You must have heard the saying ‘Good fences make good neighbors’. But not all the neighbors respect good fences. No matter how lenient you are with them or how much annoyed you are with their existence they keep boggling your mind with their dos.
But sometimes, it just gets out of your hands when it comes to invading or encroaching your property by your neighbors using their stuff. On witnessing, you may be asking yourself ‘Can I move neighbor’s stuff off my property?’
When something like this happens, you can bring in certain actions based on the type of invasion. What dispute you could raise, what options do you have? Keep reading to know your property rights.
Can I move neighbors stuff off my property?
Here things that you should determine is whether your neighbor puts a fence on your property or gathered stuff infringing on your property. Firstly, before taking any step, you should ask your neighbors to show property deeds and identify the boundary.
Here, if you both locations where the boundary is, you can communicate with your neighbor to move their stuff if found infringements. If they refuse to do so, then you have a property dispute. It is suggested not to take the law into your hands by throwing their stuff away from the property that may initiate penalties for you.
Dealing with your neighbor’s pet
States have different ordinances when it comes to unleashing and keeping pets on the property. It may annoy you whenever your neighbor’s dog barks at you when he is at work. Also, if pets from your neighbor wander and litter at your property causing damage to your property. Also, if the dog or any pet is dangerous and has hurt anyone or has the potential, then the owner of the dog will be liable to compensate for the damages.
Dealing with your neighbor’s garden
Oftentimes property disputes arise when leaves from the neighbor’s trees fall in your area. The limbs come all through the fence and hang down to your yard or break down there to create a mess all over the place. Many times the roots coming down the soil pass through the boundary. Plus, several states do not allow any party to cut down trees if they are grown at boundaries.
But it will be considered encroachment if the tree roots push and damage your property. Similarly, the tree owner has to remove it.
However, leaves, acorns, and pods are considered natural occurrences and the owner of the property is responsible to clean them away. On the other hand, if any natural disaster happens due to which neighbor’s trees and branches cause damage to a property such as a storm that laid the tree into your room window, it’ll be the neighbor’s responsibility to clean up the mess and pay for the damages.
Dealing with the trespassing neighbor
The most outrageous type of infringement from your neighbor would be trespassing. The person may have cut a space through your backyard to reach your property and use it for their own purpose. Another example could be one of the reasons that you live in a cosmopolitan area and have land in a rural area. Neighbors at the land started fishing, picnicking, or hunting at your place without your permission.
A specific trespassing law is regulated across states that cover these kinds of situations. Oftentimes, it covers the penalties containing criminal convictions.
If any illegal activities are happening on your land that involves dangerous or harmful material, then to bottle up the situation without creating an unlawful scenario, is to inform the authorities to deal with your neighbors immediately.
Another way is to document the activities, gather evidence, and file a complaint or police report against them. It will help the authorities best if you can take photographs, gather witnesses and note the time and movements of the trespassers.
Related Article:Find out the list of crimes against property in the United States.
Legal property disputes based on residency
Living in a community like HOA – Homeowners’ Association, provides clear instruction from the height of your fence to the landscape and color of your home. If the disturbing neighbor, or his pet, or the garden is infringing your property, damaging your land, or having colored the house orange that fades your house visibility, then HOA will step in and show up its authority.
On the other hand, if you are not having HOA at your back still you have resources to cope with these disturbing behaviors. A neighbor who decides to have chickens in the backyard can be more annoying than a 6 am crow who wakes you up every morning. If your state or community limits residents to having such pets or have rules in place, then handing in the problem to the authorities would be a better option.
The residential laws are based on the area where you live and laws are significantly in place if there’s specific community management. There may be a ban on specific dog breeds, cultivating marijuana, and boundary restrictions in place where you live and you can reach the local system for any help.
In other scenarios where you have opted for all the options and you’re still annoyed with your neighbors, then you can take legal help by hiring a local estate attorney for your disputes.
Sending a demand letter to your neighbor
If communicating with your neighbors, complaining to the community, and restricting your neighbors from infringing is not working out for you, then it’s time to step up and have legal help.
Speak with your attorney and prepare a draft of the demand letter to send your neighbors. Without being offensive, you can elaborate on the options if you want to compromise, modify, or request a payment from your neighbor to resolve the matter.
If you haven’t hired an attorney but received a demand letter from your neighbor that means he or she may be exploring the options to negotiate and may also want to resolve the issue without going into a legal battle.
To pursue an option of a demand letter would be cheap compared to a trial which costs money and the energy of both parties and you never know what the outcome could be. But if a demand letter doesn’t work, what should you do?
Heading to a trial
After using all the options you had to resolve the property dispute but not getting the results you hoped, the last option could be filing a complaint to circuit court.
With your complaint, you will ask the court to look at the provided evidence and arguments from both neighbors and help you decide the rightful owner of the property.
At this point in your case, your estate attorney might have enough information regarding your issue. However, it requires extensive research and legal documents to obtain litigation in your favor to satisfy the court requirements that may include additional costs.
If, along with the trial, your attorney determines that the defendant is willing to compensate, then he can reduce the required documents often referred to as ‘admissions’ and ‘interrogatories’.
It’s better to move to a settlement keeping an eye on the opposing party’s willingness to continue the case. Sometimes, the court also wants the involved parties to reach a settlement through mediation. For this, parties would be referred to a mediator with experience in real estate matters. The mediator will possibly mediate through guidance and real-life realities with negotiations and discussion keeping the best interest of the involved parties.
But if you are the sufferer, keep the damage you have borne in your mind and the future possibilities before making a statement for settlement.
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