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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10221
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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When I purchased my home in 1973 it was all fenced.I now have

Customer Question

when I purchased my home in 1973 it was all fenced.I now have a new neighbor who thinks one side is on his property.what do you think I should do?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 6 months ago.
Dear Customer,I am sorry to learn of this issue.If there is a question over property lines, you are going to want to get a surveyor to come out and actually do a survey of the property (I always recommend paying for one yourself, that way the information is given to you, and you can decide how to use it in negotiations with your neighbor).-If your surveyor finds that the property line actually is where you have believed it to be, then you can simply present the survey results to them and that should be the end of the matter.-If the surveyor finds that the property line is different from what you believed it to be (the fenceline is off), then you are going to need to negotiate a resolution with your neighbor. The neighbor has a right to a readjustment of the fenceline to reflect the actual property line but you can usually get them to pay part of this cost as it is a "boundary fence" for which neighbors split costs. You can also try negotiating the purchase of the disputed property line and doing what is called a "lot line adjustment" with the County Recorder's Office (I always recommend retaining a local real estate attorney for this - it seems to be a simple transaction, but paying a couple of dollars to a professional and making certain it is done right the first time can avoid future disputes (especially if your neighbor sells and you find yourself with a different party owning the property in the future).
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
what about adverse law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 6 months ago.
Adverse possession fails in most cases as the party claiming adverse possession must not only occupy the property, but also be making the property tax payments.(there is a common misunderstanding with regard to adverse possession in this regard, but long standing occupancy or use of a neighbor's property alone does not create an ownership interest).Here is the Adverse Possession Statute in Washington State for your reference:
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have been paying taxes on property for 43 yrs.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 6 months ago.
You have been paying taxes on the property as stated in the property recorder's office.If there is a discrepancy between what is recorded and the physical division of the two properties, you are going to need to find out what that difference is and where the actual lot line is located. (Paying property taxes for your lot does not mean you are also paying taxes for a portion of your neighbors).But I would start at the beginning and find out where the actual lot lines are (a physical survey), it may be that your neighbor is mistaken and the lot lines actually follow the fence line (or he may have even raised an issue where the lot lines show the fence is actually further on your side than on his, meaning the fence should be moved further toward's his side).

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