Boundary infringement on flip home

3 Replies

I'm buying a home to flip in WA state via short sale and one of the neighbors I spoke with said that the other neighbor's fence is 5' over the lot line into my future property. I've never crossed this bridge so posting for any input as to what actions can be taken, especially if the neighbor tells me to take a hike? Should I take any action prior to closing? 



First, get a survey or an "improvement location certificate" to see what's really going on.  You may want a survey since ILCs sometimes just look at fences.

Then decide what you want to do.  I once bought a property where the neighbors had drilled their well on the property I was buying.  Rather than fight about it we surveyed off a piece around the well and gave it to them.  But that was a few hundred square feet on a three acre property.

If you don't want to give away the slice (I probably wouldn't) then its your fence.  Its on your property.  You can knock it down and put up one on the line.  That may result in a bad neighbor situation, though.  But if its on your property and they refuse to do anything, I don't see a better choice.

Depends on how long the fence has been there, it might qualify for the "Adverse Possession" or "Squatter's Right" laws. Try to work it out diplomatically, because if the fennel has been up a while (sometime as little as 7 years) then they can sue for title to that strip of ground, and by law, would be entitled to it. You could see if the neighbor just wants to cut you a check for a couple grand to have it not end up in court and/or have to run the risk of tearing the fence down and rebuilding it. Check with your lawyer first.

Good luck!

Nope, that's not an adverse possession matter. It's an encroachment/easement issue.

Pick you battles. If I was going to keep the property for an extended time, I might look at the opportunity cost. If there no functional loss, let the new owner decide whether to deal it.

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