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I live in Houston, Texas and have lived in the same house for

over 30 years. A...
I live in Houston, Texas and have lived in the same house for over 30 years. A few years ago, the neighbor behind me, sold his home and the new neighbor put up a fence and left a 10ft alleyway between my fence and his. I believe originally it was an alleyway so the new home owner did not take the land as his own. Here is were I have the questions on rights of ownership.
My neighbor adjacent to my property had started putting junk on the section of land. This is right behind my house. It consist of a pile of lumber on a flat be trailer and over the weekend he added 3 large dogs and fenced the side that connects to his property.
The neighbor has been sighted several times for mowing his yard and maintaining his property.
What legal right do I have to take that public easement? Can I make him move the trash and dogs from that area? Do I have to go to court? Do I report him to the city?
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
6/18/2013
Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55,799
Experience: 32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.


Good morning. Do you know whether or not this alleyway is based on a recorded easement or whether the underlying land is actually owned by the city? If an easement, is it the neighbor behind you that actually owns the land? From your narrative, it seems that the neighbor behind you is not the problem, but, rather, it's the neighbor next to you causing the problem...is that correct? Thank you!
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Yes,


That is correct. The neighbor that put the fence up, when he bought the house, told the neighbor, that has taken over that alleyway, that it was an easement and it didn't belong to anyone and that anyone could claim it.

Thanks for following up. Someone has to own the underlying land. If it's an easement, then that means that either you or the neighbor behind you owns the underlying land and the city simply has an easement for the right of way...in this case the underlying land would have to be owned by you or the neighbor behind you. If it's not you, then it's the neighbor behind you. Alternatively, it's not an easement, but, rather, the city owns the land itself. The first thing you want to do is to check the city plats and real property records at the court house to determine which is the case. If the neighbor owns the property and this is an easement, then because the neighbor doesn't seem to care about it, your best alternative would be to approach the neighbor behind you and to ask him if he would sell you any right he has to this property for a nominal amount. Tell him he can transfer his interest to you by quit claim deed so he's making no warranty. If the city owns the property and since it's unused, go to the city and make the same proposal. This will give you the absolute right to control this property. You can then demand that your adjacent neighbor remove everything from this property that you now own. Then, you can fence it in to prevent your adjacent neighbor from encroaching on your land.



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Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55,799
Experience: 32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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Richard
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Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55,799
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Experience: 32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.

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