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?