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Old 03-17-2009, 01:29 PM
 
2 posts, read 9,213 times
Reputation: 10

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We are located in the country in Lee County, Iowa. Our neighbor has a 25 foot easement back to his property on our land which has a gravel lane on it. The other day we came home and he was putting a barbed-wire fence up along the lane so we asked him what he was doing. He said he was putting up the fence so that we respect his 25 ft. easement. This now is going to make it very difficult to mow our property in front of and behind his fence. We don't understand as to why he can possibly put up a fence on our property to "respect his easement" (gravel lane) even if we don't want it up because of difficulty mowing and now an ugly fence is blocking our view of our beautiful country property and wild life. We are a young couple that has worked hard and built everything we have with no help from anyone so we feel he's trying to take advantage of us and that we won't do anything. We were going to call the sheriff but wanted to know our rights first. This is not an easy going type of neighbor either, this is an old, grumpy, private hermit neighbor we've tried to talk to before to no avail. Any advice will help, personal or legal.... Thank you.
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:45 PM
 
2,652 posts, read 8,000,906 times
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Call a lawyer. How was the easement done? Was it done legally, or just drawn up by both parties at McD's? First and foremost, get a lawyer.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Des Moines
586 posts, read 2,009,410 times
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I don't see how he legally could put a fence up on your property without your consent, unless it's in the easement area and the easement clearly states that such a thing could happen.

This seems like an open and shut civil case if it came down to it, but hopefully he would comply and take the fence down before it got to the courts.

Just one question, does he or how long has he maintained the area that the fence is located in?
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,739 posts, read 32,789,121 times
Reputation: 6836
Don't ya love having an azz hole as a neighbor? Sometimes these people are just looking for something to make an issue of.

I would speak with a lawyer too, I don't know how else you could find out the correct answer. It doesn't seem he should be able to do this but I am not lawyer.

However how fun would it be for you to find out he is wrong and he has to take it down. I would be so pizzed that I would set up a couple lawn chairs and watch while he takes it down but then again once someone makes me mad, I get nasty.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Iowa
3,027 posts, read 3,341,760 times
Reputation: 3828
Sounds like a job for Rodney Heemstra, is there a well nearby ? If he won't help you, then check with his lawyer.

Last edited by mofford; 03-17-2009 at 06:31 PM..
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:27 PM
 
2 posts, read 9,213 times
Reputation: 10
Okay, I am not sure how to post back to everyone seperately on this being new to this site, so I will answer you with this one post. We have now called a lawyer and are waiting to hear back from him, hopefully today. The easement agreement was done years ago when our neighbor first bought his property. Our deed only states that he has a 25 ft. easement to his property. According to our neighbor, years ago there was a fence there, built by the previous owner of our land, but we don't actually know that this is true and he's never maintained that area because it's never been his. It has not been fun trying to live there having him as a neighbor and always feel like we can't do what we want to our land or even be out on it. There is no well on our property or near it. We bought this property in 2000 and built our home on it, it was previously just used as hunting property. I will post what our lawyer tells us once we hear from him. I appreciate all of your responses, keep them coming please!
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:52 AM
 
11,288 posts, read 23,421,483 times
Reputation: 11190
It's YOUR property. He can't and shouldn't build something on that property. He might have an easement for the road, but that was worked out at that time.

If he has the right to just go wander up and build a fence, he should be making payments for "rent".

It also helps the fact that you maintain that land, and not his. It proves the point more that he has no "assumed" right to use the land since it's not his, and he's not maintaining...



I'd tear that fence down and put in some trees or bushes so you don't have to see or deal with him as much, but you can still have a view to any degree you want to.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:29 AM
 
1,830 posts, read 4,927,479 times
Reputation: 1967
His "respect his easement" remark sounds like he thinks he has sole access to the strip of property, which he doesn't. It's yours and you are allowing him to cross it to reach his land, period. He has no right to restrict your own access to it.

You need to speak to a lawyer and do not trust anything the neighbor is telling you. He's trying to convert the easement area into his own property by "adverse possession," a doctrine whereby, if you sit idly and let someone fence in and use a piece of your property, after a certain amount of time (varies from state to state) that portion of property becomes theirs and you lose all rights to it.

The lawyer will most likely send a registered letter to the neighbor informing him the property is yours and if he doesn't remove the fence by such and so date, you will. If it comes to that, that's when you inform the sherriff and ask for a deputy to be present when you remove the fence, to keep the peace.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Des Moines
586 posts, read 2,009,410 times
Reputation: 379
The generally court-tested time to claim adverse possession of privately held land in Iowa has been 20 years.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:59 PM
 
11,288 posts, read 23,421,483 times
Reputation: 11190
I say release the hounds on him when he's getting his newspaper...
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