Neighbors encroaching on my land

3 Replies

I am having this issue at the first house that I ever bought.  I used to live in it and have since rented it out to college students.  It's on a 5k lot and previously had a fence separating my lot from my neighbor's lot.  A while back the neighbor asked me if they could replace the chain link fence with something like the white picket one in the front and I agreed (verbal).  Since then they have taken down a ton of my landscaping, built rock walls and planters on my property.  I'm not one to complain about a little thing, this is a massive amount of work they have had done.  Probably in the 5-10k worth of improvements, but all on my land.  They've covered up where my sprinklers once would come up. 

I've sent them a letter informing them to remove the items as my current set of renters has turned over and any agreement that they may have had with them was not allowed or approved by me.  I have not heard back from them, but I don't anticipate them doing anything other than continue to encroach on my land.  I'm looking for any suggestions on how to handle this other than go get an attorney and spend a bunch of money.  

Original Chain Link Fence:

Now: 

It is really hard to tell because the after pictures are from a different angle but I will take your word for it. was the fence on the property line? Is the rock wall where the fence used to be?  If not I would have a lawyer write them a letter or put up a cheap fence on the property line or 4 inches off whatever is required in your area.

Are you sure your tenants didn't add the planters?  You've given them notice, so now when the tenants leave, spend the weekend removing whatever needs to be removed from your property.  It looks like they put a lot of time into it and some tenants would like the raised beds.  I'd put up a simple chain link fence along the property line (or just on your side of it).  It will make the separation more clear.

As Colleen said it is hard to tell what has been added as the photos are at different angles.

Al, I'm sure you realize that if you don't address this then at some point the neighbors may claim a legal right to that part of your property. If the vegetable boxes are completely on your land, I would put a fence and leave them. As @theresaharris said, some tenants appreciate the raised beds, and if the neighbors spent money improving your property, then as long as you have a clear definition that it's your land, you'll have the benefit of their work