property line/Texas fencing law

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by centexguy, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. centexguy

    centexguy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    87
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Hello, I have a small problem with a new neighbor. This fellow who has purchased 5ac next to my 30ac has built a small "tank" with the backhoe he rented to put in his septic. I normally dont have many problems with what other people do or build on their property but the problem is, this guy has piled up 5feet of dirt 12-15 ft onto my property. Im still trying to figure out why he thinks he will get away with this. He has several hundred feet he could use between his house and his new tank. He suggested and we have talked several times about building a fence and sharing the cost. I even offered to let him pick the type he wants within reason and provide the holes and corner H pipe at my expense. This same guy was whining about his other neighbor putting up a poorly constructed 4 strand barbwire fence after he(new fellow) mentioned sharing the fencing cost. I have left a message and a note asking this guy to call me about it, with no result. I think I will just have a buddy with a dozer scrape down the dirt pile as close to the property line as possible and build a fence. Should I build it on the line or pull it in some. I try hard to be a good neighbor but I feel this guy thinks he can take advantage and use my land for his own. I noticed when I told him I would dig the holes for the corners he marked the corner a foot over onto my side. I might try to stop by his place and talk to him one more time. The property line is marked with tpost next to the survey stake, no possible way to miss it. I even mentioned to him when he was digging it that he was going over the line, I really thought he would get the hint and move the dirt. He didnt. I really want to keep things neighborly but this guy is really testing my patience. What would you do? Ive been trying to come up with a creative solution to get the dirt moved and a fence built without a big fuss. I doubt we will ever be friends but we will be neighbors till one of us moves.
     
  2. Burbsteader

    Burbsteader Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    507
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    Location:
    Western WA
    It sounds like the kind that if you give an inch, he'll take the mile.
    You had best make it clear what you expect or he will continue to mess with your land for however many years he lives there. No sense allowing bad habits to develop.
    His behavior shows he does not respect you or your property. He also intends to take any extra land he can grab.

    Put the fence exactly on the property line, no need to give him any of your land. I would get the fence up along that line sooner rather than later, with or without him.

    Unless you gave him an ultimatum to move that dirt, he has gotten away with it.
     

  3. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,323
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    To me it sounds like you are on the right track in your thinking.

    Hard to be real specific on what _I_ would do, as details & every situation is different, but I think I would get a fence up on the property line about as soon as I could.

    Local township, county, rules can kick in on fences & septics. I'd consider looking into that - the closeness of the septic, as well. Where will his laterals end up? Once it's there, it affects your ability to put in a well, or buildings. You might be told there is no code - but often times there is, just forgotten about or not enforced.

    Your state, this is what can happen if you don't build on the line:

    http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7208

    Here are the complicated fence laws of Texas for livestock. Now, if you don't build the ugly barbed wire livestock fence, then things get grey, & livestock fencing laws might not apply.... Ugh. It always gets complicated......

    http://www.thecattlemanmagazine.com/livestock_laws_Texas_cattle_tscra.asp


    Anyhow, moral support is about the best I have to offer from here in Minnesota - sounds like you are going down the road the same way I would. :)

    --->Paul
     
  4. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

    Messages:
    30,860
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Texas Coastal Bend/S. Missouri
    Move his dirt back on to his side. Build your new fence on the property line.

    Do it now.

    Do not delay.

    Don't wait.

    Hurry.

    Why are you still reading?
     
  5. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Tank=pond in TX. LOL
    I'd put the fence on the property line exactically!
     
  6. cathyharrell

    cathyharrell Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    642
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Location:
    TX
    Can you use the dirt for something. I wonder why he wants to through his dirt away? I agree he is the type to try to run over you. We have one like that too but not right next to us. I would build my own fence and not deal with him about it.
     
  7. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,327
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Carthage, Texas
    I put my fence a few inches inside the line, varying between 2" to 6"... so the fence is MINE. No gates, no gaps, no excuse for the neighbor to have any access points on my land... if it were on the line, he could put gates or gaps or say this or that... right now, all of the fence is mine, so he can't do diddly on it... getting a fence exacallackally is an exact science... why accidentally wander onto their side a few inches and risk anything...

    I would tell him he needs to get his dirt back on his side... unless it's really good dirt :rolleyes: .
     
  8. quietstar

    quietstar Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    918
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    You sound like the kind of neighbor I could get along with "til the cows come home". From 36 years of having to deal with Texas property line issues, I second the advice from Texican unless this guy shapes up and shows some clear respect for your property. If that rented backhoe has the usual front loader, I believe I would get him to move the dirt before he turns it in. It seems to come down to country manners and your new neighbor wasn't taught any. Good luck in the role as neighbor/teacher....Glen
     
  9. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,727
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Good fences make good neighbors so make the fence tall and strong.

    Is the pile of dirt part of the permanent bank of the tank/pond? Does he intend to leave it there forever? If you move it, will the overflow then run on your property? Will it fill in part of his tank/pond if you push the dirt back on his property? It's hard to keep a good fence on the edge of a tank/pond so this could become a major problem before it ends. Lots of variables that I can't figure out from the information in your original post.

