My question involves real estate located in the State of: Michigan
I posted prior to this when a buyer was considering buying the narrow lot next door. He didn't like our tree and fence and wanted us to remove them. He actually offered to pay for half of the removal of the tree, but since we did not want to remove the tree, asking us to pay for half of something we didn't want was not in the cards. He ended up purchasing the property and, as part of the purchase, apparently had a survey done (although we did not actually see the survey being done). As a result of his survey, he asserted that half of the tree and part of the fence was on his property.
We let him know that if there was a part of the fence that was on his property, he was welcome to remove what was on it (although, by our survey stakes, we did not see where the fence was encroaching - it was built two feet inside the property line). It turned out to be that there was some leaning going on in the fence and he felt that it was in his air space. So he removed a section, which we didn't argue with him about as we didn't want to get into a disagreement with him. I called the county forestry people about the tree, and they sent someone out to look at the tree. He assured me that the tree was not on the neighbor's property, but that the overhanging branches could be trimmed back to the line, as is proper. We let the neighbor know that he was free to have the tree trimmed, but we did not want the tree removed, or any of the major structures harmed.
So...I get home the other day, and the tree has been trimmed to within an inch of its life. Two of the major branching structures are completely gone, leaving some minor branching on top of about an 8 foot trunk. It looks awful. I called the tree trimmer about it, and he came right over to explain his work. When he got there, he explained that he only removed what was on the neighbor's property. I asked him to walk over, line up the stakes, and tell me if he felt that the tree was on the neighbor's property. When we walked over, we noted two things: 1) My survey stakes from OUR original survey are gone and 2) He agreed that, by the remaining stakes (the neighbor's survey), the tree, was NOT on the neighbor's property at all. He was very confused, as he said that when he cut the tree, the stakes indicated that the tree was about half and half and he removed the half that was encroaching. He felt that the stakes had been moved. He also said that he had been asked to remove a post in our fence and had refused because it would cause the fence to fall, so we went and looked, and sure enough, the post was gone and about another six feet of fencing was stacked up. We have since walked the property line, and only the neighbor's survey stakes appear to be intact.
As it is, I no longer trust the stakes that he has left, since it appears that he is not above moving them when he feels like it. I am at a loss. Do I call the police and file a missing stakes report? What is the procedure? Can I force the neighbor to do another survey? I feel that the survey is going to be important, as he has placed stakes for the corners of his structures, and he appears to be building right up to the property line (we do not have any township rules that would govern a setback).