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Old 09-05-2009, 12:34 AM
3 posts, read 25,678 times
Reputation: 18


Actually, this might be better labeled "Not a nice neighbor".

I moved into my home 2 years ago (Springfield, Mo.) and as I have two dogs, I decided to build a privacy fence. My backyard is one acre and I live in the city. I had a survey company come out and mark the boundaries. My neighbor, a rather large old woman who's lived in her home about 30 years, was remarking how she had spent a great deal of time planting and nurturing a tree and she hoped I did not have any plans of removing it. So.. to appease her and try to be a good neighbor, I actually moved my fence 5 feet closer to my home, thereby giving up all that extra space in the backyard for the sake of being a good neighbor.

Now.. keep in mind that I only built the fence in the back. The side and front of our yards have no fence/boundary line. But.. the surveyor marked the whole lot. She removed the stake and started mowing over into my front yard about 20 feet. I went and pulled my back stake on the other side of my house and put it back where that one was. I buried it very deep. She drove around it on her lawn mower for the next 2 times. I decided it wasn't worth fighting over. I pulled the stake and decided she could mow my lawn if she wanted.

Enter this summer. Her son-in-law moved in with a family of 5 because he couldn't find work. He's been mowing and has started mowing even further over in my front yard.. at an angle from the back of their house to the front middle of my house by the street. Then, he went and bought mulch and put it around my 2 trees! "Too much" I thought. I went out and asked him what was up. He explained that he was trying to make them easier to mow around. I said, "You don't have to worry about those. I can go ahead and mow around them as they're in my yard". "No their not" he says. "Your property goes off the end of that fence and and angles right down that path." He's lived here 1 month!! I explained that I had a survey done and this wasn't the case. I showed him where the boundaries are. He just looked at me and said "I don't know. You'll have to take that up with [old lady]. She just told me where the property line runs" and walks away without another word! 2 weeks later (today), he mows again and comes over even further!!!

Now here's the real gotcha. If I was to go out and buy a chain link fence and decide to run it between our yards (which I'm now considering), it would not only shorten the side of their yard up by about 25 feet of what they think it is, they would literally have only about 5 feet to drive their mower from front to back!! I seriously own almost that whole side. All I want is for them to mow where I put the fence in (I halved our side lots) but they refuse and keep coming over into half my yard!

First of all, I assume I could still put a fence in the front on my actual property lines, even though I scooted the back fence over about 5 feet right? I'm seriously thinking of reclaiming my true property line since they won't respect the extra yard I've given them.

Equally troubling, he has a huuuge commercial trailer that he now parks where?? Right in front of my house! My wife and I can barely get out of the driveway without fear of getting smacked every time. We can't see around that thing at all.

And lastly, they've taken it upon themselves to attach a wire fence to the privacy fence that I spent all summer building there in the back yard! The new son-in-law has 2 dogs that bark all the time and he didn't even bother to ask if they could attach to my fence!!

Can you sense the frustration?!!!

Oh.. and nice to meet you all.
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:25 AM
Location: NW. MO.
1,817 posts, read 5,765,696 times
Reputation: 1345
Well the phrase "Good fences make good neighbors" comes to mind. Sorry to say but sometimes you get the one neighbor that makes you want to scream. If you can afford to place a fence between the properties I'd calmly talk to her one more time and explain where the line is and tell her that you would appreciate they only do work in their own yard or you'll have to put a fence up. Then be prepared to do so because it's likely you'll have to. I think I'd make sure your fence was a few inches on your side of the line so she couldn't claim it as joint property also. I think you may have a problem now that you set back the one fence and they have attached to it and I am worried that's going to be a big problem now.

Eesh I'd think if someone was going to park in front of another person's house they would at least ask permission. We don't have enough parking here but I am lucky I have a neighbor who lives somehwere else so we watch his house and mow for him in exchange for using his driveway for parking. I'm not sure you can do anything about the parking obstructing concerning your driveway if talking to him doesn't help. Don't they have any room he can park in front of his mother's house? We have a flatbed trailer and I found out real fast we can't leave it on the street here in Ca. because there is an ordinance stating it has to be attached to a vehicle to be parked on the street.

