General Area in Multnomah>Question Details

pdxlife142, Home Owner in Portland, OR

My neighbor wants to move a fence 1 foot onto my property to allow room between his house and the fence to move his RV behind his house.

Asked by pdxlife142, Portland, OR Sat Mar 30, 2013

He's offering to pay for the new fence and an additional 60 feet of fence that I'd like to have done anyways (offering a 3 ft "good neighbor" fence). Concerned it will cause problems if either of us every sell our houses but I don't use that part of my property anyways. Any suggestions on what my options are? Can I sell him this 90ft by 1ft area or do some sort of documentation to assure it stays mine? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

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Linda Heinrichs’ answer
I would contact a Real Estate Attorney to help you with this transaction. There is value for your neighbor and it sounds like you are willing to make a lot line adjustment to accommodate him. Now you just need to fill in the details and get it all in writing. What a good neighbor you are!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 15, 2013
You need to talk to an attorney. You have issues with lot lines and legal descriptions and you might not be able to sell your property since you don't have the legal amount of sq ft to have a lot? There is something called adverse possession that you should check in to? You might give up this land for ever? good luck to you. Tom Inglesby, Broker RE/MAX Equity Group
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
My husband and I did that here in Wisconsin. We needed an extra 2 feet by 100 feet clearance in order to put an addition on our home. It didn't matter much to the land owners because they had 83 acres. So we paid for a survey and we purchased that otherwise unbuildable land for $500.

Not sure what the laws are in Multnomah, but I would rather have it legal and completed than to have an easement. An easement could cause you trouble down the road. Either way you go, make sure it is legally documented.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 31, 2013
You have to disclosure any recent boundary surveys when you sell. As long as everything is recorded property with a Title company you are okay. (Of course, talking with an attorney on this matter is recommended.)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 16, 2014

Look at it this way....presently, you don't have a problem. On the other hand, your neighbor has an issue he'd like to resolve by having you make a concession that could come back and "bite you" in the future. You are correct assuming that if done the wrong way, this issue will become an even bigger problem when it comes to changing ownership in the future.

My recommendation is that both parties sit down with an attorney to review your options. The last think you should do is just to move the fence without first understanding what's involved. If you are going to do it right!

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 14, 2014
Don't do it! It could and can cause problems down the road. I have been dealing with this very issue. If you decide to sell the house and his fence is on your property and some one else may not like the idea of a RV parked there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 14, 2014
Yes it can cause a problem when it is your turn to sell. Better to not have the fence at all then one that "encroaches" on your lot.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 12, 2013
p.s. Tom Inglesby makes an excellent point as well. Make sure that you are not causing your own land to become nonconforming by making it smaller.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
This shouldn't cost you anything at all. Your neighbor is asking for you to do him a favor. Why not tell him you would be willing to permanently move the lot line for a fair price for the land and providing he is willing to have it surveyed so that you can turn that in and have it legally documented.

Or........he you could grant him the easement that runs with the owner and not the land. However, you would still want that to be surveyed and done on a legal document and on record. (Need to confirm with attorney on this.)

Either way, this is going to cost somebody a little money to accomplish if you want to protect yourself and your land. It is very admirable of you to want to help out your neighbor, but having been in this business for quite a few years, I can almost assure you that unless you do this by legal means, an issue will almost certainly arise down the road.

Do yourself and your neighbor a favor and get it done right the first time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Can you put in some kind of rolling fence so it is not permanent now? When you give up you land your legal description changes and if you live where your sets backs will not allow your house to be closer to the property line you could have issues. Go with your neighbor and talk to an attorney and see what they say. If you need attorney email me. Thanks, Tom Inglesby, RE/MAX Equity Group in Hillsdale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
I know if a survey is done or an attorney gets involved this will end up being quite spendy. Can I just write up a document and have it notarized. I'm just trying to help the guy out because he is always hitting the fence or his house when moving his RV but I don't want to lose my land or ad complications if I ever sell my house. The land that would be on the other side of the fence is only worth about $1000. Just looking for the cheapest possible means of doing this that won't screw me over.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
This is surely a situation where you should talk with an attorney. You have several options, and must analyze each option in light of local zoning issues, CCRs, and other variables. I would be happy to discuss this with you and put you in touch with an attorney who can assist you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 31, 2013
Yes I would say you can do an easement that would be recorded for that use while you both own the property but that become revocable on sale if that is what you want to do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 31, 2013
An easement will always stay with the land and can only be removed by the party it favors.... so you might want to really think about that before you do it... you could do a license - which strictly allows him to use the land as long as you give him permission - it can be revoked at anytime you wish and you have control over it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 31, 2013
You should check with a real estate attorney on local laws that govern this situation. In some areas, if you allow your neighbor to encroach on your property for 5 years straight, then that part of the property becomes his.

One option is to create an easement for your neighbor. This way, you're granting him the right to use the strip of land but not transferring the right of ownership to him.

A more formal option is to perform a lot line adjustment. You'll need to get a surveyor to generate a new plat map and record the new lot line with the county. The cost for both will probably run you about $5-10K. This keeps the property lines clear and doesn't present any complications on any future sales.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 31, 2013
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