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Old 07-15-2016, 02:42 PM
 
Location: East Coast
3,920 posts, read 2,510,785 times
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This sounds like a property law textbook case waiting to happen. I'm amazed this hasn't been sorted out long ago. You definitely need someone who has a high level understanding of property law. Do you have title insurance? It seems like sooner or later, this is all going to need to be sorted out. You've also got adverse possession issues at work here, so any proof you have that you've been storing the boat and parking in that area for as long as you say will be helpful.
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Old 07-15-2016, 03:02 PM
 
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Yeah, the titles and deeds are bizarre. When these cottages were built they were remote hunting cabins even still we are over a mile from a paved public road. The town started assigning street numbers to the cottages at some point in the past but most of the owners predate the street address so they are often not mentioned in the deed. Instead the deeds call out the property markers but half the references are to landowners at the time of deed. (example: south west corner of property is pin set at base or red maple at south east corner of former Nelson property) All of this makes for some issues. some of the deeds are still in the same family close to 100 years later. I have actually seen worse both in the town where this is located and a lake near my primary house in CT where a few close friends have old seasonal cottages. But it's still a pain. I believe based on what I have read that adverse possession may be strong here as we do have a few family photos showing the parking at least back in the 70's and 80's. There's even a picture from when I was a kid and had a birthday party there showing a sign in the tree's telling guests to park here.

On title insurance, I always thought that was just for mortgages or does it apply here as well? In this case the property has been owned outright by my family for over 50 years.

Thank you for all the advice by the way. I think in the end the family will sit down with a lawyer for options.
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Old 07-15-2016, 03:26 PM
 
Location: East Coast
3,920 posts, read 2,510,785 times
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Official legal descriptions are no fun for anyone to read and almost impossible to understand. What will show you more is a survey.

You are right in that mortgage lenders do require title insurance, so that is where the bulk of the market for it comes from. I don't know if you might have an old policy that could still be in effect from some point long ago. If it were ever acquired for any reason, the policy would list any exclusions from coverage (like if they discovered some easement on your property and it were not rectified.) You could potentially make a claim on a policy that you may have, but I suspect you don't have it if the property has been in the family for this long and there may never even have been a mortgage on it.

It probably doesn't really matter at this point - really they're most useful for insuring that the property you buy is what you think you are buying. It sounds like this is really more of a long standing issue that's just coming to fruition now, so there would be costs involved in settling it out anyway. If there ever was a policy it would be helpful to see what the title search at the time showed to be the land rights for the property. But again, my guess is that there isn't a policy. You never know, though.
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Old 07-15-2016, 04:12 PM
 
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Yeah just reviewing some surveys today. The road is drawn on the neighbor in questions property back in the 70's at least. and it seems to be noted in his deed that it exists as a right of way. so hopefully we will prevail on keeping the access open. Just waiting on one more document now it was dated in 1916 and supposedly describes the position and access of the road in a deed.
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:03 AM
 
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As an update on this, one current owner is still being a pain on this issue but we also have several new owners coming in. It looks like the owner being a pain may have his property lines off since the new owners are trying to clear up issues with surveys and easements. This may result in us getting some space back near the road where we parked for decades until the problem owner came about. Also they did survey and our other parking area was part of a neighboring plot we can keep using part of it but the current owner needs part of it for access which is fine.

On the access road there seems to be less an issue that it's an actual thing but now neighbors are arguing over improvements and damage as some equipment and materials are getting moved along it to fix up cottages with new owners. The unspoken rule for the last 50 years or so was the road was for walking only, with the exception of access for equipment as needed (it's narrow hilly and cuts near several houses as well as being just dirt and instead of a real gravel road). Some people seem to be causing alot of damage because of this.
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Old 11-01-2018, 04:21 PM
 
5,495 posts, read 5,049,262 times
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Ugh. sounds like a pain. Hope there's a liquor store or bar near you. I'm not exactly a fan of some private roads. Being in suburbs years ago that's where the trouble tended to be. A one way dead end private road that thought they could be loud.

Get things in writing.

My girlfriend is dealing with a neighbor. They are selling and asked if they could mow the grass. They dethatched it instead pulling up thyme beds that were hundreds of years old!!
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