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Damien Bosco
Damien Bosco, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2580
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I live in Medway Ma. I have a historic home which sits right

Customer Question

hello, I live in Medway Ma. I have a historic home which sits right on my neighbors property line. I want to know what actions I can take to get access to the side of my house. I have asked him for an easement or even to buy at lease three feet of land that runs along my house but he refuses becuase he plans on selling his house in a year or two and does not want to limit himself..He does not know if to sell the house as office space or apartments ( its a very big house). He says the backyard will most likely be turned into parking space for the home which frightens me even more. I do not want cars parked right up against my home. Is there anything I can do?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Massachusetts
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: What do you mean?
JA: What confuses you?
Customer: When you say anything filed or reported
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Damien Bosco replied 10 months ago.

Hello. My name is***** am an attorney. I will review your question and develop a response. We may discuss it too. Does that sound good to you?

Expert:  Damien Bosco replied 10 months ago.

There is a law that can potentially help you. Here it is. Let me know if you want to discuss the any issues after reading it:

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266, Section 120B:

Whoever, being the owner of land abutting that of another, the building or buildings on which are so close to the land of such other person as to require an entry on said abutting land for the purpose of maintaining or repairing said building or buildings in order to prevent waste, shall not be deemed guilty of trespass or liable civilly for damages, provided that such entry is made expeditiously and in the exercise of due care and that no damage is caused by such entry to the land or buildings of said abutting owner. Before such entry said owner shall notify the chief or other officer in charge of the police department of the city or town in which the land is located that he has requested permission to enter on adjoining land from the owner or occupants thereof for the purpose of maintaining or repairing a building or buildings and that such permission has been refused, and that he intends to enter under the provisions of this section. Before entering on said land, said owner shall post bond with the chief of police in the amount of one thousand dollars to protect the adjoining land owner from damage caused by said entry. No person so entering on land of another shall store material or tools thereon for more than eight hours in any one day nor shall he continue to enter thereon for more than thirty days in the aggregate in any calendar year. After said entry, said owner shall in all respects restore said adjoining land to the condition in which it was prior to said entry.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Right now the current owner put up a fence and a gate to let us go into the back of our building. He has also said we could have access to the side door that is to the front of the building. This was the town firehouse before we purchased it. He says he plans on selling in a year and the backyard will most likely be a paved parking lot. That would come right up to our house? Can he do that...
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I have attached 2 pictures of the back
Expert:  Damien Bosco replied 10 months ago.

A neighbor can develop land or construct on land as long as it is not trespassing on a neighbor's land. Whether he can put in a parking lot is suspect. It most likely would depend on zoning laws and proper permits. Making a residential property a commercial property entails many restrictions. We can discuss more if you would like to do so.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The neighbors property when he purchased it was a office building. It belonged to the community church and they had their offices there. Would that make it easier for them?
Expert:  Damien Bosco replied 10 months ago.

Possibly it could make it easier for them. But it in not unheard of that neighbors can sometimes dislpute various construction on neighbor's land based on nuisance claims, especially if it would be a public nuisance (disrupting the whole neighborhood).

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
let me get this straight. I could use Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266, Section 120B to allow me to get to the side of the building and paint change winchows etc... I would just need to contact the chief of Medway police and inform them? And I could dispute with the zoning board if I object to having a parking lot built on the side of my home?
Expert:  Damien Bosco replied 10 months ago.

Yes. You are correct. We can discuss more if you would like to do so.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
is there anything else that I could do to have access to the side of the building? the fire department had been using the property since 1860 until 1993 and then after there were several owners who had used the property until last year when my neighbor decided to get a survey?
Expert:  Damien Bosco replied 10 months ago.

On phone right now; when I am done with the customer, I will be right back to you. Thank you.

Expert:  Damien Bosco replied 10 months ago.

You can possibly make an adverse possession claim. I don't know the details of the situation, but that could be a potential claim also. We can discuss more if you would like to do so.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
whats an adverse possesion claim?
Expert:  Damien Bosco replied 10 months ago.

An adverse possession claim is when a neighbor uses another neighbor's land for so long, usually open, hostile (agains the wishes) and notorious that it becomes there land. A trespasser’s possession must be (i) hostile (against the right of the true owner and without permission); (ii) actual (exercising control over the property); (iii) exclusive (in the possession of the trespasser alone); (iv) open and notorious (using the property as the real owner would, without hiding his or her occupancy); and (v) continuous for the statutory period (which is usually 20 years in Massachusetts, under Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. Ch. 260, § 21). It may not apply to your case but that is the potential claim. We can discuss more if you would like to do so.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
what would your professional recomendation be? where should I start?
Expert:  Damien Bosco replied 10 months ago.

The issue has to be ripe (meaning there has to be something happening now for a legal action) If someone like you wants to get to the side of the house for a purpose, then that is were to start. The parking lot issue is not "ripe," meaning it has not happened yet unless papers have been filed with the municipality for a permit or other papers; or you actually know it is about to happen. The adverse possession claim is something you would file if you meet all the requirements of it. We can discuss more if you would like to do so.

Expert:  Damien Bosco replied 10 months ago.

Hello: I have not heard back from you. I hope that I have provided excellent service to you and, if so, would love you to give me a 5 star rating. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus. If you need additional assistance, please let me know. Best regards.

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