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isasonrisa, Home Owner in Bellingham, WA

I live at 1915 Northshore Dr and when we were discussing the property the realtor had mentioned to us that there is a shared compost area in back of

Asked by isasonrisa, Bellingham, WA Sat Mar 24, 2012

my home... now the neighbor to the left of us stated that it was his land. Is there a shared compost site here and if so how would we know?

Help the community by answering this question:


To confirm the ownership of a parcel that is used by adjoining owners you can check the county records of the parcels and check any recorded easements for shared access. If your properties back up to a greenspace you may need a permit to 'dump' on any county or state owned properties.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 8, 2014
I've never heard of a shared compost area. Perhaps there is a tract of land that is co-owned between you and your neighbor. Or, it may be a public greenspace.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 22, 2013
This is why, when buying property you should:

Understand, "If it is not written it is not said" which includes understanding the lot lines *Before* you buy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 22, 2013
All of the answers below that you already got are helpful. You can talk to the neighbors and ask them to show you where they think the property lines are & measure distances if you can find a corner stake.
Hopefully you will all get along & it will not matter. If things get really crazy, you can get a survey done & then you will know exactly where your property is. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 24, 2012
I've attached a link to the Whatcom County Assessor’s office Parcel Viewer. You can type in the address or parcel number of your property and get an Arial view of your property and the surrounding ones as well. This would be a start.
Taking the agent or the neighbor’s word is equally risky. People may think a piece of property belongs to them because they've used it, but this isn't ownership. Agents may repeat something they've been told, but it may not be accurate. Checking it out for yourself is always advisable if the issue is important.
If the adjoining property is shared, I doubt it will be labeled as a compost site, but may belong to the neighborhood association and fallen into that use through agreement or default.
Start with the link if it isn't clear, check with a Title Company. As others have said the legal description may include a separate parcel is joined to this one as community or jointly owned by the neighbors. I hope this was helpful.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 24, 2012
Thank you for your thorough and informative post. I do not want problems just answers.. the neighbor came out insulting us for using this compost site so i will do some research. Thank you very much for the link.
Flag Sat Mar 24, 2012
Maybe someone else has a different experience but I have never heard of that either. It might have been an area where everyone dumps their compost materials but actually is owned by someone. If a real estate broker told you that it was that way, you might consider contacting that party again and see if they can help you determine what the real status is since they are the ones who got this ball rolling.
Is there a Home Owners Association? If so maybe check there. Also maybe check the CC&R's if there are any.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 24, 2012
Thank you, I will read the link and go from there. This neighbor is difficult however I will just do my homework.
Flag Sat Mar 24, 2012
Since we are from Arizona, we never really knew or understood what a compost site was... it is directly behind our home which makes it an eye soar however we loved the house. Now that we have used this compost site there is a problem with this neighbor. Looking through property lines and maps it really does not show this compost site. I know our property lines, however since it was stated as being a "Community Compost Site" I am not sure what the problem is by using it... especially if we used it for grass and leaves.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 24, 2012
If there is a shared area, it would be recorded and possibly mentioned in legal description. You can get a copy of the legal description from the county website typically. You might also be able to find recorded documents there too. You could also check with a local escrow/title company as they should have that information or be able to get it for you.
It sounds like you purchased the home already. If you still have it, check the disclosure and see what it says in the disclosure about this.
You might also ask the neighbor to show you written documents he as showing the property is his.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 24, 2012
Thank you.. he is a complicated man and does not like to talk too much... so I think it would not be a good idea to even go over there. I will do some more research. I work for the Criminal Justice System and the correctional facilities here so I will ask questions and get to the root of this problem. Thank you for your response.
Flag Sat Mar 24, 2012
A review of your parcel and neighbors parcel legal description, lot line boundaries and title should provide some clarification. This is something we can assist you with if you like. If you would like assistance with this simply email me. Mike
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 24, 2012
It may have a rocorded document if its shared property. I may not be shared, I recomend a little research.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 24, 2012
Thank you Don, I am a bit perplexed since the realtor had stated that it was a community compost site.... thus for the first time in 2 years we used it to throw away our cut grass clippings as well as leaves.... he now wants us to remove it... I al researching property lines and thus spoke to my realtor again... she again stated that it is a shared compost site. What are my options?
Flag Sat Mar 24, 2012
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