Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Another Adverse Possession Washington

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Another Adverse Possession Washington

    I would go to a lawyer but since I am engaged in a divorce, cannot afford one. Here is the story:
    Bought our house in 1998 in Kitsap County with a wooded lot next to it. Front yard had and still has a picket fence around 2 sides, I put up a chain link on side facing wooded area.
    I had no idea who owned the land next to me until about 5 years ago when a tree fell on our house and did some damage, even then I could not find the owner until some exhaustive research was done. Seems the land was owned by Kitsap Consolidate Housing Authority.
    The gentleman who came out after I called and stated my concern about some other trees said they forgot the even owned the land. Seems they have a lot of property they forgot about. He asked me last fall (several years after) if I wanted to buy the land, I declined since I did not have the income.
    Just recently a guy from a Real Estate office purchased the land to build on. Despite the fact it has about a 20 degree grade downhill. He said he thought some of my front yard belonged on his property and if it was a small parcel he would sign over an easement, this was 4 weeks ago.
    This week he talked with my wife (I live elsewhere but an am preparing my house for sale) and told her he wanted the land and that we needed to move the picket fence. This would effectively cut my lawn in half diagonally. Try selling a house with that sort of front lawn (looks like a pie slice!!)
    We have maintained the lawn (dogs use the lawn) we have maintained the picket fence, in fact was planning on painting again before we put on the market.
    So with all that said and from what my divorce lawyer told me, we could claim the land since no one contested it or showed interest in it for 10 yrs. If this is so, how would I go about ensuring this developer does not get the land and force us to take the fence down and move it??
    Thank you for any advice you can give.

  • #2
    Another Adverse Possession

    This situation is very interesting. Why did you buy the parcel in the first place if “the front lawn looked like a pie slice?” First, a professional land surveyor who is registered in the State of Washington should have surveyed the property. Was the property surveyed before the transaction was completed? Did you buy title insurance? Did the previous owner and/or his agent show you the property corners with the boundary lines before the closing? Second, how did you “determine the location to put up a chain link on the side facing wooded area?” Third, the guy from the Real Estate Office “thought some of my front yard belonged on his property.” The verb “thought” is not authentic proof the location of the boundary line. The guy from the Real Estate Office should have proof that you have encroached on his property. Before you sell your house, the boundary lines will have to be known. Also, you might have to disclose to a potential buyer that the property is involved in a boundary-line dispute. Otherwise, you might have to sell the house and the land “AS-IS.” If I was the buyer with either of these disclosures, the value of your property might be less than the market value in my mind. I am not an attorney or real estate broker; however, you should seek professional advice on this potential boundary-line dispute from a competent attorney and real estate broker. According to Washington Code 7.28.050-.090 , the law in the State of Washington is as follows:


    In Washington, the duration of such possession is seven (7) years. The person claiming title by adverse possession must pay taxes and assessments on real estate during the time of adverse possession. Washington Code 7.28.050-.090.


    Have you pay taxes and assessments on the disputed strip? A competent attorney would be able to determine whether you have met the above conditions and other requirements to claim the disputed strip by adverse possession. Fourth, the previous owner and the current owner of the adjoining property might argue that you used the disputed strip with permission and have not established adverse possession. Remember, the previous owner try to sell you the land and the current owner was trying to get you to sign an easement. I would have an attorney look at the deed from the purported Housing Authority to the current owner to look at the covenants and conditions that the adjoining property was sold. The competent attorney that specializes in real estate law would know real estate law and case law within your state and be capable of telling you whether you have the chance of winning an adverse possession case. But, a survey would still have to be performed before a competent attorney would probably talk to you about case law. The alleged Housing Authority might have had the property surveyed and might not have claimed the adjoining property. We have gone to far already in this response. However, the Bible states that we should love thy neighbors. You and your neighbor might both want to consult competent attorneys to avoid a lawsuit in this matter. The neighbor wants you to remove the fence without proof and the matter goes away. This issue might also bring you and your wife closer together in working for a common goal to be civil to each other in your divorce. You might get lucky and you two reconcile. All recommendations are my opinions and should not be consider as legal advice.

    Fences makes good neighbors!
    Last edited by DrumMajorChange; 06-15-2008, 03:48 AM. Reason: spelling
    I am not an attorney. My personal opinions are not legal advice.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." --- Franklin Roosevelt

    The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. --- Martin Luther King Jr.

    A trap was set once upon a time; however, the designer fell in himself!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Well when we bought the house, we thought the land in question was part of the parcel which we were buying. It was never stated to us that half of our front lawn was actually part of another parcel. When we bought the house in 98 the picket fence was up and there was a cheap chicken wire fence going from the street from the corner of the picket fence to the house, I tore down the chicken fence and put up a chain link fence since our dog would of gotten out. Again we had no idea any of this land belonged to another lot.

      As far as paying taxes, I am not sure if we were paying taxes on this land or not. Since our mortgage has an escrow account they always paid it and I have never received a statement from the county for tax assesment purposes.

      When we bought the house it was already empty and we went thru a realtor. The man that bought the parcel of land which apparently includes some of "our" lawn had someone come out and put steaks and ribbon on the boundry. I was not home so I don't know if it was a surveyor, his contractor to clear the land or who it was. I have tried to reach this guy but have been unsuccessful. Oh and he is in real estate with one of the bigger agencies here in Kitsap county.

      Guess I will have to find a pro bono lawyer as there is no way myself or my wife can afford another attorney. I appreciate the kind remarks at the end of your post but we have been to counseling, pastors etc. I just hope we can resolve this land issue or maybe have him buy the house after I finish fixing it up, since he has asked apparisal value etc of my wife.

      Thanks and anyone else feel free to chime in.

      Comment


      • #4
        Someone think that property will be sold cheap

        A good real estate agent is very capable of known an approximately value of a piece of property based on the three appraisal methods (market, replacement value, and gross multiplier). I would talk to three real estate broker from different firms to give you a proposal on selling your property with a projected market value before doing any work on the house. Talking to these brokers will send a message to this real estate agent that the property will not be obtained cheaply. You might have to pay for an apprisal of your property to obtain the value. In addition, I would do some basic research at the courthouse at the tax appraisal office; this office might be able to tell you about recorded surveys. You might also talk to the zoning board and determine how your property is zoned. The adjoining property owner might need your property to complete a major project.

        A survey of your property might reveal the true location of the boundaries of your property. If your county has a county land surveyor, he might be able to assist you in the alleged boundaries of your property. You are not going to get much help on a specialized area as property and land surveying on a message board on the Internet. You probably will have to spend some money to resolve this alleged dispute and/or become a good trader. I hope you know how to play poker – sometime in life, we have to know how to bluff.
        Last edited by DrumMajorChange; 06-14-2008, 06:00 PM. Reason: spelling
        I am not an attorney. My personal opinions are not legal advice.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." --- Franklin Roosevelt

        The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. --- Martin Luther King Jr.

        A trap was set once upon a time; however, the designer fell in himself!!

        Comment

        Working...
        X