Posted By Dave Karoly on 9/21/2008 at 11:07 PM

I have a client that has a 50' wide lot by Deed. The lot adjoining to the south is also 50' wide by Deed. Both of these lots came out of a common grantor in 1954 (it took me a while to figure that out). There is a 50' wide subdivision lot adjoining the south lot.

The two lots in question were joined into common ownership in 1963 and seperated again in 1991 (all using the same descriptions).

So we have client on the north, adjoiner in the middle and another lot on the south. Middle and south occupy 50' between fences. These three fences appear to be shifted north 1.5' so my client's lot is missing 1.5' of width (client's north fence appears to be on the lot line).

I have written a letter to the south adjoiner simply notifying them I am Surveying client's lot and if they have any information, questions or comments they may contact me. I haven't heard from them.

I had a meeting with the client and I advised them that the occupation line may be the boundary by practical location (it's a chain-link fence that appears to be old in front with a wood fence that appears to be newer but in the same alignment to the rear). I indicated that it would not be cost effective to try to recover the 1.5' by litigation. I said I would not set monuments in the adjoiners yard with out at least talking to them first. The client actually was very understanding of all of this. He may adjust his house plans.

He did mention a concern that if the Deed says 50' but the lot is really only 48.5' wide then that might cause a liability to a buyer. I hadn't thought of that but I think that is a valid concern. He said he would put any buyer on notice.

I told him that we should attempt to talk to the adjoiner before making any final decisions. I really think it's a matter of negotiation. Like me, he doesn't want to spark a dispute.