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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Sidewalk Right of Way and Property Line

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

    Hello all.. I have a problem with the sidewalk in front of my house. I live in a platted subdivision in Houston, TX. When I purchased theproperty almost 4 years ago, I received a certified lot survey from a state registered surveyor. That survey, I have since found out, lines up exactly with the original plats for the subdivision dated in 1979. My Lot is 105' long and 60' wide. Now, to the problem... my property line, according to the above information, stops approximately 16.5' from the curb.. this is where the sidewalk is. Now, all the information listed above lists the street i live on as having a 60' right of way. So, my question is this.. does my property line start where the right of way stops, or does my property line start at the curb?
    Just so everyone knows, my homeowner's association recently told me at a meeting with them that my property line starts at the curb and includes the right of way.. and that someone moved the fence all along my street and the street behind me back... however, they have nothing in writing of this so called fence move.. and they have the same information that i have, but they are saying that my property line starts at the curb.. I think they are trying to bully me into paying for the sidewalk to be repaired...

    sorry this is so long-winded.. any help would be appreciated...

    thanks..

    Midknight

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,376

    Default Re: Sidewalk Right of Way and Property Line

    Your responsibility for mowing etc. starts at the curb, even though the right of way extends well beyond it. That is usually done to include the sidewalk, which also is in the right of way.

    Actually your property line may go to the center of the street. But that is only theoretical in the instance that the street is ever vacated. Not very likely.

    But just face up to the reality that millions of us face, myself included, that the responsibility for repairing and maintaining the sidewalk is ours alone.

    When you purchased the property, you likely had to agree to the terms of the homeowner's association as a condition of buying your lot. And you wouldn't be living there otherwise.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: Sidewalk Right of Way and Property Line

    The right of way is 60 feet-on center- 30 feet either side of the road centerline. Who maintains the street? The City or the developer? City ordinances usually spell out homeowner responsibilities to include: grasscutting, snow removal on sidewalk, sidewalk repairs, etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Sidewalk Right of Way and Property Line

    just to update everyone...
    I spoke on 5-1-09 to the gentleman who actually did the survey. When I told him what was going on, he informed me that the way it works is you have a 60' right of way for the street, which in the deed restrictions says is maintained by the HOA for the neighborhood, so you go to the centerline of the road, and measure 30' back toward my house. The surveyor told me that is where my property line begins, and that it does not go all the way to the curb, like the HOA is stating. Also, the HOA told me that when the subdivision was put in, there was no perimeter fencing, and when they added it, someone just moved it back about 15', that's why the side line measurement is so different. However, i've measured it myself.. starting where the ROW stops for the street, if you go the exact distance shown on the survey and on the plat maps, you hit my back fence.
    I think the HOA is trying to get out of their responsibilities.
    Also, I found out at the hearing the the HOA represents three subdivisions, and we are the only one with sidewalks, and none of the board members live in my subdivision.

    Any feedback would be appreciated..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,376

    Default Re: Sidewalk Right of Way and Property Line

    You are going to need to get the actual wording of the charter, by-laws, etc.
    of the HOA.

    That is where you will find the answer to your question.

    You should have been given a copy when you purchased your lot as you agreed to be bound to it at that time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Sidewalk Right of Way and Property Line

    yes, i was given a copy of the deed restrictions when we moved in. In the deed restrictions, it says specifically that the HOA is responsible for setting up a maintenance fund out of the dues that we pay every year and that this "maintenance fund" is to be used for maintaining parks, common areas, and right of ways.." those are the words in the restrictions.
    Now, if the right of way of the road comes into my yard by like 16.5 feet, shouldn't that right of way be one that the HOA maintains?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: Sidewalk Right of Way and Property Line

    How is it that the HOA does not have members from your subdivision? You have no representation! I would be reading the HOA Charter and raising that question at the next meeting.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Sidewalk Right of Way and Property Line

    No idea, actually...
    To be honest, I'm trying to fight one fight at a time.. If I can figure out this sidewalk thing, then maybe i'll take on the representation issue.

    I'm going to talk to the surveyor again, and see if he'll give me a written statement.. (for pay, of course, since he'll have to use his state certified stamp) that talks about the property line and how the property line starts after the right of way..
    If I can get that in writing, and take it to my HoA...

    Then I'll have the original plat maps, showing the right of way, the certified survey showing the property line (which matches the plat maps) and the deed restrictions stating that the HOA is responsible for maintaining the right of ways.. also.. my deed restrictions state that each house has a build back line of 20 feet from property line... guess where 20 feet from my house is? right where my property line is shown to start. With all this info, I don't see how they can deny that i'm right...

    and if they do... anyone ever taken a HOA to court before? I'm thinking small claims to get them to fix the sidewalk...


    any help would be appreciated, as always.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: Sidewalk Right of Way and Property Line

    The City/County/State Road Right of Way Department maintain "Straight Line" maps. These are a records of every road as if there were a straight line. All easement information and impediments are listed along the road.

    IMO, I would research the straight line map for your road to verify. If the road is still private, ask the developer for their easement book and page number, then go to the local courthouse records department to research the conveyance.

    Do not rely on word-of-mouth answers.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Sidewalk Right of Way and Property Line

    My county has those maps (plat maps) online. I looked mine up, and it shows 60' for the road, then it shows my property line.

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