Neighbor built a garage one foot from my now deceased father's house fifty years ago. We are not able to sell the property.

Asked by LucilleCaruso, Queens, NY Sun Aug 5, 2012

My father purchased a house in Springfield Gardens NY fifty years ago surrounded by trees. Developers purchased the vacant land and built new houses. The new owner erected a garage one foot from his property line without his knowledge or permission. He is now deceased and we have a buyer for the house who wants to add onto the front of the house.He is being refrained from doing so because of the one foot. The neighbor who owns the property is not affected and the garage is still standing. We have been told that we have to know nine feet off the back of the house. My father is now deceased. It does not make sense. We have therefore lost our inheritance. Since he was not responsible for changing the property line and the owners who did so are now deceased as well. Could this not be grandfathered in? Otherwise the house will sit there until it is burned to the ground and destroyed or used by drug addicts. Please help. Thank you

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Javier Menes…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Melville, NY
Sun Aug 5, 2012
You absolutely need to speak to an attorney. If you need, I can give you a couple name and numbers of attorneys who can help you in the Queens area.

Javier Meneses
Senior Loan Officer
Sterling National Bank
1 vote
Jeanne Diete…, Agent, Moreno Valley, CA
Sat Jun 21, 2014
The property line remains the same, however a real estate attorney should be advising you. There are other remedies besides tearing down the garage. A lot line adjustment being one of them. I hope it works out for you.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sun Aug 5, 2012
It's really in your best interest to consult with an attorney, don't simply rely on online information...
0 votes
Thomas Brady, Agent, Plainview, NY
Sun Aug 5, 2012
Javier's answer is best, you must speak to an attorney. Something should be able to be worked out so that you can sell the property for fair market value. I'm not sure if I understand correctly, but if the garage is a foot onto your property adverse possession may apply rather than being "grandfathered". In any case, good luck.
0 votes
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Sun Aug 5, 2012
You need to run all this past a lawyer to figure out. A building built 50 years ago might likely be grandfathered even if it was built in the setback area of his lot, it sounds like you are saying nothing should have been built closer to the lot line than 10 feet. If that is correct and it has been there 50 years it might be too late to argue about it now. A lawyer will need to figure this out or you might try speaking to the zoning or building dept in your city or county for advise.
0 votes
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