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We recently purchased a home in Wyoming. During the closing,

no one required a survey...
We recently purchased a home in Wyoming. During the closing, no one required a survey because they are very expensive due to the heavy forest and elevation changes.
Several months later we decided to build a large workshop.Well, the city does require a survey for building permits and we had to "bite the bullet" and pay the fee to get it done.

Lo and behold, they find out that our existing garage (which was built before we bought the property) is 3 feet over the 10 foot easement space of the property line, so 13 feet total is sitting where it doesn't belong.

We looked at the pile of paperwork that you complete upon closing and we do have Title Insurance but as you read the policy it basically doesn't cover any issues with the house. What I could compare it to is... if you bought some car insurance and they said everything is fine unless you have a problem, and then you're on your own. It is, without a doubt, the most worthless policy that I've ever witnessed.

I thought that this is what Title Insurance is for, problems with your home.

Because we signed off on all these legal documents do we have any recourse to get the title company or the lender involved to correct our issue?

Sincerely,
Phil Brand
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
7/28/2013
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38,661
Experience: 17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
Verified
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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I am sorry to hear that you have run into this problem with the location of the garage.
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How long as it been encroaching on the neighbor's land?
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Has the neighbor said anything to you about it?
.
.
Thanks
Barrister
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Hi Barrister,


 


Officially I don't know how long the garage has been there. My understanding by the locals it was built maybe 15 years ago.


 


I have never met the neighbor. It is a vacant lot.


 

Ok, then as long as it has been there over 10 years, you can actually legally claim the land it sits on through "adverse possession". This is a legal doctrine the allows someone who is technically trespassing to claim ownership if they trespass long enough. In Wyoming, that statutory time is 10 years. So if anyone ever brought this up, you could file a "quiet title" suit against the legal owner of the land and claim it through adverse possession. A judge would then actually enter an order that made you the legal owner of the land it sits on.
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As for title insurance, that only covers title defects that aren't discoverable through title searches. This technically isn't a title defect, it is an encroachment. Title insurance defends your title to the actual land that is delineated by your property description and plat. So if someone came along and tried to claim your land as part of theirs, your title insurance would defend you. Or if an illegitimate child of a previous owner who died without a will came along, it would defend that as well. Or if someone came along with a prior unrecorded deed and tried to claim ownership, it would defend.
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So title insurance is pretty useful in the one out of a million chance that an actual title defect came up.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

So, just to be clear, if the stories that I've heard are incorrect and the garage is less than 10 years old (even 9.75) I will be out of luck?


 


If that is the case would you recommend my next course of action to try to buy a "bump" into the neighbors property line?

So, just to be clear, if the stories that I've heard are incorrect and the garage is less than 10 years old (even 9.75) I will be out of luck?

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If the neighbor comes down the road 9.75 years after the garage was built and files a trespass complaint and an ejectment suit against you, then yes, you are out of luck.

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If that is the case would you recommend my next course of action to try to buy a "bump" into the neighbors property line?

.

What I would do is contact the previous owner to see if I could get some type of affidavit from them stating when the garage was built and hope it is over 10 years. If you can't find them or if they have died, then I would sit very quietly and not raise any notice until you are sure the 10 years has passed.

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But assuming the other owner has been to their property in the past several years, they should have noticed the garage and probably would have raised a stink before now if they were going to.

.

.

Thanks

Barrister

Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38,661
Experience: 17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
Verified
Barrister and 87 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Thanks so much for the positive rating and generous bonus, it is very much appreciated!

.

It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. Please feel free to ask for me if you need help with anything in the future and I will do everything I can to help or get you to someone who can.

.

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Hi Barrister,


 


I have researched the year that this garage was built and according to our county records a permit was never pulled (not required then) but the tax assessor added the building to its records in 1992. So, it is well past the 10 year statutory period.


 


What my first question is...do I have to be the only owner during that 10 year statutory period? We just purchased this property last year. Or does it not matter who the owners are during that time period?


 


If we qualify to file for the "adverse possession" or "quiet title" should we get any general type lawyer or one that specializes in real estate laws? Or, is it possible to simply go to the county office and file a claim ourselves?


 


Thanks again,


Phil

What my first question is...do I have to be the only owner during that 10 year statutory period? We just purchased this property last year. Or does it not matter who the owners are during that time period?

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No, as long as it is there over 10 years, it doesn't matter who owned it prior to you because you can add on their possession under a doctrine called "tacking".

.

If we qualify to file for the "adverse possession" or "quiet title" should we get any general type lawyer or one that specializes in real estate laws? Or, is it possible to simply go to the county office and file a claim ourselves?

.

You would need a real estate lawyer familiar with adverse possession to file the quiet title suit for you.

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But there is really no reason to incur the expense of an attorney to file a quiet title action unless the neighbor brings the issue up. The more time passes, the stronger your claim would be so I wouldn't "stir the pile" unless the neighbor tried to force you off the land.

.

.

Thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Great news!


 


Thanks once more Barrister.

You are very welcome. You don't have anything to worry about at this point because the law is on your side.
.

Thanks
Barrister
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Barrister
Barrister
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