Real Estate Matters…approach is everything

A client from several years ago contacted me to ask how to resolve a potential dispute with his neighbor. In brief, the new neighbor was encroaching on, what my client felt was, his property. What to do? How to approach the new neighbor? I recommended he contact a surveyor to come out to set the property line settings. It seemed so simple.

Well, the new neighbor was not thrilled this survey was being performed. However, he consented to let the professional complete the survey. He was not interested in sharing the cost.

The result was impressive…

On one side of the lot the encroachment was 2.5 feet all the way down the western wall. The wall had been in place many years. New owners over the years never thought to get the lot surveyed. . We delivered the final survey map. I took the role as presenter. I hand delivered the final survey to the neighbor. The conclusion was not well received. The neighbor completely shut down all communications.

As I said, I was acting on behalf of my client in the role of “go between.” My client’s neighbor was no longer open to talking to me. I suggested we insert a real estate lawyer to send a cover letter with the Survey, suggesting we come to a meeting of the minds. The lawyer’s soft letter worked. Yes, they retained a lawyer as well, which was perfect. One side wanted the land back; the other was unwilling to capitulate. How about a sale of the land taken? Purchase the land encroached on?

My client did not like this conclusion. A standoff ensued. After months of quiet, the neighbor made contact. He wanted a compromise. I recommended to my client he not split hairs that he calm down and listen. After all, the encroachment had been there for many years.

Result: Written acceptance of the Survey’s result.
Even though the specs from the survey would stand, they decided not to fight over taking down the wall and erecting a new one. Somehow common sense came to both parties; each signed off on this result. It’s now resolved and behind them. Some day in the future the reality of taking down the wall, setting the property line correctly will be done. The approach assisted the outcome.

Back to top