Land dispute advice needed

10 Replies

Hi BP community! So I’m having an issue with my Neighbor. I have a 3 family home that I resIde In and The building next to mine is also a multi family home but the owner does not reside there. I have owened my property for almost 5 years and the owner of the property next to mine has owned it for 3. The issue is out of no where she is claiming my mailboxes are on her land which I don’t believe to be the truth. She wants me to move them, The mailboxes have been there for at least 20 years because I did some digging and reached out to a past owner. So she new they were there when she purchased her property. I have gone to the Town and tried to find the land markers but cannot. (which means she cannot eIther) They told me if I really wanted to find out I would need to have the land surveyed but that can get expensive. I have tried to be reasonable and stayed completely professional in all are conversations. She will only communicate to me through text. She won’t let this go and I have tried reaching out to 2 separate attorneys and I can’t get either one of them to return my calls even after calling and speaking to there assistants multiple times. I’m trying to go about this the right way but I feel based of of the things she’s said that my next step is to get some legal advise but I can’t get a lawyer to return my calls.. what should I do?? Thank you for anyone that can help!

@Shawn Trudeau Surveys for this small of a project are fairly cheap. You may be finding it difficult to get an attorney involved because there is no money to be made on this issue. Get some recommendations for a Surveyor in your area, get a few quotes for comfort if needed then resolved the issue.

1) get a survey

Or

2) letter to neighbor “I believe the mailboxes are on my property.  If you provide a current survey showing otherwise, I’ll be happy to move them”.

If you want an attorney you have to retain one i.e., pay them and enter into a written agreement to establish an attorney-client relationship. You can't just call and get legal advice over the phone.

I imagine the longer the neighbor does nothing here with respect to protecting "her" land, the easier your quiet title action will be.

Tell her to kick rocks. Burden of proof is on her. Tell her you are done texting with her back and forth. The mail boxes are on your property and it has been verified by previous owners. If she wants to get a survey and prove you wrong then tell her you will be happy to move them at that time. I would also tell her this is my last text about this issue, that you are firm on your stance, and not wasting any more time with her pettiness. Sounds to me like you have been to nice to this person. Sometimes you have to be stern. 

  1. Find a way to convince your neighbor to team up with you in clarifying the boundaries between the properties. The more adversarial your approach the higher the risk in increasing the cost.
  2. To determine the boundaries, check the legal descriptions of the properties in both of the deeds. If the deeds are not sufficient to resolve the issue (not likely), then order a survey. To reduce the cost of the survey, convince your neighbor to split the cost.
  3. If the survey ends up in your favor, and your neighbor still has an issue, find a good attorney (via referral). Set up a free consultation with the attorney to work out a strategy in case your neighbor files a civil claim. Be sure to document all communications, transactions, etc. with the neighbor as you may need them later in your counter-claim or for court. Ask the attorney for advice on how to deal with the neighbor in the meantime in case s/he misbehaves.
  4.  Think in advance about what you will do if the survey proves the neighbor is right.

Tackle this from a different angle. 

IIRC the mail boxes and their placement belong to the feds so go to your local post office and ask them about placement

I work for the PO. Moving a mailbox is actually a bigger deal than it should be. You can’t just move a mailbox without approval from the postmaster in your town. Chances are the boxes have been In that spot for decades. There are hundreds of mailboxes in the city where I work that aren’t on the property of the actual address. A lot of times they’re across the street on the neighbors property because delivery is only made on one side of the street. I don’t know why this lady has such an issue with mailboxes. I would tell her to 1) get a survey herself and 2) if the survey says the boxes are on her property, she can deal with the PO about moving them.

@Shawn Trudeau , I'm concerned about this conversation being via text. Not sure the laws in your state, but in mine, text is not a legal method of notification.

I like @Wayne Brooks  suggestion, ask her for a survey. Until she can prove she's right, I'd stop worrying about it.