• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Free consultation with real estate attorney possible?

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.


What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? GA

Here is my problem I'm having with possible property infringement:


I figured this would be the proper forum to find out if I could possibly get a free consultation with a real estate attorney to figure out if I even have a case given the possibility my removal letter will be ignored. So far, I have only tried the firm that was used to close on my home and they said they don't offer free consultations but they do charge $250 per hour to speak with the attorney. I am in the military and do not make much so I was hoping to avoid legal fees until they become absolutely necessary (removal letter is ignored). I'm already going to fork out $350 for the survey and plat map and I don't even know if I have grounds to demand removal of my neighbor's fences and shrubs yet. It would make sense to me that if a lawyer wants the good money handling a case, then they should give a free consultation to see if there even is a case. Again, I don't make much money, but as stated in my other post, I will not stand by and let someone tell me to get the 'f' in my house when they're messing with mine on what could possibly be MY property! Thanks in advance for your responses.


Senior Member
I thought the military made very good money these days. I only got $77/month in 1964! Looks like that is about $2,500/month now for a lowly E5.

You have no right to a free consultation, especially when it regards a boundary dispute. If you obtain counsel, it can become quite expensive.

Apparently you purchased the home with the fence in place ... strike one. Additionally, it looks like the fence was place there by the owner of your property ... not the adjacent property .... strike two. And it looks like the same situation is occurring on the opposite side of your property ... strike 3.

I am surprised that it cost $350 for a survey. Your corner markers should be in place already. The subdivision plat should have all of the information you need. Also, the original lender on the home probably required a plot plan to show the location of the house and prove it met setback requirements.

My hunch is that you will need to go to court to resolve the dispute. If you can establish that the property line is between the homes the court may allow you to move the fence AT YOUR EXPENSE because it was there when you purchased and because it does not appear to have been placed there by the adjacent property owner.

I don't think the neighbor has any claim under the theory of adverse possession.

Now all you need is for the neighbor to have some screaming kids and a couple of lose dogs ... lol.


Thanks for your quick reply Rexlan. While I am an E-5 and the pay isn't that bad, especially in these times, I am trying to get more at the fact that taking someone to court could cost thousands of dollars. While I do have much money in reserve, I am trying to build a future so I want to avoid spending hundreds up front. I know that I am not entitled to a free consultation. I was asking more of is it possible a real estate attorney would give one, because I've heard of other types of lawyers giving this.

As for my strikeout, I think you are partially right, but I have another view...

I will take the 1st strike because I did buy the home with the fence in place -- no argument there. Even though it bears no merit, as a first time homeowner, I was excited about this home and willing to put that fact aside. Of course I didn't think one of my neighbors would be like this either.

For the 2nd strike, I've got to know which fence you're talking about. If you're talking about the fence from the back corner of my home to the end of the backyard, then more than likely that fence is mine. The fence is actually flush with the side of my home. I think that fence should stay because it doesn't impede access to my home. This is what's leading me more to believe that this side of my home is built on the lot line (zero lot line). The fence from the side of their house to the side of mine w/ the gate is obviously theirs.

For 3rd strike, while the picture also shows a fence from the back corner of my other neighbor's house to their backyard, there is no fence from the side of my house to theirs. In fact all of the homes on this street have that section of fence from the left rear corner to the end of the backyard, but not all the homes have a fence from one house to another. This furthers my assumption of the zero lot line concept for these homes. I beleive people are putting up the side fences on their own, which I think would violate the setback or easement rules of the subdivision covenants.

The $350 pays for a survey and drawing of plat map. I was told that since the pins might not be in place, it could take allot longer to do the survey. Hence the $350 max for the job. I got the subdivision plat map from the county clerk, but all it shows is distances and degrees for each property. Without knowing where to start that distance, I would need a survey right? Also like you said, the builder of the home should have done a plot plan which would show the home in relation to the property line, but in speaking with the city building inspector and planner, they said that they do not keep those records if they were done. Do you know where those would be kept? I recall asking the county clerk about something with homes in relation to property line type map but they didn't have anything either.