    It's a felony to try to "adjust" a fence marker or line without approval of both property owners. He sounds like a neighbor who will take all he can get away with. Better lay down the law before it gets any worse.
     
  10. 2horses

    2horses I'm a silly filly!! Supporter

    Messages:
    2,005
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    In the beautiful Hill Country of Texas!
    I would think that another attempt to talk to him about the dirt would be a good idea - but go find him and talk in person. Just ask when he plans to move it off of your property. If he is uncooperative, then just explain that you'll move it back yourself to the place it came from - his pond! LOL!!

    Pam :cool: <------------ fenced her property w/out consulting neighbors - no expectations, no hard feelings.
     
  11. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    just west of Houston Texas
    Build the fence right on the line. The fence is the property line. Many years of "use" by your neighbor of your property on the neighbor's side of the fence can make it his property. If the dirt has any value to you, keep it. If not, push it back or even better, push it back into that mudhole he dug.
     
  12. hoofinitnorth

    hoofinitnorth Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,606
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Location:
    Alaska
    Check your local codes & laws on where your fence can be and the height & type. Most rural areas don't have such requirements but it will save you a lot of grief and money to find out first. Then do what Rose said. ;)

    One other comment - perhaps the guy doing the dirtwork is not he neighbor? It might explain why he is over the property line and why he hasn't responded to your note. Can you go talk to whomever is running the equipment next time they are there?

    We had a similar problem with neighbors in our woods at our last place. They cleared their wooded lot and shoved all the stumps and trees and DIRT over to our property. I WAS LIVID. I went to talk to them about it and they ran off. One kid was there and he was nice enough to talk to me but said he couldn't help me. The next day I went back when I heard the machinery but the guy said he didn't speak English. I called one of the kids over to translate and the guy took off and yelled at the kid to come too! Nice people, eh? I later found out they were "helping" the owners and was not the actual land owner. *sigh* We strung up just one line of electric tape fencing on the property line so the guy running the equipment could at least see the boundary. It was sort of scabbed together just to give the guy a visual guide. THAT'S when I finally heard from the land owner - asked me nicely why I put up the ugly fence. LOL
     
  13. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    AR
    when that place went up for sale thats when i would have started putting up the fence it dont pay to procrastinate
     
  14. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    just west of Houston Texas
    GOOD ADVICE
     
  15. grannygardner

    grannygardner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,330
    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Indiana
    I would give the guy a target date for him removing the dirt. Immediately following that date, if the dirt hasn't been removed I'd put the dirt back where it came from. Sounds to me like a neighbor that if given an inch will take a mile.
     
  16. centexguy

    centexguy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    87
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Thanks for all the good advice. I spoke with a relative of this guy today and explained that I would be blading down that dirt and setting some post this week. He said he was planning on smoothing it down but hadnt got around to it .(yeaaah right.) I told him I will be putting up a 5 strand barbwire (most common around here). If he had wanted a better fence I was willing to split the cost and even do most of the welding-digging holes. Now I dont really care. His place is almost 1/2 mile from my buildings and thats a good thing.
     
  17. steader

    steader Unknown

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Central TX
    Use the dirt pile as the back part of my shooting range, after firing off enough to release whatever stress I was feeling I'd build a 'shared' moat with piranha and drop in a few arms and legs from mannequins for effect.
     
  18. Trixie

    Trixie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,908
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    If you can talk with the guy, that is always the best path to take. It is always good to get along with your neighbors, if you can.

    We bought a small acreage from our son and just bought it because he needed some money (medical bills) and we would have given him the money anyway, but was afraid he might in the future sell this land to someone else. It came right up to the back yard of where he lived and I wanted my grandchildren to have a place to play. It was a good move, as they now have a new home on the property.

    My son eventually sold his home and we were in Central TExas, so no one was around the place much. The lady next door that runs a kennel (loosely put) and boards horses called us several times to buy it. We told her no. While no one was looking, she put a big metal fence between our place and hers and began hauling piles of dirt and dumping it on our land. She put some right over the fence and some she took all the way across the land and hid it in the tree line. I was so mad, but decided to wait until we got home before I called her or the authorities. The next day, I my son called and said a coal train hit the her daughter's van and killed her daughter and a granddaughter. Somehow the dirt didn't seem that important.

    It turned out good, though, because the dirt was actually dirt and horse manure - good rich stuff!!

    Just a story.
     
  19. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,596
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Location:
    N. Calif./was USDA 9b before global warming
    Don't kittyfoot around. The guy is a high-functioning sociopath. The only think to keep him in line is the fear of a bigger bully.

    Don't waste 'nice' on him. Stick to the letter of the law and bludgeon him with it whenever possible.
     
  20. tamatik

    tamatik Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    750
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Location:
    massey ont
    I agree..Put the dirt back on his side.
    Gord