Encroachment

6 Replies

Looking at a low priced fixer from a wholesaler in a high growth area.  Solid home, cosmetics.  Seemed perfect but, half the house is built on the neighbors property!  Somehow this happened when 4 houses in a row were all built by one family on their one lot, then it was subdivided, or maybe subdivided and then they built, makes no sense either way but now I understand that if I want to flip it I will have an impossible time selling to anyone who will use a bank loan because of this encroachment issue.  The neighbor wants to cooperate and fix it but I dont know what kind of costs that will incur or how possible it even is.  Does he just deed me some of his property? Can the lines be redrawn somehow?  Is there any way past this issue?  Thoughts?

Hello

Yes you can redraw the lines.

Hire a surveyor to survey the lot line.
Once you know the correct lot lines. Come to a contract agreement with the neighbor. Pay him or etc. them go record.

Taye N.

    You may have to apply for a short plat permit with your local municipality. First check with your City office and title companies on local ordinance and laws. 

    Often times, once your re-plat is drawn up with the proposed new lot lines, your muni may require that the plat is approved by any utility company with an easement that is effected by your new plat. Since the size of the lots will change, you'll also need to make sure that set backs, resitrictions are not impacted by your adjustment. Finally it may need approval from your local platting board. 

    Your local laws are going to determine the hoops you must jump through. 

    Kevin Cross, Real Estate Agent in AK (#17358)

      If this happened long enough ago, each state varies in length, the former owner could have acquired an easement by prescription, or possiblyou adversely possessed the portion of land. Talk to a title attorney regarding this. In Maryland it takes 20 years for this to happen.

      Russell Brazil, Real Estate Agent in Maryland (#648402), Virginia (#0225219736), District of Columbia (#SP98375353) and Massachusetts (#9​0​5​2​3​4​6)

      Talk to an attorney - I'm assuming this is in Arizona based on your location.  Arizona has an adverse possession law.  If it's been more than 10 years, there should be no contest with relation to who owns the land (the person who owns the house).  I think you can even get away with three years if you've paid property taxes on it....but I'm not an attorney and it would be best to talk to one.

      Ed E.

        In Washington State all county's would require a "boundary line adjustment".  Since the neighboring property owner is willing to work with you, a boundary line adjustment approved by the county board should be cheaper and easier than filing a quiet title or adverse possession claim, which adjusts the boundary line by court order.  In my county a boundary line adjustment typically takes four to six months.  Surveying the intended new property line is highly recommended, but here it is not required, especially if the intent of both parties is clear and you or someone you know is comfortable writing the new legal description for each property.  Best wishes.  

        Start with the survey so you have a base knowledge of the situation for discussion. Then go, preferably with the neighbor, down to the city planing or other appropriate department. If you're both there they will be able to direct you on how to proceed.

        All the directions here are great, but the local municipality will have to be involved as Kevin mentioned. Adverse possession is usually only claimed if there is a dispute involved and I would almost guarantee you that if the neighbor is cooperative then it's really just a redraw of the boundaries. But that will then lead to a change in legal descriptions on deeds/security instruments and other recorded documents. So starting with the city gives you the path to follow going forward.

        FYI - We're just finishing one where we purchase a residential property crossing a lot line. The first lot was in foreclosure the second was not (bank oversight on the loan) and the city was hands down the most helpful party involved. Title, attorney, adverse possession, all of these were discussed in the process.

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