If a survey proves that the lot line is midway between the homes, then obviously I have every right to order her to remove the fence and shrubs. If this is the case, how should I word the letter to her? Should I order her to remove the fence and shrubs on my property in XX days or else it will be removed? Or should I word it differently? Keep in mind, I want to avoid going to court until it has to come to it. I have no problem taking the fence down myself since the only way to regain cost of that is to go to court, I just want the police there while I'm chainsawing. I will consult the police as to if I can take this action though.

If the survey proves that my home is built on the lot line, then that is when I'll need to consult an attorney to determine if the fence and shrubs are in violation of subdivision setbacks or easement requirements and if I have grounds to order the fence and shrubs moved back. Right?

And lastly, you must be psychic because this lady's teenage daughter has screamed her head off at her outside at 1AM before and their dogs constantly escape and roam the neighborhood. Real pieces of work these people :rolleyes:

Well again I do thank you very much for your input and for obviously reading my other post in detail. Any more inputs would be extremely helpful. And from one military man to another, thanks for your serivce :)
Last edited:


Senior Member
You should find the plot plan at the original lenders place (bank). Whoever made the original loan on the home when it was built should have that ... not the government. Also, check the zoning/covenants and that will tell you what the setbacks are on the property. Don't speculate.

So you complaint resolves to the fence between the buildings. Realistically, without that fence you do not have a closed yard so it is needed and appears to be customary. Your solution is to move that fence to the rear corner of your house where the other fence attach's. You can not deny the neighbor the right to attach that fence to the rear of the house by the other one so she can close off the yard.

However, since a portion (or all) of that fence is on the adjacent property, not just yours, you should not touch it without court approval or consent.

Since you bought the home with this condition in place, and since it appears that this is how all of the homes are constructed, I think you are wasting your $$ over a principal and big pissed off, but it is your money. If you get an attorney involved you can expect to spend $2-5,000 very quickly. However, you can make the complaint yourself and your first step is to pay for a 1/2 hour visit with an attorney in your area. Maybe the one who prepared your deed documents or you bank can help you with that. Use the survey money for that.

As a side note. There is no way that your foundation is built on the lot line - it will be inside it a foot or so at a minimum. Possibly some weed control along the edge with a very good broad spectrum herbicide to kill everything (including the vines!) to protect your siding and foundation? That is not unreasonable. Be careful though and only use as recommended.

Another option is to require a passage gate be placed in that fence for you to access the rear of your home. That is not unreasonable and something you can probably prevail on. The neighbor would have to pay for that.

Being excited about first time home buying does not count ...

Good luck with your dilemma but use good judgment and keep your hard earned money for better things. Opportunity usually knocks occasionally with ****ty neighbors .. be patient.


Thanks for your reply again. While the incident that happened does make me mad as it would anyone, I am not acting just based off of this. This incident was just the icing on the cake of how I do not have access to that part of my home and that the neighbor thinks she can do whatever she wants with it. Not to mention the fact that letting her remain on my property (if the lot line runs midway between the homes) is racking up the time for adverse posession.

If the lot line runs down the side of the home then yes, like you said that side fence of hers can be moved to connect to my backyard fence. That would allow me full access to my home and the shrubs would be removed. Fine with me. However, if the lot line runs midway between the homes, then I should move my backyard fence over to the line and run it up to her side fence, part of which is on my property will be removed. This will eliminate her from my property alltogether.

Understand that I will not speak to her directly about this whole issue. What has been said and done is beyond that for me. Plus I can guarantee she'll blow me off anyway. A letter CC'd to an attorney I'm hoping is the only way to get through to her.

I am making more headway as I have managed to find the builder of the home today and he might have those plot plans with the homes in relation to the lot line. If not then I will try the lender as you suggested.

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential