John Juarez, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (The Medford Real Estate Team)

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Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

An Encroachement leading to Adverse Possession, something that we have dealt with many times in managing forest land.  And spent a lot of time in court as an expert witness.

These can go either way, depending on the judge and other circumstances.

Get a good attny and hope for the best.

Aug 28, 2018 03:47 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Ownership is determined via the expensive and long drawn-out legal process. It could be that the property boundaries get re-established and the offending lot owner may have to pay the offended lot owner. 

I do not want to get into what this is called because someone may wrongly believe I am practicing law without a license. 

Encroachment comes to my mind ... but see disclaimer statement above.

This is good stuff.  We are not talking about a fence here ... we are talking the actual house extends across the property line.  Opps 

Aug 28, 2018 03:55 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

        Adverse possession.  Open, hostile, notorious.  Ultimately, a Judge is going to decide.  Get it surveyed, bring in the lawyers.

Aug 28, 2018 03:44 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Depends upon the level of encroachment. Adverse Possession would not apply to a new build though - it hasn't been long enough.

However, I would do everything I could to play nice - ask the Offended Lot owner to sell that corner and have the Offending Lot owner/builder pay for the survey to redraw the lot, pay for the attorney to record both new Deeds and offer a fair price to the Offended Lot owner for the sliver of land.

Good luck, John!

Aug 28, 2018 07:50 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

I am not a lawyer so I'm opting to call this situation anything.  Just my opinion.  Good luck.

Aug 28, 2018 04:13 PM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Bob Crane has a good answer.  We have had these types of situations often in Central Oregon. Just dealt with one in which the septic drain field from the offending lot was on the property our buyer was purchasing.  We have had other situations in which entire buildings are built on the wrong lot. In these cases, we have had lot line adjustments made in which a portion of the property was purchased by the offending party, recorded easements made to accommodate the building, or one time I remember a handyman went out with a chain saw and sawed off 2 feet of a shed encroaching on our seller's property.

Aug 28, 2018 04:13 PM
Richard L. McKinney P.A.
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
For Results that MOVE you on the Treasure Coast!

You have an enchroachment. I would first try to negotiate a deal with the vacant lot owner. Do you know who owns the vacant lot. 

I did this once and the two owners came to terms on a price, had a lawyer draw it all up on a contract, got the survey and the lawyer handled it with the county. 

Aug 28, 2018 04:09 PM
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty Condos for Sale and Rent

Wow, interesting situation. Thank you, Bob Crane for sharing your experience.

Aug 28, 2018 03:55 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

I forget how long it takes but it has to be continuous use of 15 to 20 years in IL. 

Ask one of the Utah kids what it's called. Offended lot looses the land.

Aug 28, 2018 03:39 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

This would be encroachment and could be settled nicely between neighbors, or through the courts.  The offending lot owner would need to buy the portion of the neighbor's lot or remove his structure from that lot.

Aug 28, 2018 05:03 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Here to what is already mentioned, i believe in CA, if the land or property is not claimed for a number of years, the ''offender'' can become the legal owner... you'll need a legal assistance on this one: ''Generally speaking, if you have been occupying lands that you do not own, rent or otherwise have permission to use in excess of 12 years (or in the case of Crown lands 30 years), without any objection from the registered owner, you can claim what is known as “adverse possession”.''

Aug 28, 2018 04:57 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Interesting situation. A real estate attorney can answer that one for you John Juarez

Aug 28, 2018 03:40 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

I can see a potential Adverse Possession scenario. I would be interesting seeing how the land court would take care of it. 

Aug 29, 2018 06:54 AM
Brenda J. Andrew
Professional Realtor in Conroe/Willis, TX

This is a great question and I am so glad you asked, just in case I ever come across this in the future - which I hope I don't.  Sounds like someone is going to have to get an attorney to get it straight.  

Aug 29, 2018 04:51 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Sounds like a great question for a real estate attorney.

Aug 29, 2018 04:35 AM
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT

Might be a case of adverse possession. Definitely calls for a lawyer to handle it. 

Aug 29, 2018 04:27 AM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

I think the best way to hande that is by doing a BLA. Boundary Line Adjustment. If the Offending lot can pay a reasonble fee to the Offfended lot and pay for the BLA and new survey plats, that will cure it. Other options are (a) Move the house (b) remodel the house and remove the part that over the line.  It depends on how much of the house is across the existing property line. (c) offender can purchase the lot, then do the BLA, the resell the lot if he/she doesn't want it.

Aug 29, 2018 03:40 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

I agree with Bob Crane almost like squatters rights.

Aug 28, 2018 08:44 PM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

John, sounds like it's time to consult with your local real estate attorney. 

Aug 28, 2018 08:37 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Adverse possession as I remember it has to be adverse and not just ignored. Were one or both parties unaware?

Aug 28, 2018 08:18 PM
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

Besides Adverse Possession like Bob Crane stated, you could also go with SNAFU or FUBAR. I'd imagine. Best of luck to your clients, I hope they are ready for this. Might need to find the builder as well as the surveyor on this one.

