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  1. #1

    Default 30 Year Old Driveway Cuts Across Corner of Neighbor's Property

    My wife and I purchased our house almost 4 years ago and didn't have a survey done at the time because the sellers had a survey from when they had purchased the house 2 years earlier. The real estate agent recomended that we forego the cost of another survey. We received a copy of the "survey" when we closed on the house and everything appeared to be fine.
    About a year ago my neighbor began a major excavation and building project in his backyard. In the process he had his land survey for building permits. What he found and was quick to point out was that the corner of his property cuts across my driveway right before it connects with the street. He told me to move the driveway and even offered to "help with the costs" of moving my entire driveway to where he wanted which was 20 feet over. (far beyond the property line). He purchased his property in 1988 and told me a story about how he allowed the original owner to move the driveway to this location and now he wants to revoke it.
    I contacted the original owner of the property and told him about the situation. He informed me that the driveway is in the same place it always has been since the house was built in 1978.
    My wife and I consulted a local attorney and he informed us that a prescriptive easement could be granted because the driveway was continuously used and maintained for the last 30 years and that we may in fact have a claim of adverse possession. The attorney drafted a letter informing my neighbor of our stance and offer to draw up a formal easement or to purchase the property. The lawyer then advised us that such legal action could becoem very costly and it would be cheaper to move the driveway.
    We hoped it would all go away, but we have just found out that the neighbor has filed suit against us. My question is this: Is it worth fighting or am I better just moving the driveway? The property is question is less than 50 square feet, and my neighbor and I both own 2.5 acres of land. My wife and I don't want to lose a bunch of money in this process and my neighbor has money to burn and I think he is using this ability to bully us.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,592

    Default Re: 30 Year Old Driveway Cuts Across Corner of Neighbor's Property

    Quote Quoting Stuck-in-the-middle
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    The real estate agent recomended that we forego the cost of another survey. We received a copy of the "survey" when we closed on the house and everything appeared to be fine.
    A
    The "advice" which you received from your Neighborhood Professional was more than a bit unprofessional. And the survey you saw was most likely something else entirely, and was misrepresented to you. But as you have been asked to tell us your state of residence, and you have refused, who could know?

    You are now in a poker game. You think that your neighbor has "money to burn" but is that a fact or possibly a bluff?

    Regardless of your unstated state of residence, your attorney is probably correct in stating that you have a good case for a prescriptive easement.

    For the benefit of the attorneys on this board (which I am not), it might be helpful to state the basic details of why you are being sued, and for what.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 30 Year Old Driveway Cuts Across Corner of Neighbor's Property

    I'm in Missouri. It was an oversite on my part not posting what state I'm in. I'm new here, sorry.

    The survey we were given at the time of purchase showed the property diagramed with measurements and coordinates and appeared to be accurate. We later learned that it was a "spot" survey and was just used to show the house and its relationship to the property lines. Even though the driveway was on this "spot survey" and shown in our property lines entirely.

    As far as why we are being sued, I haven't received the summons yet, but I believe it will be for Encroachment/Tresspassing. I just found out through chance that the case has been filed againt us in the circuit court.

    Thanks for your reply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,592

    Default Re: 30 Year Old Driveway Cuts Across Corner of Neighbor's Property

    Sorry to be a bit blunt about my experience with Realtors (c).

    They are as qualified to to describe your boundaries as they are to describe your level of gall bladder disease.

    As I suspected, you have been the victim of a mortgage "survey" which is not a survey at all but a fraud perpetrated on the public by lending institutions with the cooperation of a few land surveyors.

    Get a real estate attorney lined up for this, hopefully before the summons comes through. You probably have a good case but you cannot do it on your own.

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