The patio is 12' long.there is 2 1/2 more feet of rock to her fence, This fence and the patio have been in place for at least 18 years. The surveyor has told her the property line is 5 1/2 feet closer to our house. We have a fence in the front and back that connect to her fence. She is saying she is going to put up another fence on the property line-over our patio--some of the concrete will wind up on her side of the new fence. She says she could take down the fence and not put one up and that neither could we because it would be on her property then. We have dogs. There has been a fence there for 18 years also. What are our legal rights?Previous owners have replaced the fence but always in the same spot. She even talked about drilling into the concrete for fence posts.
It is our side door--not the back door. She has lived there for about 3 years and the fence was there when she moved in.
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
Did you have a City permit to build the patio? Did you have a survey done when you built the patio? Did the City give a sign off on inspection after the patio was built?
These would all be points in your favor to argue about.
More detail is needed.
And and expert on side-yard setbacks vs. rear-yard setbacks may be needed.
Real Estate Attorney
Get an attorney involved. Here are some of the things that could happen:
1. If you find the survey you should have gotten when you bought the house. and if the patio is shown on it as being within your property line, you may have to take action to prevent the neighbor from attempting to build the fence until the property line dispute can be resolved.
2. If you don't find the survey or if you do and the patio is NOT on it, you may need to get a new survey and have the surveyor "spot" the patio to see where it ends. Depending on what the surveyor determines, you may wind up in the same situation or discover that whoever put the patio in put it in the wrong place and your neighbor may be right.
3. Even if you find the building permit for the patio, it could have been installed improperly or the municipality could have made a mistake (usually in order to get a permit you must present a survey and show where the patio would be put in, but contractors can make mistakes too) and then again it may have been installed without a permit.
4. 18 years is a long time but not quite long enough to give you rights of adverse possession, and in any event that implies some kind of litigation to resolve the issue.
5. Assuming your property is "lot and block" -- ie. part of a staked subdivision and not necessarily one defined by "metes and bounds" it may be easier to determine where your real property line is - especially if you can locate iron stakes at the corners, although some owners and contractors have been known to remove them especially when installing fences at the property lines.....