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Jason, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 46
Experience:  Fourteen years practicing attorney Personal Injury, Criminal Defense, Business Litigation Family Law
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I am the owner of a property in New Castle County Delaware

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I am the owner of a property in New Castle County Delaware that boarders community property ( I am a 1/90th owner of the community property) in a residential neigborhood the community property has a setback that encroaches my property. There is also a fence on the community proprerty that surrounds a retention pond. The set back from the fence line has been maintained for some 20 feet (cut weeding, seeding, watering and topsoil deposited at my expense for over five years assuming it was my land) from the outside of the fence to my propety. A request was placed to install a shed on the property 2 feet off the fence line and was approved by the home howners association and the town. all proper permits were obtained) I have recently recieved notification the shed is in violation in its present location. What are my rights having the preappoval, and maintaing the land? Can I be forced to move the shed? And if so, Can I be compenstated for the maintenance expenses incurred over the year

Thsi will depend on a careful review of the associations by-laws. It will also be important to determine if associations rules are being enforced uniformly for similiar acts. The fact that you have maintained the property will be irrelevant as you have an ownership interest so there can be no adverse possession as well as adverse possession statutes are typically twenty years.. Adverse possession being when you aquire l;and by taking and maintiang for a period open an notoriaously so that the origianl owner knwos your claiming the property.

if the association has notified you it is in violation after first approving the shed you would have a claim agains them for damages cost incurred in building and removing the shed. they would probably like to avoid this. fianlly if it is a 3rd party that has said to remove it as it violates an ordinace not mentioned by you if you needed teh permit you may have a tough position to defend.

you will want to contact a lawyer in your home state familiar with real estate particularly condo and association law as this is a very specialized area. this information is general in nature and not intended as legal advice. no client attorney relationship is formed

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
The town permit was granted under condition of the approval of the home owners association (HA). Approval was recieved prior by the (HA)to the installation of the shed although they (HA)are claiming the lot location does not match the original drawing submitted (although it does). Do I have any possible right to claim for maintaining that land over the past 5 plus years assuming it was mine snd the fence was installed at the property line? No survey was conducted to define the property lines when the (HA) installed the fence.

Well I think you need to define what is and isnt your proeprty. if it isnt your property your not going to have a claim because you havent maintained it long enough to make such a claim. most states would require twenty years oof open and notorious use. i would have the property surveyed.

if it does match the proeprty description as you say then they were at teh least negligent in issueing the permit and may be liable. As said this is a tough are of law i recommend an attorney in your state as the statutes for condemnation and adveerse possession are specific. I dont think you ever owned enough of this land and i dont think you maintained it liong enough to make any claims. likely your maintence was volunary. i m sure the associations articles address possession issues of common areas

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