Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Barbed Wire Fence Attached to Our Trees, Several Feet Over Property Line

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: North Carolina


    My house, and that of several neighbors backs up to a farm property.

    When our neighborhood was developed, a number of lots were advertised as Wooded Lots, and we paid a premium for those lots. The trees that made it a "Wooded Lot" are at the border of our back yards and the farm. (About a 2-3 foot wide strip of trees going across all the yards)

    There is a barbed wire fence attached to these trees, that was installed long ago by the farm owner. This fence is several feet within the boundary of our land.

    He has been informed verbally by at least two of us that his barbed wire fence encroaches onto our property. His verbal response was essentially "It's been that way for years, I'm not moving it". One of the neighbors had an attorney send him a letter, and he has not responded to that either.

    Additionally, the Farm owner has recently removed stakes that were placed by surveyors to mark the official property line, and has painted purple spraypaint markings on the trees he claims are part of his property. Numerous of those trees are within our land.


    The neighbors affected had discussed approaching the farmer via a lawyer, but do not know the best way to do this. Are there steps we should take before contacting a lawyer?

    Would the Farmer be legally responsible for removing the fence and installing a new one? If it has to be resurveyed, who would be responsible for this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    695

    Default Re: Barbed Wire Fence Attached to Our Trees, Several Feet Over Property Line

    How long ago was that fence installed? He may have a valid claim for adverse possession of the property.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Barbed Wire Fence Attached to Our Trees, Several Feet Over Property Line

    That fence was originally installed long before the Subdivision was built. Probably 20+ years ago, if not longer.

    We have been in our house 5 years. We purchased the house new from the builder. All other houses affected were also newly constructed at approximately that same time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    695

    Default Re: Barbed Wire Fence Attached to Our Trees, Several Feet Over Property Line

    Depending on the relationship the farmer had with the previous owner, then the length of time indicates that the farmer stands a chance of an adverse possession claim. You can google the adverse timeframe in NC but I'm pretty sure its 20 years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Barbed Wire Fence Attached to Our Trees, Several Feet Over Property Line

    If the farmer can claim Adverse Possession of everything his fence touches, what are our options in this scenario?

    If the developer charged us extra specifically for the wooded portion of the lot, knowing that this portion of the land could be claimed by the farmer, do we have any legal recourse against the developer?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    695

    Default Re: Barbed Wire Fence Attached to Our Trees, Several Feet Over Property Line

    You need to hire an attorney. While the advese possession is a possible defense, the onus is on the farmer to prove that he has met the guidelines for adverse possession.

    Legal recourse against the developer will depend on the purchase contract and title company documents, etc. It would be best to find a competent real estate attorney who has knowledge in the state possession laws.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: Barbed Wire Fence Attached to Our Trees, Several Feet Over Property Line

    As mentioned above - speak to a real estate specialized attorney to get best advice. It could get more complicated as it involves a seller who promised a nice wooded lot. That said, I did notice that you said the surveyor placed stakes. Placing the stakes effectively breaks an adverse possession claim if it was during the 20 year period. Question: when was the survey done and stakes placed? Additionally, neighbors should take photographs of the encroached area and holes where the stakes used to be. Note: it's poor form on the part of the farmer to remove survey stakes.

    At the end of the day no one (including the farmer) probably wants to go to litigation. It gets very expensive, and in this case for the farmers as there are several of you sharing the same experience. Additionally, I would look at my title insurance jacket to see if it covers scenarios like the one you are facing. That said - they usually don't, but this is something an attorney can look into.

    Best with next steps and keep us apprised.

    Ben T

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Barbed Wire Fence Attached to Our Trees, Several Feet Over Property Line

    It is unfortunate that the farmer is slinging pins; but removing the stakes does not mean the record line suddenly goes away or is moved; the surveyor can always be called back out and reset the missing stakes.

    Basically the farmer does not appear to be following the correct steps in order to make a claim of adverse possession, even though he appears to have a valid claim. He is required to sue you in court, and receive a judgment in his favor. Moving pins, ignoring certified letters, and spraying purple paint are admittedly all signs of an AP claim on the horizon, but until he files that suit, it's all so much sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    If it was my land, I would call the surveyor back out, have him mark the line with spikes every 20 feet or so, then pull a string-line through the spikes, and finally build a fence 6 inches inside that line. But that's me.

    You have received good advice in that an attorney should be called; may I suggest you involve multiple neighbors in the consult with the attorney. There is strength in numbers, and the fees can be split among all of you rather than one.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    28,099

    Default Re: Barbed Wire Fence Attached to Our Trees, Several Feet Over Property Line

    Quote Quoting BenT
    View Post
    Placing the stakes effectively breaks an adverse possession claim if it was during the 20 year period.
    I don't believe it does Ben. In fact, it might actually reinforce an AP claim since in some states, one must be aware they are trespassing in order to be able to make an AP claim.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: Barbed Wire Fence Attached to Our Trees, Several Feet Over Property Line

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    I don't believe it does Ben. In fact, it might actually reinforce an AP claim since in some states, one must be aware they are trespassing in order to be able to make an AP claim.
    I hadn't considered the various iterations/regulations of how states view AP and related events like surveyor staking of property. In some states (and within the clock of AP claims) a surveyor laying out stakes stops the clock related to adversely possessing property. In short, the title holder claims and establishes their property. That said, laying out stakes does not automatically establish ownership if it's beyond the time limit. 20 years in NC?

    As per trespass - you could argue that many ways if you're the title holder and as always see a lawyer first before doing anything that would get you in trouble like putting up a fence. If it's within the clock the title holder can establish ownership numerous ways - working their property like mowing the lawn, placing tools on abutted area, planting, or building structures etc. The important aspect here is the clock and stopping it with an activity that a owner would do.

    With all of that said AP can become a very complicated issue, and as mentioned extremely expensive proposition. It's a law that in many ways is antiquated and described by some as legal robbery. If I had a strategy (and I would check again with an attorney) it would be to try and work out reasonable terms with the farmer who probably doesn't have a clear understanding of the laws related to boundaries/encroachment. It would be interesting to note how much land we're talking about here because it it's a tiny strip of land - sometimes it's not worth bothering with if if you're a farmer with acres and acres of land. Then again, people get really weird and ugly about land.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Fence is 20 Feet Off the Property Line
    By 10243406 in forum Boundary Disputes and Nuisance
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-07-2011, 01:00 PM
  2. Neighbor's Old Fence Many Feet Onto My Property
    By bowieweiland in forum Boundary Disputes and Nuisance
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-10-2011, 10:31 AM
  3. Neighbor Trespassed 50 Feet into My Property and Cut Down a Lot of My Trees
    By tturner in forum Boundary Disputes and Nuisance
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-30-2010, 10:44 PM
  4. Removing Trees and Debris from Fence Line
    By bluedogs249 in forum Boundary Disputes and Nuisance
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-29-2008, 02:41 PM
  5. Barbed Wire Fence On My Property
    By upstater in forum Boundary Disputes and Nuisance
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-25-2008, 09:23 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
 
Forum Sponsor
Real Estate Forms
Real estate forms and contracts, state specific, immediate download.




Untitled Document