I'll state the facts; Rental property is where wife, her dad and granddad grew up. 2 family home. house has been in the family for about 100 years. In the 1930's wife's grandfather lost a portion of the land b/c he couldn't pay $13 in taxes. Owner of property (that was lost) says he owns 2 feet into our house. Looks like the property line at Town Hall also shows this. There is a driveway in front of house between the 2 properties which is where tenants park. In neighbors deed, and ours, it states a certain parcel of land approx 7 feet by 63 feet to forever be used as a carriage way, walk way, driveway etc. This is talking about this driveway. He wants to expand his parking lot and put a fence in the middle of this driveway leaving tenants no place to park. We vehemently disagree with this move arguing that deed says "forever". We want to claim this land and 2 feet inside home under adverse possession. Caveat, 13 years ago house was put under trust to protect from mom in law losing in case she goes in home. She is still beneficiary of trust and was on original deed going back at least 50 years. Neighbor is known to build inspector, says he does 1st and asks for forgiveness later. TY
This requires a title examination and a full instrument survey at the outset. Also, if you have title insurance, they may cover the cost of defending any attempt by the neighbor to claim part of your parcel, but you need to consult with them. Once these are in hand, then you can work with an attorney to review all the relevant facts to determine the rights in question. It's very difficult to follow precisely what you are describing here.
This answer is not to be considered legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created in responding to this question. You are advised to consult with an attorney in your state to be certain of your rights and obligations relating to this question.
If there is an easement in the deed, you won't be able to claim adverse possession. Adverse possession requires that you are holding a property without permission of the owner. You would need a lawyer to review the deed to see what the easement actually says. Even if there is no "express" easement for the use of the property as a driveway to benefit your house, you may have a "easement by prescription." You can think of that sort of as adverse possession, but instead of owning it outright, you get the right to continue using it as you always have. If you neighbor is trying to block you from using the easement you have a right to, the only option is to go to court. You can get a court order preventing him from changing the driveway or adding a fence. If he has already put it up, you can get a court order to force him to take it down. Absent going to land court or superior court, there is no way to enforce your property rights with regards to your neighbor. Set a time with an attorney to review all the relevant title docs and give you an opinion.
I am a Massachusetts attorney and answer questions based on Massachusetts law. The above answer is for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney client relationship or constitute legal advice.
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