Property Line Issue/Bad Neighbor Question

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I'm asking this here-even though I know there are folks I know I should consult locally-just because of the sheer depth of knowledge here.

My fiancé has owned her house 3 years as of next month. It's an older house, built in the early 1950s. It sits on a decent sized plot of land for the middle of town, but as best as I can tell, sometime around 2011 the lot was "carved up" for a second house to be built next door. I'm basing this date on looking at Google Earth historic images, where I can clearly a fence marking the edge of what was presumably the "original" property line, and new construction popping up around 2011.

In any case, the lot was divided quite unusually. Her house sits more or less on the road(probably a standard 15ft back or so-haven't measured even though I've measured several other dimensions). Total length from the street(seemingly unchanged from original plot) to the back line is ~150ft.

When this second plot was carved out, a new line was drawn right at 8ft from the edge of her house. This line extends from the street and roughly 50ft back, at which point it makes a 90º turn. The property line is then set back about 10ft from the back of her house on a line parallel to the back of her house that is roughly 40ft. It then makes another 90º turn, and extends back to the lot for another 100ft. For reference(without drawing this out) this "step" is cut from the right side of the lot as facing it from the street.

The newer house was set far back from the street, and it is probably 10 ft from the front at its left side to the "corner" of the lot where the step first begins.

About a year ago(May 2019) someone new bought the house and almost immediately came over and asked-in a rather demanding tone-if my fiancé would consider "trading" property with her to give them more space at the corner. My fiancé refused, primarily because her lot is already tight on that portion anyway(remember, 10ft from the back to the property line).

Since then, the owner has become rather belligerent. She had the lot surveyed, which of course is fine. After surveying, though, they continued to do things like cut well over the line(I've measured 5ft at times) as well as have landscaping trucks and other things drive through my fiancé's property to get around to the back of their house.

On several occasions, my fiancé's dad has driven stakes into the ground to clearly mark the boundaries. The last time he did(a few months ago), the owner and her husband came out and talked to him rather beligerently(shouting, cussing, etc) for putting the stake back in at the corner of the line.

Fast forward to a few days ago when I went out to cut the grass. I noticed, once again, that the stake was missing. When mowing, I like it as a line of sight so that I can be absolutely sure that I'm cutting up to the line and not over. I put a fresh one in, and was almost immediately greeted by the nastiest, foul-mouthed tiraded from both the owner and her husband again that I've ever heard. I finally ended it by just shutting off the lawnmower, but among other things they threatened to call the sheriff on me because I was being petty and they're just "trying to be good neighbors." I told them to go ahead. In all of that, the owner kept stressing that she had paid for the survey(first $600, then $650, then $700)-at that point I'd quit responding to anything they said other than trying to explain why I wanted the stake there. I was told that "it's a trip hazard when they're walking around the house"(why are they on the property?) and "it's ugly sitting right outside their flower beds." Finally, I just ended the conversation by starting the lawnmower.

The stake disappeared a day later, and I replaced it with another that was written in sharpie the address where it was placed(i.e. not on the problematic neighbor's side) and not to remove. They knocked it over, so I hammered it in. So far, that's the end for now, except that I came out today and found that they'd mowed all the way over to the side of the house(in other words 8ft over the line). I made a point of walking the line and videoing my walk, clearly identifying where it was mowed over along with the date just for reference and records.

To be honest, my fiancé wouldn't be making an issue out of this, nor would I(since I will very soon be living there too) aside from the fact that they're being so obnoxious about it. We really don't care on the other side-the neighbors over there are friendly, but their teenage daughter mows sometimes and usually misses the line by a foot or so in either direction. It's honestly just not a big deal over there(especially since it's not as clearly marked) and we just mow to match up whatever they've done.

In any case, I'm exploring options. The obvious one, and one that's planned for the next few weeks, is to put up a fence. City regulations(which we've all read very carefully) allow fences on the property line, and her dad, brother, and I are planning on building one weekend after next. We're looking at a 6ft privacy fence, which of will course will obstruct the view out the about 1/4 of their front window, but that's not really our concern. Obviously it's been surveyed so we know where the line is, and I'm calling next week to have the lines marked.

I'm wondering, though, if there's any other remedy to this. I'm considering delivering a notice of trespass to the neighbors(acting as an authorized agent of the property owner, and of course also filing with the city police with the proper procedures) instructing them that they are not permitted anywhere on the property, but I'm not sure if that will do any good unless caught in the act.

Is there anything else(legal) to consider?
 

bunnspecial

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They bought the lot knowing what they were getting. Put up a real fence. You do not want to be looking at them anyway. EDIT: Make it an 8ft fence.

Agreed. I've been tempted to ask her-since she claims to be a realtor-if she was too stupid when she bought it to check the line or if she was just enough of a(word I don't normally say) to think she could bully the neighbors into changing it, but I held my tongue as I figured that would not go over well.

I've voted for 8ft also...we'll see.
 
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Put up a real fence just inside your property line, then cameras to catch them in the act when it is damaged/vandalized by the neighbors. I wouldn't put up with their language and attitudes, nor the unapproved use of the land as a pass through for their work.
 
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sounds like some really entitled people. karens they like to call them now.

if you really dont like them put up a yard light and maybe a couple cameras to catch them vandalizing the fence.

even cheapo hunting camera works pretty good if you have a tree etc to mount it on.

in the end you have to live with the neighbors but if they are being terrible neighbors .. you need to think about yourself first.

them driving anything through your property is bad too.
 
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Fences typically have to be within your property line by "x" distance. You need to confirm this and talk to the local authorities about all of this (though they may not talk to you since you're not the property owner).
 
