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back yard lost to new lot owner

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state?Virginia

We live in a house built in 1989 on the back section of the lot. The lot behind us was vacant until recently when it was purchased for new home construction. The back boundary of this lot is of-course our back boundary. That is where the problem lies.

According to the the markers placed by workmen (not surverors) the back right boundary is about 2 1/2 feet from our back deck. (The left marker is much farther away and seems more accurate.) This area behind our deck was cleared when this house was built and had been landscaped along with the rest of the property with the same filling of gravel put in for drainage and then topped with soil and a weed barrier before plants were placed along the back of the entire length of decking which runs approximately 30 feet. The boundary marker was placed in the ground where a metal pole sticking up about 5 inches above ground had been located. I have a flower garden in that spot and beyond about 5 feet around the area.

We were led to believe that this section of land did belond with ours and that a 6 foot tall 4x4 which is locatated on the lot about 12 feet farther back was the boundary marker. The brown 4x4 would be more in line with the marker they placed on the other side of the lot. The back line of their lot has to be quite crooked to line up with the marker they placed so close to our deck. This deck is of-course attached to the back of our house. The original owners who built this house in 1989 obviously believed that the section of land in question was theirs.

We do not have any proof of ownership other than our deed which does not include a survey. Does the fact that we have used this piece of land for so long and it is so close to our deck help us in this situation?

What would your suggestion be?

Thank you for your time and help,


Diana :confused:


Senior Member
We do not have any proof of ownership other than our deed which does not include a survey. Does the fact that we have used this piece of land for so long and it is so close to our deck help us in this situation?

To have a claim of adverse possession, the FIRST thing you need is to be on the land with a claim of right.

If, as you say, you have no proof ownership of the disputed land and you have no survey, then all you were doing on the other land was trespassing.

However, everyone will want to know why you have failed to get a survey up to this point?!


Junior Member
Thank you for your reply. I apparantly did not explain very well and there is a lot of information that can never be explained in a short paragraph.

We wondered why we were not required to get a survey but noone else here seems to think anything about it. It might be because of the nature of the property we purchased in the gated community where we live. I do not know anyone here who has had a survey. The lots here are numbered.

I do not think I explained myself very well. It appears when you look at the markers that one is placed incorrectly. Remember that the original owners of our house had to build and the entire back was cleared at that time and excavated. The work done goes beyond the line they placed. It appears that they are tresspassing on our property. The metal stake that they used as a landmark could not have been the original one when these lots were divided. I cannot imagine it surviving construction. I am sure that the original builder would not have excavated around a land marker. That is the basis of my theory that there has been a mistake.

I have decided to contact the owner's of the subdivision to obtain information about my lot. If we are indeed 2 1/2 feet away from the property line, then perhaps the new owner will not send a buldozer too close to us. There is plenty of room after all the lots are about 1/2 acre to 3/4 acre. Hopefully a few feet will not make everyone go crazy.




Senior Member
You need to have a survey done on your lot so you know where your property line is. A worker putting a stake in the ground is NOT a survey.


Senior Member
You didn't mention you were in a subdivision!

Go get a plat of the subdivision down at the office in the county courthouse where they file the land deed records (recorder of deeds or whatever they call it in your neck of the woods).

Then go get a surveyor to show you where your boundary corners are.

After you do that (and not before) write back in this thread with an update.

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