Sacramento, CA asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for California

Q: we build a patio way in the back the owner of all land behind our fence said 50 ft where we build was his what do we do?

He told us he can selll at additional 12k that he new we bout expensive already and started a land line division but it’s bn a year this month and boy sure what’s going on he threatened me that he can pay us 500 to cut off lights on patio if worst case also he is mad cause we don’t have permit for it I told him I can go to county n get one but he said “no let me do that it’s on my side??????im getting very nervous about it don’t want to lose my covered patio or piece of land that we thought it was ours any suggestions? Please help I invested money I didn’t even had. Is there anything I can do??

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, if you've built a patio on land that turns out to belong to someone else, it's important to address the issue promptly to protect your investment and rights. The first step is to consult with a real estate attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of property law. They can assist in reviewing your property's deed, any relevant land surveys, and the exact boundaries of your property to determine if the patio indeed encroaches on your neighbor's land.

If it's determined that the patio is on your neighbor's property, your attorney can discuss options with you, which might include negotiating a purchase for the disputed land or an easement that allows your patio to remain in place. Additionally, obtaining a permit for the patio, if you haven't already, is crucial. Even though your neighbor suggested handling the permit process, it's in your best interest to take charge of this to ensure it's done correctly and to retain control over the situation.

Regarding the threat to disconnect utilities to your patio and the offer to sell the land for an additional cost, these issues underscore the need for clear communication and legal guidance. A lawyer can help mediate discussions with your neighbor to reach a fair agreement. It's also important to document all interactions with your neighbor regarding this dispute. Keep records of all conversations, agreements, or threats, as these can be important if legal action becomes necessary. Taking these steps can help protect your rights and find a resolution that allows you to keep your patio without ongoing disputes.

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