I can't recall what it's called but I do believe if you give a neighbor access to part of your property for a period of time (years) they can claim it as easment. I'm tired and can half think today so maybe someone else can elaborate on that.
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Old 09-05-2009, 02:18 PM
Location: Missouri
6,044 posts, read 21,125,101 times
Reputation: 5033
As annoying as it is when someone parks in front of your house, there's nothing that can be done about it. It might be worth confirming whether or not it is legal to have a commercial trailer parked on a residential street.
If you don't want a fence for other purposes, I'm not sure it's worth the time and expense to put one up, solely because they are mowing part of your yard. (Hey, less work for you, right?) The simplest solution may be indeed talking to the woman who lives there, if you don't want your section mowed and/or if you don't want their fence hooked onto yours. I get the feeling you don't actually mind these things all that much, it's more that you feel disrespected. I don't blame you ... unfortunately some people just don't have the best social skills.
Welcome to city-data, and best of luck resolving this!
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Old 09-05-2009, 04:01 PM
3 posts, read 25,678 times
Reputation: 18
Agreed. It's the disrespect that bugs me most of all. And I do know it's illegal to park a commercial trailer on the street. I'll let that slide.. just pointing out another example of the disrespect.

Well I tried talking to him, to no avail. But I think you're right. I'm going to just hit her up personally and try to nicely explain it all again. I don't expect she'll comply, but... luckily, the wife does work for a lawyer who often deals in property issues. I just honestly hate going that route. I'd prefer to be a good neighbor and have good neighbors, but if they're going to disrespect my wishes anyway, well, I guess I can't be a good neighbor to someone who doesn't want the same.
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:58 PM
Location: SW MO
1,238 posts, read 3,965,304 times
Reputation: 986
Check your city ordinances about constructing any type of fence on a front or side yard. Some friends put up a very nice white PVC privacy fence on a side yard. Since they live on a corner, the fence was actually streetside. The city was going to make them tear it down because the house across the street faced toward their fence. Luckily the homeowner across the street LIKED the fence and no other neighbors had an objection, so they let it stand.

The commercial trailer parked on the street would be a very good thing to bring to the notice of your local policeman. As long as they didn't start trying to park it between the houses!
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:16 PM
794 posts, read 1,491,804 times
Reputation: 1163
Ok, so now you know why it is never, ever advisable to build a fence set back from the property line. In subdivisions you can pretty well count on the fence becoming the de facto property line, no matter what the deed says.

Springfield has ordinances against barking dogs. If you ask enough times, someone will respond. They can be ticketed and fined for failure to abate the nuisance.

Springfield also has ordinances about what can, and cannot be parked in neighborhoods. The zoning office is where I would start.

You must move your fence back to the property line if you wish to preserve your deeded space. And the neighbors will your permission to attach anything to your fence. Keep in mind, though, that permission is easier to grant than recind.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:05 PM
Location: Highlandville
167 posts, read 387,270 times
Reputation: 67
you let that fence stay too long, and they can claim adverse possession, and keep it.

I would run the fence 2-3 inches just to your side of the property line in back, and just jog around the tree for her. (to continue being nice, but when she moves, immediatley fix that) then in the front yard have a concrete border poured along the line to mark it, yet not have a fence.
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:08 AM
3 posts, read 25,678 times
Reputation: 18
concrete border.. not a bad idea. hadn't thought of that!

well.. i'm happy to report that everything is ok now. I decided to go try and talk one more time.. knocked on her door, tried being as nice as possible, she talked with me about everything.. turns out that she really believed her property line was halfway in my front yard.. said she had a survey done years before i moved in. i showed her the actual property map that my survey company gave me. she apologized and said she wouldn't mow over into our yard anymore.. and hasn't! I talked to her about the trailer from a safety point of view.. requesting that they please move it because that's the side my baby sits in his car seat in, and momma is pregnant, so i really could not afford getting sideswiped because we couldn't see down the street. they moved it that afternoon to a spot in front of their house and all is fine. they're still attached to my fence with a little wire chicken fence, but i'm not too concerned about the fence issue.. just needed them to try a be a neighbor, which they're doing well now. there is peace again in the neighborhood.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:32 AM
Location: Southwest Missouri
1,921 posts, read 5,551,912 times
Reputation: 910
I'm glad to hear that your relationship with the neighbor has improved. Just the same, I would seriously consider getting something in writing about your property line and that back fence. Apparently you don't mind that your neighbor has tied on to your fence and is actually using part of your property as her own. That's fine, but you should have some type of documentation written up that clearly states that both parties acknowledge the actual property line and that you have a right to move the fence back or regain control of that property at your discretion.
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:32 AM
Location: Hillbilly Land
84 posts, read 182,222 times
Reputation: 103
One hundred lousy bucks for an hour of questions and answers with a real estate lawyer to prevent future trouble.

A fence in place ten years becomes the legal property line.

Written permission and non-permission sent via registered mail with a copy for you can prevent trouble, or may not.

If you do not get down to a real estate lawyer with a written list of questions so that you do not forget anything leaves you wide open to future calamity.

And, with real estate, if it wasn't isn't in writing it's as if it never happened.

The "my word is better than a handshake" may be factual but not inside a court room.

Oh well, it is your land and money.

Don't whine here if you end up losing to trashy folks who know the law or win by default due to the law not following what is to you a common sense path.
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