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Lark
09-11-2006, 10:09 AM
Wondering if anyone here is up to speed on how the law relates to property boundaries for Texas?

We've lived in our house for 3 years (house is 5 years old) and we now have an in-ground swimming pool under construction. Since the construction started, our 84-year old neighbor informed me her backyard fence is not located on the property line, but instead it is on her property so she could have a access to the back of the fence for maintenance when my property was just a vacant lot. I paid closer attention to the survey after she informed me of this and sure enough, the fence is about 30" off the property line on her side. 30" is no big deal unless you have a small backyard and the pool and decking is taking up the WHOLE backyard. She wanted to deed me the property for $1 and be done with it because she does not want to move the fence. However, since the mortgage company owns the title, it is not her land to give me. This means I will have to put in an expansion joint along the deck parallel and 30" to her fence so if she sells the house and the new owners are anal about the 30" (her backyard is huge), then it will be a somewhat easy fix.

What I'm wondering is since I've been maintaining her property for the last 3 years (on my side of the fence) by mowing, weed eating and watering, is there a law that gives me rights to the property after a certain amount of time? A couple have told me they think there is some type of law like that, but not sure of the details.

LakePirate
09-11-2006, 10:13 AM
From what I remember from the Real Estate class I took in College, 7 years is the magic number. I don't see why she can't deed you the land the mortgage company could care less as long as you make the payment. That is a no brainer answer to this problem.

Tryin-again
09-11-2006, 10:25 AM
I am not sure what the law is although I know that it just being fenced, In or Out, will not qualify... I used to hear if you had been payin taxes on that strip for those 7 yrs. I do know that we got fences on 2 different pastures that are not on the survey(prop line) for 1 reason or another and that doesn't mean that we loose the property... and they have been that way for 30 yrs..

You probably should consult a lawyer.. (I am not one).. IF she's offering, take care of it now- even if it cost a few $$....

My 2........

LakePirate
09-11-2006, 10:57 AM
Once again IIRC the fence sets up a barrier/artificial lot line. Now if you had been using the property (i.e. maintaining it) for what I remember is 7 years then you have some legal footing.

I do remember that let's say your kids walk through a neighbors yard to get to the bus stop and does so for 7 years and the neighbor allows this to happen but a new neighbor moves in and puts up a fence. You have the right to have access to that yard and the easement that your kid has created by walking the same path regularly. The new neighbor will have to provide you access (gates) so that your kid can continue to use the property.

You should also look into any covenants in your neighborhood regarding this type of thing, of course you may find somethings that you don't like, it could be helpful.


I am no lawyer and this is not legal advice. I just took a class in College and probably paid more attention in it than any other.

Lark
09-11-2006, 11:22 AM
I didn't see anything helpful in the deed restrictions, and I was afraid 3 years was too short of a time.

The neighbor's sons did the inquiring with the mortgage company, and it seems to be way too much trouble to go that route and have it re-platted. The good news is the 30" does not interfer with the waterline, just the decking.

PendO
09-11-2006, 11:46 AM
Adverse Possession is the legal term you are looking for


Wondering if anyone here is up to speed on how the law relates to property boundaries for Texas?

We've lived in our house for 3 years (house is 5 years old) and we now have an in-ground swimming pool under construction. Since the construction started, our 84-year old neighbor informed me her backyard fence is not located on the property line, but instead it is on her property so she could have a access to the back of the fence for maintenance when my property was just a vacant lot. I paid closer attention to the survey after she informed me of this and sure enough, the fence is about 30" off the property line on her side. 30" is no big deal unless you have a small backyard and the pool and decking is taking up the WHOLE backyard. She wanted to deed me the property for $1 and be done with it because she does not want to move the fence. However, since the mortgage company owns the title, it is not her land to give me. This means I will have to put in an expansion joint along the deck parallel and 30" to her fence so if she sells the house and the new owners are anal about the 30" (her backyard is huge), then it will be a somewhat easy fix.

What I'm wondering is since I've been maintaining her property for the last 3 years (on my side of the fence) by mowing, weed eating and watering, is there a law that gives me rights to the property after a certain amount of time? A couple have told me they think there is some type of law like that, but not sure of the details.

RickDV
09-11-2006, 11:59 AM
IIRC in Michigan it is 7 years if you use and maintain the property and she says nothing and does nothing about your use of it.

If, however, during that 7 years she acknowleges that you are using her land (and even may give permission to use it) then she does not relinquish her ownership of the land.

