now has a sale pending through a local agent and I am concerned because the original property line is only about 1.5 from the front of my house. How do I assert adverse possession so that I do not lose this bit of land?
I don't want to be greedy, but when I originally purchased my property I asked the vacant lot owner if he would sell it to me. He stated he wasn't really interested in selling, although he did give me a price, or building on it himself, but if he ever did decide to sell, he promised that I would have first right of refusal. Well, apparently he has forgotten our agreement (verbal only) and is selling all his vacant lot property in this area. I've been trying to contact him for some eight+ months to make another purchase offer, but he moved and I've been unable to find a new address or phone.
Please help! If I can assert adverse possession, how? And is there any way I can hold him to the "first right of refusal" he promised?
Note: the vacant lot owner actually lived on this lot (in a sail boat--yes, on land--using my electricity and water) for almost a year, so he was very much aware of the fence and landscaping over and into his property.
Thanks, I appreciate any information you can give me.