Think I have a neighbor problem brewing.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by JanO, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. JanO

    JanO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I live at the end of a private road. Behind me is about 100 acres of brush that is owned by a large family. They logged it a few years ago, but never replanted and now it's just over grown brush. We take walks and sometimes ride the horses back there but other then that we pretty much just leave it alone. Anyway, the other day I was out working in the barn and the dogs started barking. I went out to see what was going on and there was a man walking along the back of my property. I asked him if I can help him and his reply was very rudely said "I own this land". OK, well that's all fine, but his rudeness was uncalled for and I pretty much told him so. Anyway, he later came up and said he's just looking around to see what's going on. I didn't say much, just nodded and mentioned that there's been a lot of deer out there lately. He came back and said "looks like a lot of cows too". ( I usually let the cows graze teathered in my yard and they of course have no clue about property lines) I said, "yea, the cows graze MY yard sometimes". He then came back with, "well, this is my land and I don't like it". This is when I got mad. He must have see that my mouth was going to get the better of me because before I could say anything he said "I'm going to have to put up a fence I guess." I said, "fine, you do that...but you realize that I don't have to give you access from my property to put up your fence?" Then he noticed the t-post that we have placed along the property line, we put them up when we built the barn to measure the set back requirements. Anyway he came up and said that he doesn't think that's were the line is and that it's further over, in my direction. I told him that before he started making assumption like that he better have the documents to back it up! Didn't tell him that I've already had my land surveyed. He left right after that but he also went over to my neighbor, across the road that just built their house and told him that his septic is on his land. My neighbor told him that the septic is where the county put it, and if he has a problem to talk to them.

    I've been doing some checking and it seems that this guy came out here a few years ago and said the same thing to the previous land owners in this area. At one time they owned pretty much all of the land out here, except the section that my house and my neighbors homes are on. This was owned by another family and when the elders passed on it was sub-divided and sold off. Anyway, this guy thinks his family has rights to it I guess. From what I've been told, this guys grandfather recently passed away and now the whole bunch of them are bickering over grandpa's holdings. Not sure what's going to happen next, but if he thinks he's going to come out here and start bullying me he's going to have another thing coming. I have a feeling that this is just the beginning though.
     
  2. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Make copies of your survey info, in case you have to give a copy to a bulldozer operator or a lawyer.
     

  3. CountryMamaof5

    CountryMamaof5 Well-Known Member

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    How old was he? Maybe he is a bit senial (sp?) Or he is just a jerk and wants to push some people around. He might try and be a bully but you just keep your ground like you have done and if he wants to put up a fence, well that would mean you got a fence then too right? I wish someone would put up a fence for me :) I hope he doesn't come back around :)
     
  4. tamatik

    tamatik Well-Known Member

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    take pix of your posts b4 they disappear.talk to the other neighbour and document who, what was said,by whom,and when,,start now..its a snowball rolling in your direction.my 2 cents
    gord in bc
     
  5. tamatik

    tamatik Well-Known Member

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    I also wouldn,t mention that I had the property surveyed..If he wants to have it surveyed..let him..then compare notes.
     
  6. almostthere

    almostthere Well-Known Member

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    Ditto thats he senile. From what you posted it sounds like he's confused. You might have to deal some other member of the family.
     
  7. dagwood

    dagwood Well-Known Member

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    Strong fences make good neighbors.

    You already have the survey and know where the markers are for your property. I would put up a fence and let him worry about the boundary lines.
     
  8. jennigrey

    jennigrey Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ditto on the "take photos". In particular, make sure you photograph any fences you make and any trees anywhere *near* the boundary. Put the photos in a safe place so they're there if you need them.
     
  9. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Concrete your posts bases asap.
     
