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Old 04-14-2015, 11:22 AM
 
4 posts, read 2,628 times
Reputation: 10

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I am hoping that someone can help me. I live in a neighborhood that has an HOA. The HOA owns the nature preserve that is behind my home. We are trying to put a pool in the backyard and our property line is not what is in the backyard. When we had the land surveyed for the mortgage company we did not have a flag in the part of our backyard that is maintained. This is not a home that we built, so we are the second owners of it. The grass and plants that are in the backyard have been here since the house was built 11 years ago. We have lived in this home now for almost four years and have maintained the yard accordingly.

Is there a way to homestead the piece of property that we have maintained and the owners prior to become part of our backyard?

Thanks so much

Renee
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:14 PM
 
2,114 posts, read 2,104,242 times
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I'm not sure I understand your question, but I think you're trying to annex a piece of the HOA property because you and your predecessor maintained it. You would have to consult a lawyer, but I think you'd have a snowballs chance in h*ll if it belongs to the HOA.

Also, in Florida, "homestead" is generally a term used for tax purposes, although I think you were using it in the general sense like the Oklahoma land rush.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:29 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,628 times
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Sorry, I used the wrong terminology, but didn't know exactly what word to use. I appreciate the info and I'll look into the laws and see if there is anything. Its just a shame that we have maintained it and they reap the benefits of it. Hindsight would have been, we would not have bought the house.

Thank you macrodome2
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:06 PM
 
1,448 posts, read 2,163,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srtgirl70 View Post
Sorry, I used the wrong terminology, but didn't know exactly what word to use. I appreciate the info and I'll look into the laws and see if there is anything. Its just a shame that we have maintained it and they reap the benefits of it. Hindsight would have been, we would not have bought the house.

Thank you macrodome2

A nature preserve is supposed to be natural. You are not doing the nature preserve any favors by "maintaining it" - you are actually harming it. A natural place needs no maintenance, and if you are pruning or mowing or changing it in any way, that is harmful for the animals that are supposed to be on it.

You should have looked at the survey BEFORE buying the house - that's why the survey is done, to correct issues like this. It sounds like the survey told you exactly what you needed to know, that you did not own the land that the previous owners illegally cut back or changed it. It sounds like you saw where the flags were, and so the property line was not a surprise. The law does not work on wishes, so the property line stays the same today as when the flags were put down, and actually if the HOA knew that you were doing anything to their land, they could sue you. It's too bad the people who lived there before you did not understand the concept of property boundaries, but mowing over something you never paid for does not make it yours.

You can always sell the house and take this lesson for your next property, to understand where the perimeter of the property lies BEFORE you decide to buy it.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:26 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,698,937 times
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Didn't your lawyer pick up the discrepancy between the survey and the property description?

I agree with the others--this is not your land and whoever owns it isn't going to just give it to you because you've been mowing the lawn for a couple of years. I'd get a surveyor to mark out the property with stakes rather than flags and show this to your lawn company and instruct them to only maintain the area you own moving forward.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:37 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,628 times
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The property line did not have all of the flags where they were supposed to be. I know I should have looked at that closer so that is my fault. I am only asking for about 10 feet which cuts into my backyard as a "V" on the survey. I'm not asking for acreage. The nature preserve behind that has also been maintained by me , b ut I'm not asking for the whole thing, just a little piece that the builders put grass on from the very beginning. I'm not trying to get something for nothing, I would even be willing to pay them just to have a straight line that goes across my backyard.

The grass has been there since day 1 of house being built. Im not mowing grass that is in the preserve behind my house just the part that I am having to take care of.

I think you guys are taking this the wrong way and do not understand why starfishkey is being this way. YES lesson learned, don't brow beat me
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:44 PM
 
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If it's in a deeded nature preserve the use can not be changed so taking ownership will not benefit you. Unfortunately it's a lesson learned the hard way.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Sarasota FL
6,861 posts, read 9,330,234 times
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When planned communities are built, the county usually asks the developer to set aside a 'preserve' area. Once the whole development is plotted with lots, streets, R.O.W., preserves, that's it, finished. If an area in your back yard is 'preserve', you can't do anything beyond your property line, even if there is a rotted tree ready to fall [not on your house] and there is kudzu you want to remove.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:32 PM
 
17,636 posts, read 10,708,706 times
Reputation: 8540
Quote:
Originally Posted by srtgirl70 View Post
I am hoping that someone can help me. I live in a neighborhood that has an HOA. The HOA owns the nature preserve that is behind my home. We are trying to put a pool in the backyard and our property line is not what is in the backyard. When we had the land surveyed for the mortgage company we did not have a flag in the part of our backyard that is maintained. This is not a home that we built, so we are the second owners of it. The grass and plants that are in the backyard have been here since the house was built 11 years ago. We have lived in this home now for almost four years and have maintained the yard accordingly.

Is there a way to homestead the piece of property that we have maintained and the owners prior to become part of our backyard?

Thanks so much

Renee
In some States if you maintain it for 7 years with no input or objection by the owner you can claim it. Get a lawyer in 3 years and be able to prove the HOA did or said nothing.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:01 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,698,937 times
Reputation: 13024
Quote:
Originally Posted by expatCA View Post
In some States if you maintain it for 7 years with no input or objection by the owner you can claim it. Get a lawyer in 3 years and be able to prove the HOA did or said nothing.
That would not be the case in this situation. The OP is actually breaking the law by disturbing land deeded as open space. Sometimes that flower ends up with a bunch of bees inside.
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