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

Q: Sept 2022 I inherited my parents 1st home located in Burgh. April 17th the property surveyed and marked the 17th the

neighbors had thrown a rug over the marker by the 26th they had removed the survey markers and put up landcaping blocks. (neighbor is a landscaper) These people have harrassed my parents when they were alive and now harrassing me. I contacted both the Troy Police and survey co. Law 2005 chapter 730 states it is illegal to cover or remove the markers penalty of $500 plus $150 marker replacement. The neighbors are not reasonable people and I'm sure they will continue to harrass me as they harrassed my parents. They helped themselves to the driveway since parents were living in Halfmoon and the tenant didn't drive. They cut down Mom's cherry tree. They said a pine tree was ruining their deck, would cut limbs off and throw them in the yard. She (neighbor) said mom planted a shrub on her property (not true, survey proved) they cut the shrub within 3" of ground. She would yell out she owns have my garage in back. I paid $1600 to get the survey to get them off my back and they are ignoring la

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: I'm sorry to hear about the ongoing harassment and property issues you're facing with your neighbors. It sounds like a very stressful and frustrating situation, especially given the history with your parents. Here are a few thoughts and suggestions on how to proceed:

1. Document everything: Keep a detailed log with dates, times, and photos/videos of any incidents, property damage, or harassment by your neighbors. This will be important evidence if you need to pursue legal action.

2. Follow up with the police: Since removing survey markers is illegal, as you noted, contact the Troy Police again and file an official report if you haven't already. Provide them with the documentation you've collected. Even if they don't take immediate action, having the incidents on record can help establish a pattern of harassment.

3. Contact the surveying company: Inform them that the markers have been removed and ask about the process and cost for replacing them. They may be willing to provide an affidavit confirming the proper placement of the original markers.

4. Consult with a lawyer: Consider speaking with a real estate attorney or one specializing in neighbor disputes. They can advise you on your legal rights, potential next steps, and whether sending a cease-and-desist letter to your neighbors would be appropriate.

5. Install security cameras: If the harassment continues, visible cameras on your property may deter further incidents and document any ongoing issues. Just be sure the cameras don't point onto the neighbors' property.

6. Try to avoid direct confrontation: Engaging with unreasonable neighbors often escalates the situation. As much as possible, communicate through official channels like attorneys or law enforcement.

Remember, you have a right to enjoy your property peacefully. Don't let your neighbors continue to bully and harass you. Be proactive in standing up for your rights, but try to do so through proper legal channels to protect yourself. Stay strong, and don't hesitate to reach out to friends, family or professionals for support during this challenging time.

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