  10. Janis Sauncy

    Janis Sauncy Well-Known Member

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    JanO:

    I see you're in Western Washington. So am I. Could it be the neighbor you're talking about is also my neighbor? Just kidding. My bad-neighbor-in-training has only a couple of acres but has an easement road through them that is the only access to my place and the place behind me. Last weekend, the mother of a friend of my boys' came up to talk to her son who was here and my neighbor came stomping over here and started yelling at her he didn't want her using "his" driveway!!! (I knew I was going to have problems with him when, on the first day we were moving in, he came over and informed me we would get along as long as I stayed on my side of the property line!)

    I called the guy I bought the place from (he lives in Missouri) because I know there was a problem some years ago with the previous owners next door when the guy blocked off any access to this place and was taken to court over it. I asked Jerry if he could locate any paperwork about the easement rights to please let me know but haven't had any luck so far.

    Does anyone know how to access this court information over the internet? I "googled" my county, state and the name of the guy I'm buying this place from but couldn't find anything. I don't know the name of the respondent.
     
  11. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Glad you mentioned access to your property. It would probably be a good idea to give him no access, and any people working for him no access. He sounds like the type who will turn your temporary good neighbor access into his own private drive.

    Maybe he'll just go away.
     
  12. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    "Does anyone know how to access this court information over the internet? I "googled" my county, state and the name of the guy I'm buying this place from but couldn't find anything. I don't know the name of the respondent."

    In North Carolina an easement has to be on file with the Register of Deeds to be legal. Call your local Register and they can give you the details on the laws where you are. There are different kinds of easements and they will have to explain them to you. I doubt youd find this online. It will probably require a trip to the Courthouse or County offices. If the easement was in place before he bought the property there is probably nothing he can do about it but it may be YOUR responsiblity to do the upkeep on the road. Only your local officials can answer for sure
     
  13. Janis Sauncy

    Janis Sauncy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions, and, yes, the easement was here, apparently tried and true through the court system, long before he bought the place. He bought his place in May 2005 and I moved in here in October 2005 (didn't actually close the sale until recently). He bought his place with the existing easement and I don't think he has a legal leg to stand on. I would sure like to have something in hand, though, to spell it out to him if and when the problems occur. And, I think the way the easement laws are, that he is only responsible for upkeep of the road to his personal driveway. If I, or the people behind me, want to have any work/upkeep done past his place, it is up to us.

    Also, I live on a hillside with a lot of springs on it. Add to that the wet Pacific Northwest winters......last year, this neighbor came up here and was complaining about the water from "my" hill washing away his road! Anyone know if I can be held liable for that actually happening? (I didn't see any evidence of washout, but just in case......)
     
  14. CountryMamaof5

    CountryMamaof5 Well-Known Member

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    Another suggestion I had would be for you to drive your tposts in a bit deeper or at least the one that marks the corner that way he cannot "erase" what your land surveyor did. That way your corner is more solid and he would have an awful hard time removing your corner post. It is far easier to put back in Tposts along a property line if you have the two points to meet and you can pound back in Tposts along the line.
     
  15. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    Just another great example of why fences make great neighbors. Get a survey done, put up a fence and be done with the bickering. Less stress in your life makes you a happier person.
     
  16. Tana Mc

    Tana Mc Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wait a minute......I don't want to sound like I am looking for an argument but..... You have been taking walks, riding horses and occasionally your cows have been straying across the property line........ you have been tresspassing and have no right to be testy if he comments on it. Cows do not know where the property line is but you do and it is your responsibilty to keep them on your side of the line. I have been inthis situation and I have had to apologise and pay damages when my critters have pushed down a fence and wandered. I am under the impression that you own a smaller portion of land. 100 acres seems like a lot of land and even if "they aren't doing anything with it", it is still his/their land and not yours. Senile, cranky, hard to get along with -- it doesn't matter --- his property rights are just as important as yours.
    If you had permission from the elder owner, that is a whole different story.

    If the county put your neighbor's septic line on his property, the county will get to deal with it and I hope that your neighbor has room on his own property to handle it.