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I would put up cameras. Way up on the eaves. If they are that foul mouthed and petty, this will escalate. I would put up the cameras first, before the fence. Make sure they are night capable of have motion lights as well. Have plenty of recording space.
 
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+1 on the cameras.
Offer to sell it to them for the low low price of some absurdly high number, and when they say no tell them to stay off your property or the authorities will be involved.
 
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Basically start making a record now. If nothing happens fine. I'd have them on camera moving the stakes , mowing over etc. Do this before you put up a fence.

That way if it escalates, you can show it's them with the problem, and it's not just over a fence. And why you had to put up a fence.
 

JC1

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Basically start making a record now. If nothing happens fine. I'd have them on camera moving the stakes , mowing over etc. Do this before you put up a fence.

That way if it escalates, you can show it's them with the problem, and it's not just over a fence. And why you had to put up a fence.
Yes make records, put up the fence and get cameras. What a bunch of jerks, sorry you have to deal with idiots like that.

You might need to resort to what Tony Soprano did. Just kidding.
 
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I'm asking this here-even though I know there are folks I know I should consult locally-just because of the sheer depth of knowledge here.
I'm wondering, though, if there's any other remedy to this. I'm considering delivering a notice of trespass to the neighbors(acting as an authorized agent of the property owner, and of course also filing with the city police with the proper procedures) instructing them that they are not permitted anywhere on the property, but I'm not sure if that will do any good unless caught in the act.

Is there anything else(legal) to consider?

Yes but your post is very light on specific detail.

First, pull out her deed and see the survey lines. From what you say this was 'carved up" but legally there is no "property line" unless it is surveyed and recorded on the tax plat. Just because its 'surveyed" doesn't mean its right. It may be necessary to challenge the survey.

Then stake the land and build your fence (I suggest a security system as well including a camera)

You make a police report documenting the situation as a whole ( get it documented officially)

"YOU" do not approach or otherwise engage them at all- communicate by letter ( that's official but also diffuses any potential situation before it becomes one)

You speak of remedy. Remedy of what specifically?

Sounds like a basic turf war right now so don't let it escalate beyond that and separate the turf but hearing your side only, it would be prudent to proactively protect yourself should more official action become necessary.
 
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Sounds like the title insurance company might be of help. They should have all the records of the property surveys.

As for markers, dig a hole and place a metal rod with the bottom end bent 90 degrees or like a J in the exact spot of the property line. Fill with concrete. Make the bar flush with the ground. Paint the top end yellow.

Do this before putting up the fence.
 
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Is a fence something that YOU want? Are you comfortable looking at a fence rather than open space? I would not let them force you into something you do not want. If a fence is desired, then my point is moot.

Maybe they just like the perception that their lot is bigger? Maybe they want to impress their visitors? It's anyone's guess. But, my point is that maybe just a rock or other inconspicuous marker on the corner might appease them? They still shouldn't drive on your property to gain access to theirs. Shouldn't be mowing more than a swath over the line, etc..

I'm probably being naive, because they don't seem like the type to listen to reason. Best of luck on this terrible situation. It's beyond amazing how some people are. If they choose all out war, then have at it. Get ALL of your ducks in a row.

Edit: I'm not sure it's legal for the homeowner to set a permanent survey marker that PimTac describes. There should be a rebar marker in the ground that the surveyor set.
 
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bunnspecial

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Is a fence something that YOU want? Are you comfortable looking at a fence rather than open space? I would not let them force you into something you do not want. If a fence is desired, then my point is moot.

To be honest, I'm not wild about a fence, but I'm not opposed to it either. There is something I like about-for example-being able to sit out in the back yard undisturbed or things like that. I don't think my fiancé is wild about it either, and in all honesty the conversation wouldn't have come up if they weren't being SO nutty about it. A fence seems the only way to really get the point across to them. Yes, it's vindictive in a way, but they also seem to have no boundaries and a fence seems a way to stop them.

Also-re: the lot markers. The(bad) neighbor was the one who paid for a legally licensed survey, and the surveyor put stakes as visible markers. Before that survey(long before) I'd borrowed a friend's metal detector and found the below ground ones pretty distinctly and right where the surveyor said. The other side of the lot, presumably the original boundary, has a small concrete marker at each corner, which I'm guessing was put there when the land was originally platted out.
 

bunnspecial

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sounds like some really entitled people. karens they like to call them now.

Actually, she does pretty much fit the "Karen" stereotype such as it's evolved. I'd guess her to be in her late 40s or early 50s, and definitely comes across even when she's not shouting obscenities as having the "Let me talk to your manger" air.
 
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Put up a real fence just inside your property line, then cameras to catch them in the act when it is damaged/vandalized by the neighbors. I wouldn't put up with their language and attitudes, nor the unapproved use of the land as a pass through for their work.
You want to make sure the fence is on your property and not give them any extra space. If you go back from your line, you may end up losing the little extra bit of property through adverse possession.
 

bunnspecial

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As far as set-back-I have been combing the town regulations(which are conveniently online) and they do specifically state that fences may be built up to/on the property line. Some HOAs in town do have restrictions(including where my future in-laws live) but this is not an HOA neighborhood. At the city level, the only fence stipulation is a permit for anything over 7ft tall.

So yes, a fence going up, and it's going on the line. We're still discussion where exactly-I think there's an aesthetic argument for putting a gate flush with the front corner of the house and then going down the line from there, but to completely block out any view of the neighbors I also think there's an argument to be made for running right out to the street. It's of no concern to us from inside since that's the garage side of the house and there are no windows :)
 
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Oh man! The second I heard one single profanity come out of his mouth,I would walk past his hag of a wife, look him right in his eyes and tell him to "You know what" himself.
 
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