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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Property Line Encroachment

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Washington, King County

    Recently our neighbors installed a fence that is about 12 inches on our property. We have a good relationship with our neighbor, and are concerned about adverse possession. What can we do to protect us? The way they have installed the fence we have no access to their side of the fence

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,371

    Default Re: Property Line Encroachment

    What is the outcome you desire?

    Are you willing to leave the fence where it is as long as a claim such as adverse posession cannot occur?

    How certain are you about the actual boundary line?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Property Line Encroachment

    LandSurveyor: The outcome is to leave the fence where it is, as long as we are protected from adverse posession when we sell. I am very certain abot the property line. When we purchased the house in 1998 from the original owners who built the house in 1952 there was a fence and a concete footing running down the property line. This prior monument was removed to add drainage between our two houses. I have pictures from the Realestate listing, and from the drainage project clearly showing the footing locations.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Property Line Encroachment

    The relevant statutes can be found here.

    Washington courts have made some fairly liberal interpretations of what constitutes adverse possession in my opinion.

    Land Surveyor ask the correct question which is "How certain are you of your boundary?". Your answer is not clear enough for me to be sure in my mind as to how certain you really are.

    Do you have a copy of a survey or do you know of a survey that shows the location of the boundary line in question? If so does this survey show the location of the improvements in question relative to the boundary?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Property Line Encroachment

    The game plan is changing. Our neighbors are now trying to build additional fencing. The outcomes I desire to this situation are removal of the fence, and if they desire install it on their property. What must I do to have the fence removed?

    My initial thoughts are to have a legal survey conducted, which includes the fence. This will determine if encroachment has occurred. What else should I do to protect myself and reach my desired end state?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Property Line Encroachment

    iskipnw

    It sounds like you are on the right track. Once you have a survey performed present a copy of it to your neighbor with a written request that they remove the fence from your property.

    Let us know what happens.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Property Line Encroachment

    All: I just received my survey in the mail and the results are as follow. The survey shot the fence line with respect to the boundaries. The fence runs west to east along the northern portion of our property. The survey clearly shows the Western portion of the fence on the neighbor’s property (3 Inch setback); however, the Eastern portion is about 4 inches on our side. Guess the neighbors did not consider property lines that are not parallel to the houses. How should I inform the Neighbor of this situation and my desire to have the fence moved?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,371

    Default Re: Property Line Encroachment

    How should I inform the Neighbor of this situation and my desire to have the fence moved?
    I would suggest that you do it in writing with a letter requesting as much, sent certified with signature receipt.

    That approach works in many cases, and as the minimalist first step, should be tried first.

    If it does not work, come back with the results.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Property Line Encroachment

    All: The letter was sent and I received no response. I also searched the Seattle DPD site for fence regulations and discovered the west portion of the fence is seven feet high, one foot higher than code.

    I want the fence off our property. The neighbor pulled the survey stakes and is starting to be a jerk, more than when they built the fence. Is it time to go to court, and if so, which court will hear this type of case.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,371

    Default Re: Property Line Encroachment

    All: The letter was sent and I received no response.
    Does this mean that you did not receive the signature card back?

    The neighbor pulled the survey stakes
    If you are certain of this, and witnessed it, you should report it as vandalism. But it was probably done covertly, right?

    Unfortunately you are going to have to have those survey markers replaced. It will be at your expense initially. If he pulls them again, he will be paying the cost and perhaps a lot more. Let your surveyor know the situation as there are several ways a surveyor can deal this type of problem in advance.

    Just one idea which has worked:

    You can place digital "wildlife" cameras ($40 or so) strategically to photograph anything coming near your markers. If you need to go to court with your neighbor, the photographic evidence can be catastrophic to him.

    As to which court will hear your claim in King County, I have no idea. But it will not be small claims court. Better to nail the guy and avoid court.

    Good Luck!

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