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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 35380
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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In 1980 the neighbors bordering us, in the back, put a chain

Customer Question

In 1980 the neighbors bordering us, in the back, put a chain fence up 3 feet inside of their property line they shared with us. The reason they put up the fence inside the property line was because there is a large utility box within the 3 foot area. The neighbor at that time explained they did not want the utility box inside their fenced back yard. Sometime in the 1990's the original owners sold to the present neighbors. The present neighbors became aware of this situation last summer. Since last summer the present neighbors have now taken it upon themselves to come on our side of the fence and dig up our ferns, move our compost containers, and move other things around. I was under the impression that after a certain number of years this 3 foot area was ceded to us. Who has claim to the 3 foot area?
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..What you are talking about is called "adverse possession" and states that if A trespasses on B's land for long enough and uses it, they can claim legal ownership of it. In Wisconsin the period of time for adverse possession must be at least twenty (20) years. Wisconsin Code §893.28..So if you have used that 3 foot strip for at least 20 years, which it sounds like you have, then you can file a legal action called a "quiet title" suit against the neighbor and have a judge issue an order declaring you the legal owner of that strip and making the existing fence the new property boundary..This is something that you would need to get a local real estate attorney to assist with if you are unfamiliar with filing your own lawsuits in a higher court than small claims....thanksBarrister