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Property issues

caipirinha
November 27, 2016 06:08PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 11

I checked out my property on STX via Google Earth and noticed that a back neighbor cleared a substantial amount of vegetation on my property in order for the house to have a clear view to the yacht club. Since there is no fence and the area that was cleared is not visible from the house, I presume that I can't have any say in the matter, but is this a common problem on the island? My biggest concern is about rotten rock erosion in that area.

Re: Property issues

Alana33
November 27, 2016 06:30PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,872

If it's on your property, he has no right to do such a thing unless you've agreed to it.
Best to do any such thing in writing.
Check your survey.
Check with DPNR regarding setbacks.
File a complaint if he's overstepped his boundaries.

Re: Property issues

singlefin
November 27, 2016 07:27PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 681

It's a common problem if your property is unimproved land (no construction on it, still in a natural state). Neighbors on adjacent land sometimes do encroach. I found a neighbor plowed a driveway 25' into the side of my property, due to the extreme grade on their side. They had put it in nearly twenty years earlier. It wasn't discovered until I had a survey done during the purchase. Needless to say it shutdown everything for months.
I was able to prove that the driveway had been abandoned (not in continous use for over 15 years). Only old ruins stood on the adjacent property since Hugo in 89' Otherwise they could have retained the property they stole. Took two years and substantial legal fees to clear it up since the owner of the property next door didn't wish to give it up. In the end they had no legal proof of use or ownership and the property boundries reverted to original lines.
As Alana stated, it's your land, if you don't do anything about their encroaching, they'll begin to believe it's theirs. Nip it in the bud now, before it gets to that.

Re: Property issues

Afriend
November 27, 2016 07:32PM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 452

Agree, contact the neighbor immediately in writing (with proof of delivery) and advise him he has over stepped his bounds. THIS IS A SERIOUS ISSUE as it could result in your loss of property rights.

It is very important that you mark you property lines. If your neighbor continues to do this and you do not complain you could risk losing your right to that property by "adverse possession". If you do not have a fence, wall or some type of natural planting delineating your property boundaries you should walk your property lines regularly (at least once a year - more often is even better).

Re: Property issues

vicanuck
November 28, 2016 08:42AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

Better yet, have your lawyer send the letter.

Re: Property issues

Alana33
November 28, 2016 09:32AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,872

Yes. Agree with vicanuck.
A letter from Attorney would be best.

Re: Property issues

Gator's Mom
November 28, 2016 10:16AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 846

Why not speak to the neighbor first? Then document by writing a letter.

Save the lawyers letters for phase 2.

Re: Property issues

STTsailor
November 28, 2016 10:38AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 489

The value of a lot of properties depends on the quality of unobstructed view. The trees grow here 10 ft per year. I have 250 ft trees that potentially could impact my dwelling during hurricane.
Does the owner of the property have any responsibility to maintain the tries? Some of the tries became so tall that they construe hazard to my dwelling but the neighbor refuses to trim or cut and doesn't let me cut on my dime. I may have to hire the lawyer and go to court over tree maintenance.

Re: Property issues

speee1dy
November 28, 2016 10:47AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,550

i was just wondering how current the photo from google earth is?

Re: Property issues
avatar

Bombi
November 28, 2016 10:52AM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 2,104

You can only trim any parts of a tree that actually grow over your property line without permission from the owner

optimist with low expectations on STX

Re: Property issues

Gator's Mom
November 28, 2016 11:27AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 846

May 2016.

Lots of rain since means lots of fast growing foliage.


Quote
speee1dy
i was just wondering how current the photo from google earth is?

Re: Property issues

vicanuck
November 28, 2016 11:50AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,285

Quote
STTsailor
I have 250 ft trees that potentially could impact my dwelling during hurricane.

Really? 250 foot trees? Are they Sequoia's?

Re: Property issues

Alana33
November 28, 2016 12:12PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,872

Quote
Gator's Mom
May 2016.

Lots of rain since means lots of fast growing foliage.


Quote
speee1dy
i was just wondering how current the photo from google earth is?

One of my fruit trees sprung up 6 feet taller than it was since early summer.
I also have November mangoes which has never before happened.

Re: Property issues

STTsailor
November 28, 2016 12:12PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 489

Quote
vicanuck
Quote
STTsailor
I have 250 ft trees that potentially could impact my dwelling during hurricane.

