Delaplane, VA asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for Virginia

Q: Neighbors won't stop trying to use their lawnmower/weedwacker on my property but next to their mail box. Can I stop them

All the mailboxes in my neighborhood are on one side of the street. My neighbors across the street, whose mailbox is on my property, use their mailbox to try to exert weird control over me/my property. They keep trying to mow or weedwack the front of my yard. They also use their mailbox as an excuse to ask guests at my home, what they're doing there.

I have asked my neighbors to stop but they keep finding ways to take liberties. I feel it's at the point where I need a legal way to get them to stay away as much as possible.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: The answer starts with a title search. I'm willing to guess that the USPS of your neighbors have a recorded easement to the place where the mailbox os located, but the only way to confirm that reliably is a title search. If there is no easement and the mailbox is on your land, you can notify the neighbor in a formal letter not to trespass, and then you can enforce it by suing them or calling the police. The police are not required to take your side of this matter, and they can choose to ignore the dispute or treat it as civil. If there is an easement, then you have the rights that you retained after the easement. If that means you gave the neighbors access to their mailboxes, then they can surely trim the weeds so as to have the access you granted. While they are there, they can look in the direction of your property. If you don't like that, you could erect shrubs or trees or other obstructions that comply with local zoning.

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