    If you have had your property surveyed, good for you! You will be protected.

    If I were walking on my property and someone asked me if they could help me in a tone that implied that I had no business being there, I might not be too cordial either. I don't know that is the case but..... you have to give a little grace there. A simple greeting might have been more appropriate and gotten you off on a better footing.
    If he does survey it and fence it, he is doing you a great favor because in some states, you would have to pay for half of the fence.....
    Tana Mc
     
  17. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    I'm totally with Tana Mc on this one. If you've been riding your horses and taking walks on his land, and allowing your cattle to graze across the property line, then it's your neighbor who should be upset, not you.

    Unless I've misunderstood something in your post, I think I'd contact that neighbor again and apologize for things having gotten off on the wrong foot. Admit that your cattle have crossed the line, and explain to him how you're going to prevent that happening in the future.

    Then you could politely ask if he would allow you to walk or perhaps ride horses on his land and keep an eye on things for him while he's away. Dont' be surprised if he says no, though. I would tell someone no they can't use my property if they'd used it before without asking. Maybe your neighbor will be nicer than I am though.
     
  18. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I also am with the "you have been trespassing" crowd. Nothing irks me more than people who think they have rights to my property, just because they live next door. If I were an absentee owner, I would expect that my property rights be respected as much as anyones.

    You have been in the wrong for trespassing on this guy's property...and he knows it. Try to make it right, or at the very least, quit trespassing and acknowledge that he has a right to be angry and upset when he comes out and finds his property being used illegally.

    I really don't understand all the neighbor issues on this forum. It's like everyone is out to find a neighbor war. It's much easier to just get along.

    Jena
     
  19. wyld thang

    wyld thang God Smacked Jesus Freak Supporter

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    Just wanted to add you should ALWAYS ask permission to walk or ride on someone's land. Usually most folks say sure(as long as you're not rutting it up with atv's), but are offended deeply if not asked first--it's just one of those big etiquette rules of country life. Cattle tresspassing is a big feud waiting to happen, you should have kept them on your land(you AREN"T in a free range area, and you haven't paid for a permit). If they have no tresspassing signs posted you might be in trouble. Make sure your corners are marked, and realize survey results may vary--it seems when there are absentee owners, boundaries seem to wander to the present owner's advantage. Personally I think you need to backpeddle a bit and play nice, since your cows have been nibbling on his land. Build a fence(since you're the one with animals), you've already got some t-posts in. Stay off his land, too.

    I think it's your neighbor's responsibility to make sure his septic is actually on his land(even if the county places the septic)...if it's not, he'll have to pay for the chunk of land its on. He could have gotten an easement for the septic if he had contacted the owner first off, but now the owner is in his right to sell at his price, or even deny use of septic. In the end it's the property owner's RESPONSIBILITY to get his fences and septic on his own land--if you screw up YOU'RE sol(not the county).
     
  20. WindowOrMirror

    WindowOrMirror ..where do YOU look? Supporter

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    ... meaning that you access their land without permission "a little bit" with horses and your feet?

    ... could he have been walking across the "front" of HIS property?

    He came out to examine HIS property, perhaps because there were person, horse, and cow prints on it. I can understand why he might be "short" with you. He now has erosion, people on his land without his knowledge or permission, and you're treating it like no big deal. Rudeness is never okay, but I see this from his point of view.

    The cow isn't required to know the property line or respect it. The owner of the cow has it incumbent upon them to know the lines and to enforce them (that's you).

    Now it sounds like his emotions are getting the better of him and he's fighting back with words. Again, a bit over the line, but so were you and your cows.

    So now you find that you're disrespecting a man who's family owned much of that land and has some familial holdings in the area remaining, and you still don't get that you're part of the problem? No, he doesn't still "own it all", but he may indeed have prescriptive rights of access across your land (don't just assume he doesn't). In any case, wouldn't you apologize and get along? I don't get this attitude at all... I mean at ALL.