Woonsocket, RI asked in Civil Litigation and Real Estate Law for Rhode Island

Q: Bought home with big fenced yard for dogs, 5 minutes after closing found out 1/3 of the yard belongs to neighbor. Help.

Last Monday we bought a house in Rhode Island with a big fenced in yard for our dogs. As we were at the closing at the lawyers, the seller of the house told the next door neighbor that a portion (about 1/3) of our soon to be property actually belonged to her and was not part of his property at all.

On our way to the property, we received a phone call from my Mom saying that the neighbor is claiming that a big chunk of the land is actually hers and she was going to tear down the trees and put up a fence.

We feel like we were tricked, either by the seller or the real estate agent. Two days later the agent offered to rescind the sale and we happily agreed BUT the seller wouldn't agree. Not it is a week later and we find out that we can't rescind and are stuck with the house. Do we have any legal recourse? We needed that land for our 4 newfoundland dogs (weighing between 120lbs - 185lbs). The biggest reason we purchased this house was for the big fenced yard. Help.

1 Lawyer Answer
Andrew Bilodeau
Andrew Bilodeau
  • West Warwick, RI
  • Licensed in Rhode Island

A: Hello,

There are many components to this That need to be examined before I would be able to give you a correct answer. If during the transaction you purchased title insurance and the owner signed an Affidavit swearing that there are no known encroachments, boundary disputes, etc. you may have a claim.

I would recommend obtaining a survey. If the prior owner of your property is actually encroaching on your neighbors and the use of the property that was encroached upon fulfills the elements of adverse possession, you may have a quiet title action to obtain the land in dispute. I would highly recommend seeking a restraining order restraining & enjoining your neighbor from erecting any fences until the determination of property rights can be made.

1 user found this answer helpful

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