Q: Homeowners fighting with HOA over longstanding deck
My friends bought a house recently that has a deck that apparently extends ~10' into land owned by the neighborhood. The deck has been there 20+ years [possibly since the house was built]. The HOA is demanding that they remove it. Do they have any legal standing to keep it? Note that there's nothing wrong with the deck, structurally, aesthetically, or otherwise.
A: Merely being there for ten or more years does not automatically transfer ownership under the doctrine of adverse possession, or create an easement (by prescription). However, I think there is a good chance you do have a prescriptive easement. I suggest you see a real estate attorney, who can discuss the history of the situation and determine whether the factors which would give rise to a prescriptive easement are present.
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