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  1. #1
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    Default Standard Roof Over Hang-Going to Court

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: New Hampshire-Stoddard to be exact- Question 1: I have a shed on my property that is grandfathered in and my neighbor hired a lawyer and is taking me to court because he now wants me to move the shed further back onto my property because the standard roof overhang (12") is 7" over the property line. I can not find a state or local ordinance about this. The town compliance officer said he measures compliance for setbacks using the corners of a structure and not the overhang. Second question: they also want to take me to court because my fence (6' standard stockade fence height) is too high. Where do you measure the height from? From the ground on my side or theirs or the height of the panel? If the fence went up a hill and their side was 3' lower, measuring from their side the fence would be 9' and from my side would be 6'. The town has no ordinance for fences and the state only talks about spite fences being 5' or less.
    Also, the recommendation to install a fence is to the leave a 5"-6" gap at the bottom so it won't rot. Do you include that as well in the measurement?
    thanks

  2. #2
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    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Standard Roof Over Hang-Going to Court

    Quote Quoting dannyo
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    My question involves real estate located in the State of: New Hampshire-Stoddard to be exact- Question 1: I have a shed on my property that is grandfathered in and my neighbor hired a lawyer and is taking me to court because he now wants me to move the shed further back onto my property because the standard roof overhang (12") is 7" over the property line. I can not find a state or local ordinance about this.
    The problem you have with this one is that even if the shed does not violate the zoning ordinances having any part of your structure over the property line is a trespass to the other property. Thus, absent some kind of statute of limitations defense you might lose on this.

    Quote Quoting dannyo
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    Second question: they also want to take me to court because my fence (6' standard stockade fence height) is too high. Where do you measure the height from? From the ground on my side or theirs or the height of the panel? If the fence went up a hill and their side was 3' lower, measuring from their side the fence would be 9' and from my side would be 6'. The town has no ordinance for fences and the state only talks about spite fences being 5' or less.

    Also, the recommendation to install a fence is to the leave a 5"-6" gap at the bottom so it won't rot. Do you include that as well in the measurement?
    thanks
    No idea how a court would rule on that in your state.

    I suggest you see an attorney experienced in litigating real estate disputes for advice on what defenses you have and what it will cost to defend against the neighbor's claims. The neighbor has a lawyer and you'll be at a disadvantage if you go into court without one.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Standard Roof Over Hang-Going to Court

    Is this a new neighbor or did you do something to piss the neighbor off? A person that would expend what it would take to file and litigate a 7 inch trespass of an overhang suit has to have some motive to do so. It's not a trespass on the ground that would prevent the neighbor from using his full property. With that said, a lawyer writing you a letter is not the same as filing suit. It's only a threat to scare you into doing something.

    Quote Quoting dannyo
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    Question 1: I have a shed on my property that is grandfathered in and my neighbor hired a lawyer and is taking me to court because he now wants me to move the shed further back onto my property because the standard roof overhang (12") is 7" over the property line.
    Under what doctrine is your shed grandfathered? Was it built before a zoning ordinance required a setback from the property line? How long ago was the shed built and did you built it or did one of your predecessors built it?

    If the shed was built 20 or more years ago (in NH) and there was no challenge to the trespass of the 7" in that time, then you have a claim for a prescriptive easement. You can Google what a prescriptive easement is and what required elements are to prove it. Basically it is adverse to the land owner (the neighbor), the use is open and notorious (meaning that it is not hidden), continuous and uninterrupted for the statute of limitations (20 years). That would be a counterclaim to a suit of trespass and ejectment.

    Is the shed on a permanent foundation or can it be moved? If moveable, it should be no big deal to pull the shed 7" away from the property line and save yourself a lot of grief and possible expense.


    Quote Quoting dannyo
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    Second question: they also want to take me to court because my fence (6' standard stockade fence height) is too high. Where do you measure the height from?
    thanks
    A fence built on your property is measured from your side of the fence. Your neighbor is delusional and pissing upwind.

    Consult with an attorney if you actually get sued. Until then I would ignore the threat. Or hire an attorney now to respond to the threat. That is your choice.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Standard Roof Over Hang-Going to Court

    Quote Quoting dannyo
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    is taking me to court
    they also want to take me to court
    Not clear whether you have been sued or not.

    Have you been served with a summons and complaint?

    Not just a letter from a lawyer, but court papers?

    If you haven't, then I suggest you just ignore him and stop talking until you are actually sued.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Standard Roof Over Hang-Going to Court

    Quote Quoting dannyo
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    I have a shed on my property that is grandfathered in
    Grandfathered in to what?


    Quote Quoting dannyo
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    my neighbor hired a lawyer and is taking me to court because he now wants me to move the shed further back onto my property because the standard roof overhang (12") is 7" over the property line. I can not find a state or local ordinance about this.
    Do you seriously contest that having a shed with a roof that hangs over the property line constitutes trespassing?


    Quote Quoting dannyo
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    Second question
    It's worth noting that there wasn't a first question.


    Quote Quoting dannyo
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    they also want to take me to court because my fence (6' standard stockade fence height) is too high.
    Earlier in your post, you wrote that your neighbor "is taking [you] to court." Now you're saying that someone (I guess "they" refers to your neighbor and his lawyer) "wants to take [you] to court." Has the neighbor actually sued you for anything or not?


    Quote Quoting dannyo
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    Where do you measure the height from? From the ground on my side or theirs or the height of the panel? If the fence went up a hill and their side was 3' lower, measuring from their side the fence would be 9' and from my side would be 6'.
    The only way to have a three foot difference from one side of a fence to the other would be if the slope were nearly vertical (or a fence that is so think that it would be unreasonable to call it a "fence").


    Quote Quoting dannyo
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    Also, the recommendation to install a fence is to the leave a 5"-6" gap at the bottom so it won't rot. Do you include that as well in the measurement?
    Whose recommendation? Five to six inch gap between what and what?

    Bottom line: Move your shed, but it is unlikely you're going to have any problem with a six foot fence.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Standard Roof Over Hang-Going to Court

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    Grandfathered in to what?




    Do you seriously contest that having a shed with a roof that hangs over the property line constitutes trespassing?




    It's worth noting that there wasn't a first question.




    Earlier in your post, you wrote that your neighbor "is taking [you] to court." Now you're saying that someone (I guess "they" refers to your neighbor and his lawyer) "wants to take [you] to court." Has the neighbor actually sued you for anything or not?




    The only way to have a three foot difference from one side of a fence to the other would be if the slope were nearly vertical (or a fence that is so think that it would be unreasonable to call it a "fence").




    Whose recommendation? Five to six inch gap between what and what?

    Bottom line: Move your shed, but it is unlikely you're going to have any problem with a six foot fence.
    I wouldn't move the shed without talking to an attorney first, unless the shed is really easy to move, which I kind of doubt. I agree that the shed is the only possible thing they have any potential leverage on, but its possible that you would not have to move it at all...particularly due to whatever the "grandfathering" is that you are talking about.

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