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Customer Question
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Trying to understand options after identifying that a neighbor's existing addition is encroaching on my recently purchased home in DC

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

DC

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

No

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not really - I understand there is adverse possession involved but not sure if I have any rights at this point .... addition has been there for some time and that property also changed hands within the past 6 months as well.

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
12/29/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 6 months ago
Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 48,143
Experience: Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate
Verified

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question, conduct and prepare your response.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
ok
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Not prepared to spend more money at this point. Thought I was getting an answer ...
Real Estate Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Adverse possession starts again with each new owner.So they have no claim for adverse possession if they have been there six months.I suggest a letter here advising them of the encroachment and if you want removal or to sell them the disputed land,You decide what remedy you want here.

DC law requires 15 years for new neighbor

Code Section16-1113, 16-3301

Defense of Adverse Possession: Statutory Summary
In an action to recover vacant and unimproved lots of ground it is not necessary, in order to maintain the defense of adversary possession, to show that the premises in controversy had been enclosed; but if it appears that the property had been assessed for taxation to the defendant, or those under whom he claims, and that he or they had regularly paid the taxes on the property and were the only persons who had exercised control over the property for a period of 15 years before the bringing of the action, the facts shall be the equivalent of possession by actual enclosure.

Time Period Required for Occupation15 yrs.

You are within your rights to require them to move the addition, or have them purchase the land in dispute ,the feet it encroaches.Either are within your rights.This would be very valuable to them they might pay you $10k to not have to move.You are in drivers seat here.You could sue if you have too and seek legal fees as well as damages and prevail.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again.

If you can positive rate 5 stars it is much appreciated.

Have a Happy New Year

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thank you very much for this preliminary overview. Gives me enough cause to proceed with a full survey and take things from there. Whereas I don't want to bully the new neighbors, there are certain things they can do to offset the encroachment short of removing the addition, so just need to a) let them know this is not a negotiation between equals (they are on our land) and b) protect our title from questions / hold ups in the event of future sale. Many thanks, David
Real Estate Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

You are so welcome, thanks for rating 5 stars at top of page.

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