Last week, our new neighbor of one whole month approached me out of the blue and asked me if I wanted to cut down our trees on the edge of our property or have him do it so he could move the cul-de-sac we share thirty-feet over and onto our property.
He was very casual about it – like it was a matter of an overhanging branch that needed to come down or something. It felt more like a shock-and-awe maneuver as this was the first I’d been clued into his plans.
I told him I would need to talk to my husband about the matter and I practically sprinted to the RV with the bad news. My husband was just as floored as me. We felt so blind-sided we couldn’t think straight.
Were we over-reacting or should we be wary of this person?
We scheduled a legal consultation and here’s what happened: Our neighbor had done his own survey and discovered the existing easement road was fifteen feet to the side of where it is shown on the survey so he decided he was going to move it – without consulting with us first. The road, however, has been in it’s current location for decades and would most likely be considered an implied easement and remain in place.
To add to the confusion, the easement is also described as being the existing road in other parts of the same legal documents which would make it legally in the right spot. The contradiction might warrant another look by the attorneys to be sure.
We were advised that the proposed change would be to our detriment and the neighbor’s benefit. We would be the only ones out of the three property owners who shared the easement road who stood to lose acreage if it was relocated. A judge might take that into consideration if this ever goes to court.
The attorneys told us that it would save everyone a lot of money to negotiate rather than go through litigation. We could even propose a sum for the use of our property as an option.
Armed with this basic real-estate legal knowledge, we’ve decided to just watch and wait and hope the neighbor doesn’t push for this after we leave him a note informing him of our stance.
I could live without a freeway in my front yard.