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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34772
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I purchased a home in 2012 and I found out a couple years

Customer Question

I purchased a home in 2012 and I found out a couple years after we purchased the home that my neighbors driveway is 3 feet on my property. The company that did the survey is actually a friend of the family so I was unsure on how to proceed. I am now thinking about selling my house and I know this will become an issue. Should I look to file a lawsuit againist the title company for not informing me of this issue when I purchased?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Can you tell me what state this is in?

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Did you have a survey done before you purchased the home?

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Or was it after? (I think you said after..)

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How long has the driveway been there?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
My lawyer was a personal friend as well as the the company that did the survey so I would like to avoid any issues with them.
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

.

Can you tell me what state this is in?

.

Did you have a survey done before you purchased the home?

.

Or was it after? (I think you said after..)

.

How long has the driveway been there?

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
it is in NJ, the survey was done prior to the purchase, but discovered a couple years after when my neighbor refinanced her house (same survey company marked the lines). I am not sure how long the driveway as been there, it was there before we moved in.
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

Ok, if the initial survey company messed up, then you would have 6 years from the date of discovery to sue the survey company for negligence and breach of contract. Your measure of damages would be how much less your property is with the encroachment vs. without one.

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I know that you said you don't want to go after your friend, but that is your remedy if the driveway has been there over 20 years. This is the time for "adverse possession" in NJ that would allow the neighbor to legally claim ownership of the land that they are encroaching on.

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However, if it has been there less than 20 years, you can sue the neighbor for trespass and ejectment and force them to move the driveway off your land.

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I think a reasonable compromise would be to sue the neighbor for trespass if it is less than 20 years, but for friend with the survey to cover some or all of the legal costs of doing so since they were negligent in their survey..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
it sounds like a lose lose to me. The neighbor is a friend, the lawyer is a friend, the survey company is a friend. The only situation I would feel comfortable with is holding the Title Insurance company liable and letting them handle the rest.
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

Well that is also a problem here.. With a negligent survey, the title company can go after the survey company for anything that they have to pay...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I think I would feel more comfortable going that route if it is indeed a viable option I am sure insurance would cover any costs the survey company would incur
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

That is probably true because surveyors carry "E and O" insurance (errors and omissions) that will kick in to cover any mistakes that they might make, whether it is you going after them or the title insurance company doing so...

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But yes, you are in kind of a sticky situation.. Would help a lot if there was at least one person who was a jerk....

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thanks

Barrister

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