Home Selling in 17020>Question Details

Sunflower78, Home Seller in 17020

I need some help with a house I already sold. I did disclose about the fence being on the neighbors property (the neighbors said it was fine) but now

Asked by Sunflower78, 17020 Thu Oct 27, 2011

the neighbors who said not to worry about it...went and told the new owners they have argued with us for years about. Now the new owners want us to move it (and incur the costs as well) Do I have any recourse?? There is a bunch of other factors in this, but this is the basics of it.

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Understanding that I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice. (we have to say that.)

I would think that the fence simply "belongs" to the neighbor. If anyone wants to move it, that is their thing.

As far as moving the shed: I would gather, since you said it would cost a lot, that it is a big, heavy, wooden shed. If that is the case, I will tell you how to move, at no cost!
Go to the Home Improvement store and buy a dozen of those rounds poles that they use for stakeing new trees. Using a floor jack, lift the shed and stick the poles under it; probably a little at a time, until you have it totally on the parallel poles. You will find that two men can easily roll the shed where you want it. repeat the process to remove the poles. Return the poles to the Home Improvement store after cleaning them.

Good luck with everything.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 27, 2011
Thanks for all the suggestions...we did go to a lawyer and found out we were in the clear :) But that it would have costed us 1000's (at least 2K to fight it) so we decided to take the high road and move the fence (to show we are not liars) we put everything in writing about moving it "inside" the property line. Since there were no specifics and the new owners and their realtor were threatening to sue us (repeatly in writing) we moved about 15 feet in on all sides affected ;) So now it is REALLY inside the line. And the new owner lost quite a bit of yard...but hey thay got what they wanted....AND the kicker is we found all original iron pins in the ground while digging out the corner posts the fence was NEVER on the neighbors yard...the survey company was WRONG!!! We took pictures and measurements showed both the neighbor and the new owner together made them BOTH feel like A$$es and I slept better that night than I did in a long time and since we had quite a few friends on the block we heard that those houses have not made any new trouble with ANY of the other neighbors and apparently feel guilty about putting us through the wringer (but not guilty enough to reimburse us) ;)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
How long ago did you sell it?
Did you have an attorney involved in the sale?
Did you disclose this IN WRITING in a seller's disclosure?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 27, 2011
Hi Sunflower78,
Forget about it. Literally. When they ask questions, your response should be "I don't remember". Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 27, 2011
Get a lawyer. The situation has gotten all mucked up.

I'm not a lawyer, so this isn't legal advice. But you've sold the darn house with the encroaching fence and shed. You're out of it.

There could be a question about whether you misrepresented the situation to the buyer, so perhaps the buyer has some claim or complaint against you. Still, if you disclosed in writing that the fence and shed were on your neighbor's property, that's pretty clear.

Certainly the buyers can waive a survey, but the survey wouldn't have contributed materially to the facts--the buyers already knew (and by buying, acknowledged) that the fence and the shed were on the neighbor's property. Whether you and your then-neighbor argued about it really doesn't matter.

The shed and the portion of the fence on the neighbor's property belong to the neighbor. If the buyer and the neighbor want the fence and shed moved, that's their business.

Let me guess what may be happening. Your old neighbor is concerned that the area that your fence is intruding on, and the shed, somehow mean that the property is no longer his. He's worried that the new buyer owns it. That's why he's telling the new buyer that he argued with you about it. He's trying to establish that he raised that concern while you were there, so that the property wouldn't automatically revert to you. The new buyer wants to get along with the neighbor. The buyer doesn't care about whose land it is, but he wants to get along with his new neighbor. And now--based on what the old neighbor says--you're the bad guy. The new buyer would be content with leaving the fence and shed where it is, but with his neighbor raising a ruckus, he wants the problem solved.

Unfortunately, all this is mucked up, with statements orally, not in writing. With encroachments. With Realtors playing lawyers giving advice about whether waiving a survey has any bearing in the matter.

You're likely legally in the clear. Again, that's not a legal opinion. After consulting with a lawyer, though, you'll still be faced with a question of whether to pay for moving the fence and shed just to keep everyone happy, or whether--perhaps--a sternly-worded letter from your lawyer will put the burden back on the buyer and the neighbor . . . where it very likely belongs.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 27, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
Contact
Pay to have it moved, or see if you can negotiate sharing the cost between the three of you.

The fact that you disclosed it, did not solve the problem and it probably is going to get a whole lot worse, so why complicate your life over something you should have resolved long ago.
Web Reference: http://www.golftobeach.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 27, 2011
Thanks Tim...here is a little more to it. We did disclose it, but we also said that the neighbors said it was fine...the neighbors are the ones changing their story :( Now the buyers are saying we lied on our disclosure!!!Also on the sales contract the buyer waived his right to a survey...but our realtor said that doesn't help us. When we put the fence up we used the only stake we could find to measure off of (the neighbors father who owned the land before selling to the son is the one who put it there) so last year when the son had it surveyed it showed the fence on 2 sides of our yard was actually in his yard along with the hedges we planted. Ironically the neighbors wants the hedges to stay. But as soon as that was done we asked him when he wanted done with the fence he said "don't worry about it" - no we didn't get that in writing I know we should have!!! Then when we went to list the house we approached the neighbor again...who again said don't worry about it So we put in the disclosure that the fence on 2 side is on the neighbors property but they said it was fine. I guess as soon as the new person moved in, the neighbors went down with their survey and said it was a problem for years!!! Which is not what they told us!!! We even asked the neighbors after we get a call about suing us why they did this and the story changed at least twice during that conversation. In the end we agreed to move the fence in and had the neighbors agree to help in writing this time. I told the new owners they would have to move the shed to have this happen and now I get an email saying WE need to move the shed. I feel like I am being backed in a corner. My husband just wants to move it..but I know it will cost more than he thinks...he wants to avoid any confrontation. Another funny thing is last week I get another email from the buyers realtor saying they want to take us to the district justice because they have not heard back from us (I guess putting it in writing doesn't count!!!) But the buyer is having everything go through the realtors (who are not lawyers) he refuses to talk directly to me when I gave all my contact information!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 27, 2011
Do you have the disclosure in writing and was it to the buyers? Was it on the disclosure form? Was it noted as an encroachment on the survey? If so you are scott free as that would be enough disclosure. I doubt they could do much to you other than try to prove you withheld it but they should have discovered it on a survey. Otherwise speak with a lawyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 27, 2011
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