Profile picture for vjffh5

my neighbors house is on the property line, built in 1939, and they have landscaped on my property

they have a sump pump which drains on my property, can i make them move it? and have trees in the back yard that are planted on the property line and branches come in my yard and block my access to backyard, can i cut them back?
  • May 17 2009 - Vadnais Heights
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Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (15)

Profile picture for SoCal Engr
I note that the original post was made in 2009, so it's likely that the OP has moved on. However, in case anyone else is interested in looking up the law (like April), it is possible to simple Google "<state> adverse possession statue".

More info relative to Minnesota....

The concept that could potentially come into play is referred to as adverse possession.

Here is a section of Minnesota code on topic. Additional links to Minnesota code are here.
  • August 16 2011
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Profile picture for Melody91
Hi again-

I DO know when the boundary is clear & legal. anything overhanging from an abutter's property, like tree limbs or flowers, are in you domain-and you can do anything you want with it.

As for underground, I would go the legal route.

They don't sound particularly 'folksy' or friendly, so DO investigate the legal part, and if it cost you more money with your lawyer, because they wouldn't respond, try adding the extra legal expense to the bill to them.

Good manners can not be taught; yet the power of a court ruling for not responding, may make them more responsive in the future.
  • August 14 2011
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Profile picture for AprilDaniels
Thank you, I am doing that now. the house is a dump and falling down anyway, the owner hasn't called me yet. April
  • August 12 2011
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
@April:  You will need both a survey as well as discussion with a lawyer about property boundaries and your rights in your state. 
  • August 12 2011
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Profile picture for AprilDaniels
   My nabors house is on my property, I have lived here for 10yrs, she
was a renter, now the house is empty the owner won't talk to me, I want
to put up a fence. this house was built in the 30's. what can I do

  adaniels001@yahoo.com
  • August 12 2011
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The best place to start is with a survey to determine exactly where the lot line is.  If there is a problem that appears to be easily fixed by discussing it with the neighbor, talk to them and try to resolve things.  Working things out amicably is usually the best practice.  It makes for better neighbors.  If there is a encroachment (their house is on your lot) onto your property then you should talk to a real estate attorney that may approach your title insurance company for relief, if you have an owner's title insurance policy. 

  • November 15 2010
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Profile picture for DanaEv

We had this exact problem when we bought our house recently.  Our neighbor had landscaped part of our yard, had his sprinkler system in our yard, etc.  We had a surveyor come out because we wanted to cut down some trees and that's how we found out that our lot was bigger than we thought it was.

We gave our neighbor the surveyor's report, and the surveyor left red flags to show where the line was.  Our neighbor immediately moved his sprinkler system over to his yard, and changed his flower beds so that we could have our land back.  If your neighbor isn't as nice, take the advice of other people here.  We were lucky that our neighbor was nice and that there was clear evidence of where our lot line was.

You are allowed to trim any branches hanging over your yard and you can cut down any trees in your yard, as long as you are 100% sure it's all your land.  If they have a fence on your property, they would have to move it, at their expense, to their land.

You didn't say, but how long have you lived in your house?  If you've been there for many years and let them use the property that long, they can claim adverse ....um....I've forgotten the phrase, but basically it means that you let them use it for years and therefore consented to letting them have it and it can become theirs now.   If you just moved in, like we did, then there's no problem.  We believe the ex owners of our house allowed them to have that property but once we bought it that agreement was gone since it wasn't in writing. It's a large chunk of their front and side yards and they didn't say a word.  They simply got workers out there to get everything moved and changed .  There is a drainage issue, but it's one created by nature, not neighbors, so there's not much we can do right now.  We'll install some underground piping to get the water to drain around the back of the house sometime in the future but we aren't in a rush.

  • December 07 2009
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Profile picture for Melody91
Dear vjffh5-

By the way, what have you done with all of the advice you've received so far? I also agree the 'assumption of good neighbor policy' is always a good first step.
Please let us know, have you made any progress so far with these neigbors?
And have you checked with the Ordinances at your Town Hall?

Please DO keep us posted, as we all, also as 'good neighbors,' have willingly taken of our time to read of your plight, and happily taken the time to try to give you our best advice, hoping we could be of help. So kindly remember to keep us all in your 'Feedback Loop.," OK?

Happy Holidays to you & yours,
   Sincerely,

    Melody
  • December 07 2009
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Why not try talking to your neighbor to find out if they are aware of the lot line. and see if you can reach an agreement first. Then if the tow of you can't reslolve it. you can pursue legal matters.  Try the good neighbor approache first. You just might make a life long friend.
  • December 06 2009
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You may also find out good information through your city's ordinances which may even be posted online.  If you live in town. 

  • December 06 2009
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Profile picture for patlordagent
The law varies from state to state. Consult an attorney or local broker.Best of luck!
  • July 16 2009
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Profile picture for Melody91
I agree with all of the sound advice above.
As far as i know, anything overhanging from a neighbor's tree, flowering bush, etc., onto your air space is legally YOURS; therefore you may chop it down, cut it, do whatever you wish.

As far as I know it IS illegal to create water flow onto the property of another; therefore the Survey Route IS a first step, (in case memory is not on your side). If you are correct, then the Legal Route is the wisest course. (Strange they did not do a survey before they did it.) I DO believe (and perhaps it does vary state to state) that if you are correct, the neighbors may have to undo what they did, and RE-DO what they wanted to accomplish in another way; I am uncertain whether they owe you money, unless it caused a hazard like mold, etc. on your property.

Good Luck from all of us and keep us posted so we can also learn from your experience, OKAY?
  • July 16 2009
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Get a survey first. Then call a RE Attorney.
  • July 13 2009
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Profile picture for jmg0932
You might also check with your city hall/county.  There may be rules in place already that they can enforce without you having to hire a lawyer. 
  • May 18 2009
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You must see a Real Estate Lawyer for this one. The laws are different in each state. I don't think they can "drain" onto your land.

In california you can cut back branches that block your access. In your state I don't know.
  • May 17 2009
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