Aug 28, 2018 07:11 PM
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

Good luck with this one. Please let us know how it turns out.

Aug 28, 2018 05:44 PM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

This is going to take some research on the part of the municipality that issued the original permits for the offending & offended properties. Somrwhere in that mess you'll find an answer how to move forward. The term you're looking for is SNAFU John!

Aug 28, 2018 05:38 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I think that's a good question for an attorney. It's adverse possession and the result with depend on the survey, and the judge! Maybe there can be new property lines drawn.

Aug 28, 2018 05:19 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Real Estate lawyers, like Bob Crane stated.  We wish you the best of outcomes.  A

Aug 28, 2018 04:50 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

that's huge problem.... it a home that encroaches someone else's lot!!! buying an easement might be one way of resolving it....or selling a strip of land.... but attorneys need to be involved...

Aug 28, 2018 04:20 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

It is not an easement and It probably is a violation and may need to be corrected or another solution negotiated.  

Aug 29, 2018 05:37 AM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

I call it an opportunity for two attorneys to make a little dough. 

Aug 29, 2018 05:06 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

If the "error" went unnoticed for many years without any objections, the Offending Lot owner can gain possession via a legal process called Adverse Possession. Check with your state as to how many years of possession are required in your state; I have seen 10 and 15 years (NY and CT), but time can vary between 5 and 40 years, depending on the state. If paperwork is filed properly, court should rule in favor of Offending Lot and that "offending" piece of property would become legally his. Best to check with a local attorney.

Aug 29, 2018 04:53 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Adverse possession if it's been that way for a while. Get an attorney involved.

Aug 29, 2018 04:46 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

John Juarez complicated!

Aug 28, 2018 08:34 PM
Reid Wyly
Carolina Estates Realty - Charleston, SC

Bob Crane nailed it.

Aug 28, 2018 07:12 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

If they paid documented taxes for five straight years with notice (adverse possession) they may have a claim if not it is subject to litigation with the outcome being demolition via court order plus damages, costs & fees

Aug 28, 2018 06:34 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

You have to check your state law. The home owner should purchase the other lot.

Aug 28, 2018 04:37 PM
Lesley Wilson-VanGoethem
Innovative Realty Solutions Group - Winter Springs, FL
Residential Real Estate Broker Associate

Adverse possession,, contact an atty

Aug 28, 2018 03:55 PM
Brian L. Sirota, Esq.
Bristar Realty (Realtor/Attorney) - Orange, CA
For Solutions: (714) 501-7660


An easement acquired by Adverse Possession is called a prescriptive easement.   

The land that's burdened by the easement, or the "offended" parcel, as you put it, is called the servient tenement.   The "offending" parcel, as you put it, is called the dominant tenement.

Aug 29, 2018 03:27 PM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Well it depends. There is an encroachment for sure. Not an easement, but perhaps indeed adverse possession. It all depends on your state laws, and how the parties want to settle this.

Been in that situation before, in AZ, and the 'offending party' was ordered by the county to demolish the part of the house that was encroaching because it was not built to code by not having sufficient space between the structure and the lot line. The house had a part that was 'illegal'. That resolved the situation.

Aug 29, 2018 06:27 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Title companies will upon examination of a current survey issue an encroachment note allowing title to transfer. As to ownership of the encroached portion, another issue!

Aug 29, 2018 05:51 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

It depends how long it was not noticed. I have had 2 of these in the last 4 years. the neighnors agreed on a lot line adjustment making the lot look like steps instead of a square. But both were happy

Aug 29, 2018 04:53 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

35 year is the time limit. Adverse possession I think.....

Aug 28, 2018 07:34 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

LEGAL Question 

Aug 28, 2018 06:47 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Talk to a real estate attorney.

Aug 28, 2018 06:29 PM
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

Lawsuit against the surveyor?

Aug 28, 2018 05:37 PM
Joyce Marsh
Joyce Marsh Real Estate LLC - Ormond Beach, FL
Joyce Marsh Daytona Beach Area Florida Homes

Adverse Posession. Time to consult with Attorneys. 

Aug 29, 2018 09:13 AM
Jon K. Judd
Keller Williams Realty - Central Delaware - Dover, DE
GRI, e-PRO, SFR, Delaware Homes

Top of mind, i'd think encroachment.

Bottom of mind, i'd say a good attorney and judge will be needed...

Personal thoughts, it could go in several different directions.... (hence attorney)

Aug 29, 2018 08:37 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Good luck.

Aug 29, 2018 05:04 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I am dealing with this situation right now, as the previous homeowners "made a deal", but conveniently forgot about it when they signed papers at closing.

Sep 03, 2018 06:43 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I 've seen this before and have found a land swap to be the best solution

Aug 30, 2018 06:32 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

John Juarez - this is why I like Q&A section.

Learning from other answers.... 

Thanks for asking.

Aug 29, 2018 10:01 PM