Aberdeen, MD asked in Land Use & Zoning for Maryland

Q: My neighbor is claiming that my fence and HVAC air handlers are on her property. Fence was installed over 20 years ago

The county does not have an actual plat map or site plan for the property. The fence was in place when we purchased the home and assumed to be proper property line.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: (1) Hire a licensed land surveyor and get a definitive determination of your property boundarie. If that shows the fence and hvac are on your land, provide your neighbor with a copy and make it clear the matter is settled as far as you are concerned.

(2) If the survey shows the fence and hvac are on your neighbor's property, determine (a) who erected the fence (the owner of your property or the owner of your neighbor's property), and the date it was erected, and any surrounding circumstances to show that the neighbor did or did not give permission; and (b) determine how easy or expensive it would be to relocate the hvac and/or fence so it is not on your neighbor's property (assuming the fence was not erected by your neighbor or your neighbor's predecessor owner); and (c) decide whether you want to defend, prosecute and/or litigate an adverse possession lawsuit/quiet title action to establish that the land under the fence and hvac now belongs to you.

Fences on residential properties require a permit in Anne Arundel County, as in most counties. Whether the permit requirement was in effect at the time your fence was installed may need some research, but assuming that it was, and assuming the contractor/homeowner pulled a proper permit for the fence (they do not always do so), that will prove the date it was erected and who it was who erected it.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.