Really? 250 foot trees? Are they Sequoia's?

Some type of bamboo I guess. Grows like a weed.

Re: Property issues

speee1dy
November 28, 2016 12:49PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 8,550

so the photo on google is from may, this means you can almost be guaranteed its all grown back by now?



Quote
Gator's Mom
May 2016.

Lots of rain since means lots of fast growing foliage.


Quote
speee1dy
i was just wondering how current the photo from google earth is?

Re: Property issues

caipirinha
November 28, 2016 01:02PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 11

I would imagine that that the vegetation has grown back by now. The slope is very steep where the cutting took place, so it is not an easy place to maintain. It appears that I will have to look into putting a some type of property line and have some contact with the owner of the house to arrive at an agreement.

Re: Property issues

LiquidFluoride
November 28, 2016 02:31PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 1,940

Quote
STTsailor
Quote
vicanuck
Quote
STTsailor
I have 250 ft trees that potentially could impact my dwelling during hurricane.

Really? 250 foot trees? Are they Sequoia's?

Some type of bamboo I guess. Grows like a weed.

250ft, are you sure you don't mean, uh, inch?

I have bamboo, and some of it is over 35 feet (WAY up there) but to go 250 feet, that's just not possible.

Tantan grows at a rate of 10-16 feet vertical per year & it's a legume so chopping it down doesn't really stop it from coming back right away.

A picture from may (assuming the property hasn't been cleared again) is not very valid in late Nov, especially with the good rain we've gotten this year.

Re: Property issues

Afriend
November 28, 2016 02:33PM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 452

Quote
STTsailor
Does the owner of the property have any responsibility to maintain the tries? Some of the tries became so tall that they construe hazard to my dwelling but the neighbor refuses to trim or cut and doesn't let me cut on my dime. I may have to hire the lawyer and go to court over tree maintenance.

Sorry, but under age old real estate laws a property owner has no obligation to "maintain the trees" on his property unless they are in violation of some local "tree" ordinance or if the property has certain Deed restrictions outlined in the Deed's Covenants & Restrictions.

Now, if one of the trees on your neighbor's property falls and damages your property you would have a cause of action against him but barring that your neighbor cannot be compelled to "maintain his trees". As a previous response indicated you can trim branches from a neighbor's tree if those branches encroach into your property (but only those parts of the branches that actually encroach).

To address the comment about the vegetation growing back - even if that were true OP should still inform the neighbor that they had no right to clear the vegetation on OP's property in the first place.

Re: Property issues

STTsailor
November 28, 2016 02:37PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 489

OK. 150 feet. It looks like giant asparagus.

Re: Property issues

Gator's Mom
November 28, 2016 02:55PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 846

Not to be controversial .....

I worked for a large electric utility in FL several years ago and the company's arborist suggested using concentrated Monsanto Roundup to permanently kill trees. He was particularly keen on using it clandestinely on neighbors' (or customers') trees that were not well maintained to force removal.

Not making this up. Couldn't if I tried.

Re: Property issues

Afriend
November 28, 2016 04:52PM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 452

Quote
Gator's Mom
Not to be controversial .....

I worked for a large electric utility in FL several years ago and the company's arborist suggested using concentrated Monsanto Roundup to permanently kill trees. He was particularly keen on using it clandestinely on neighbors' (or customers') trees that were not well maintained to force removal.

Not making this up. Couldn't if I tried.

WOW!!! Not trying to shoot the messenger but that's terrible!!! I wonder how that arborist would react if someone clandestinely used Roundup to kill trees on his property. What's goes around, comes around!

Re: Property issues

Alana33
November 28, 2016 05:50PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,872

thumbs up I have a dislike of Monsanto.

Re: Property issues

caipirinha
November 28, 2016 06:20PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 11

We basically have Tantan on the slope, which is omnipresent on STX, especially on the East End. From what I have seen, most of the houses that have 1 acre (mine is.approximately 90 acre) don't clear the Tantan due to the difficulty in eradicating the tree. I can't imagine being obligated to keep my land clear.

Re: Property issues

caipirinha
November 28, 2016 06:28PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 11

correction... 0.90 acre

Re: Property issues

caipirinha
November 28, 2016 06:31PM

Registered: 1 year ago
Posts: 11

Correction to my previous post. The size is 0.90 acre, not 90 acre. If only I had the money for 90 acres.... "wink

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