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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    2

    Default Could This Be a Case of Adverse Possession

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

    Hi all this is my first post and I want to be as informed as possible on these matters so I don't make any errors.

    I bought my house Feb/09. I have a city plot (6,000 Sq Ft) and the west side neighbors are placing their garbage cans on a section of my property, bordering theirs, approximately 10 ft by 6 ft which has a concrete slab on it. There already is chain link fence around my yard that goes around this small patch of land. In spring I want to put up a privacy fence that will be up to the property line. I had a survey done and it clearly shows that this is on my plat. The only other survey of the area is their plat which clearly shows that this is not on their plat and this was done in the 1950's. The last title conveyance of their property was done on 10/1993. So it seems they would have been occupying it for no more than 16 years.

    My questions are

    Could this be a case of adverse possession? WI has a time line of 20 years for adverse possession.

    What is the best way I should go about putting up my fence? I contacted the city Inspector and he told me to put up my fence and not worry about them as a lawyer would not typically accept cases like this because it is clearly my property.

    Thank you for any info.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Could This Be a Case of Adverse Possession

    I would do as the inspector suggested and if anything happens, deal with it then. It is not cheap to argue adverse possession of even prescriptive easement so unless this is really a big deal to them, I would suggest they will simply acquiesce to the new situation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Could This Be a Case of Adverse Possession

    If I wrote them a letter telling them that I will allow them to keep their garbage cans there would that prevent any permanent prescriptive easement? This should remove the element of hostility and occupation less than 20 years.

    What would be the issues if I wrote the letter? Would I have to give them notice before I built a fence to remove the garbage cans? Then remove them myself if they did not comply?

    I was considering writing a letter concerning my survey. I was going to tell them that this is my property and I will allow them to keep their garbage cans there till I wish to use the land for something else (which is the truth). Can this lead to any detriment for me??

    Thank you for all your help. I really try to get all my ducks in a row before I make a move.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Could This Be a Case of Adverse Possession

    it wouldn't really change the dynamics of of the situation since it appears you are going to change the situation shortly anyway. It may spur them into action, if they would have considered it anyway. The one downside to this is; by giving them such notice, it brings notice to the situation, which they may not have even considered.

    I when ready to build the fence, I would simply walk over and ask them "I am going to fence in my entire property at my lot lines. Where can I set your trashcans so I can include that corner of my property."

    this way, you really do not acknowledge the fact that you had even considered AP or prescriptive easement and you do not plant it in their minds either.

    Unless they were to take action immediately, they would allow the possession to end at that point and remove their possible claim, possibly, unwittingly.

    Not really trying to be sneaky about it but it is your property. I would avoid making a big deal about it and making them think more about it than necessary.

    Oh, and to the inspectors statement about attorney's not taking such cases; you can generally find an attorney to take just about any case if you are willing to foot the bill. Be careful with accepting that portion of the inspectors words.

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