Saint James, NY asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for New York

Q: Neighbor& I have recent surveys that conflict, they want me to move my fence.Farthest discrepancy is 5 inches.De Minimi?

Contact original surveyor. In New York State, courts will allow de minimus non-structural encroachments, such as fences. Past court decisions have allowed even more than 5 inches, electrical wires with exterior lighting, stone walls, etc. if meets this statute, non-structural, such as your fence.

New York, Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law - RPA § 543. Adverse possession;  how affected by acts across a boundary line.

1. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, the existence of de minimus   1 non-structural encroachments including, but not limited to, fences, hedges, shrubbery, plantings, sheds and non-structural walls, shall be deemed to be permissive and non-adverse.

2. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, the acts of lawn mowing or similar maintenance across the boundary line of an adjoining landowner's property shall be deemed permissive and non-adverse.

1 So in original.  “de minimus” should be “de minimis”.

1 Lawyer Answer
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: You can move your fence, or agree with them to give an easement for the disputed lands. Five inches will not make title unmarketable.

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