That means that by talking to you about this she is acknowledging her ownership and giving you permission to use it. And you are correct to be concerned about her changing her mind later or a future owner kicking you off the land.

RickDV

Lark
09-11-2006, 12:59 PM
Adverse Possession is the legal term you are looking for

Perfect - I figured there had to be some type of legal term associated with this.

I'll Google it and see what I can come up with. Thanks!

JimN
09-11-2006, 01:10 PM
Contact the local governing authority and ask what they require. At some point, it will need to be surveyed and re-platted, or maybe they can just grant an easement with the approval of all involved parties.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysilio gogogoch- I've been there and it's beautiful this time of year.


Two tourists were driving through Wales.
As they were approaching Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysilio gogogoch
they started arguing about the pronunciation of the town's name.
They argued back and forth until they stopped for lunch. As they stood at the counter, one tourist asked the blonde employee,"Before we order, could you please settle an argument for us?
"Would you please pronounce where we are... very slowly?"
The blonde girl leaned over the counter and said,
"Burrrrrrrr, gerrrrrrr, Kiiiiing."

Lark
09-11-2006, 01:17 PM
Contact the local governing authority and ask what they require. At some point, it will need to be surveyed and re-platted, or maybe they can just grant an easement with the approval of all involved parties.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysilio gogogoch- I've been there and it's beautiful this time of year.


Two tourists were driving through Wales.
As they were approaching Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysilio gogogoch
they started arguing about the pronunciation of the town's name.
They argued back and forth until they stopped for lunch. As they stood at the counter, one tourist asked the blonde employee,"Before we order, could you please settle an argument for us?
"Would you please pronounce where we are... very slowly?"
The blonde girl leaned over the counter and said,
"Burrrrrrrr, gerrrrrrr, Kiiiiing."

:uglyhamme

I can't figure out why my signature keeps putting a space between the o and the g? Maybe too many characters together?

I've never been there, but it's on the list. ;)

JimN
09-11-2006, 01:19 PM
Maybe that's the official pause for breath. I've never been there, it just sounded good at the time.

east tx skier
09-11-2006, 01:22 PM
Adverse Possession is the legal term you are looking for

In Texas there are a variety of limitations periods ranging from 5--25 years IIRC depending on the circumstances. You can find more information on this in Chapter 16 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code. Good luck.

Lark
09-11-2006, 01:31 PM
In Texas there are a variety of limitations periods ranging from 5--25 years IIRC depending on the circumstances. You can find more information on this in Chapter 16 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code. Good luck.

Fortunately, nothing would be "adversely" possessed. She wants to give it to me, it's just doing it legally seems to be more trouble than it's worth.

Man, that sounded really wierd when I re-read it!

east tx skier
09-11-2006, 01:35 PM
I was really just elaborating on Pendo's post with that info more unique to Texas. Adverse possession being as much a term of art in my mind (even though literally it is typically an adverse situation). Hopefully, nothing will be truly adverse when it comes to your relationship with a neighbor.

My father-in-law had some property line issues on his lake property a few years ago and just worked it out with all of the property owners, which is always the most desireable solution no matter what the proplem is. I can understand how this can be complicated by a bank technically owning the neighboring property.

Lark
09-11-2006, 03:40 PM
Things would have been a lot less complicated if the neighbors had just put the fence on the property line to begin with!

Tryin-again
09-11-2006, 04:15 PM
I knew Eastie would jump in with some real lawyerin' facts or links...

He'll probably punctuate it with a picture of his ride (or a specific part of his ride..):D

east tx skier
09-11-2006, 04:17 PM
Things would have been a lot less complicated if the neighbors had just put the fence on the property line to begin with!

In my situation, there is a covenant running with our property and others in our subdivision that requires a certain setback distance for fences. That type of stuff varies though.

I knew Eastie would jump in with some real lawyerin' facts or links...

Probably as good of time as any to mention that the above should not be construed as legal advice (not that it would be). I am prohibited by my employer from giving legal advice and do not intend to do so.

Who's hungry?!?

Tryin-again
09-11-2006, 04:52 PM
My kind of buffet.. Although someone already got all the beer out of the buckets on the deck.....

Guess I should bring my own...... :toast:

Of course I always bring a little in case they run out.....

PendO
09-11-2006, 06:09 PM
Things would have been a lot less complicated if the neighbors had just put the fence on the property line to begin with!

just wait til somebody falls off the deck you made but is situated on their property ... homeowners ins. lawyers will get a kick out of that:)