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Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: #3042936
05/17/22 12:36 AM
05/17/22 12:36 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,032
Highland, MI.
Sunroofcuda Offline OP
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I'll try not to get too long-winded here about what is going on, but I'm looking for opinions & any advice on the matter - it involves our subdivision of 38 homes. There is a guy that lives in a home that backs-up to an area of our neighborhoods' wooded areas, & he is basically claiming two acres that are clearly ours, are his. So the neighbor (in our development) whose property backs to this other guys' property, is suing this guy for taking two acres that are not his. So the dude who is claiming it is his two acres, has hired his own attorney & is challenging this suit so he can keep the two acres.

SO, our neighborhood association is now backing our neighbor & assessing everybody multiple times already to pay for the attorney's fees to get back the two acres that are ours. It's now our subdivision vs. this dude who is trying to take over the 2 acres that have never legally been his. He claims that since the 80's he has been "maintaining" this two acres by trimming trees & vines, picking up garbage, & running off people who are back there dumping trash, etc. This is his claim - I just read a deposition where our attorney was grilling him. So now we are on our 3rd assessment - all told around a grand per 38 households in our neighborhood. Some of the neighbors are saying they are not going to pay any more assessments to support this suit - I have also decided not to pay any more. The association is saying that if you refuse to continue paying these, that they will be forced to place a lien on those who do not pay. So you won't be able to sell your home if there is a lien on it until you clear it up - pay the assessments.

Now, nobody can clarify, but if our subdivision WINS the suit against this guy (the guy trying to appropriate the 2 acres), will this guy have to pay back all our legal expenses incurred & all 38 of us get refunded? And if we lose the suit & the guy retains the 2 acres, then we spent a bunch of $$ for what? The principle of it all? This could drag-out for several more years, & there are no damages claimed by either side - it's just basically a pi$$ing match now. The only people happy here are the attorneys who are making their $$ per hour. Also, if we win the suit & it is ruled this clown has to pay back our legal fees & he doesn't have the means to do so, then what? He may be uncollectable.

What would y'all do?


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Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: Sunroofcuda] #3042938
05/17/22 12:59 AM
05/17/22 12:59 AM
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Super Spudsville
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I would ask where the real owner was during all this.....

He claims that since the 80's he has been "maintaining" this two acres by trimming trees & vines, picking up garbage, & running off people who are back there dumping trash, etc.


STOP POTATO HATE!
Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: Mr PotatoHead] #3042939
05/17/22 01:33 AM
05/17/22 01:33 AM
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Phila
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It's property of the association: Correct?
He states he's maintained the property for 20+ years:
If no one has ever "confronted" him about his activities on the property:
i.e. claimed he's trespassing, posted any signage, or has been "active" on said property,
he can claim Eminent Domain after those years.
Attorney fees by association are "passed" to tenants: probably stated in the NA agreement.
I believe the burden-of-proof is on him to prove his claim has never been challenged for so many years.
Could drag on for years to come.

Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: Sunroofcuda] #3042941
05/17/22 03:23 AM
05/17/22 03:23 AM
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A Red State
SNK-EYZ Offline
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If I understand what you're saying correctly, he's trying to take two acres of "your" land through "Adverse Possession".

Real estate laws are different in every state.

https://www.bankrate.com/real-estate/adverse-possession/

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclop...y-based-adverse-possession-missouri.html

Quote
Of course, there are hurdles to clear before someone can claim a piece of Missouri land using this theory. For one, the burden of proof to establish a claim of adverse possession is on the trespasser. In other words, if you hold legal title to a piece of land, you are its presumed owner until and unless the adverse possessor can come up with enough compelling evidence and arguments to convince a judge to grant ownership over all or a portion of it.


I know that it used to be that when someone maintained a property without ever asking permission and the real property owner never spoke to them about it was when it was granted.

If you ever discussed his maintaining it though the years and you gave him approval to maintain YOUR property that ends his right to claim title to it.
You were simply giving him permission to cut YOUR grass because it made his property next to it look better.
At least that's what I was taught when getting my real estate license in MO about 30 years ago.

A local real estate lawyer is who you need to talk to about it.


Kayse can't keep up at all now. lol
Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: SNK-EYZ] #3042944
05/17/22 06:00 AM
05/17/22 06:00 AM
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Andrewh Offline
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I thought they also had to be paying taxes on it as well.
it isn't enough to maintain the property, but they have to show they kept it up to date with the .gov too.

I think this is an hoa type thing,(which I hate) and that makes voting the only way you are going to get out of this.
you would have to get enough people out of the 38 to back you in the next meeting to get them to stop this crap and let this guy "take" the land.
otherwise you will be out the legal fees, or rather you should be prepared to be out the legal fees.

Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: Sunroofcuda] #3042946
05/17/22 06:23 AM
05/17/22 06:23 AM
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I'd need to see a survey. If the 2 acres weren't mine and I was in the sub, I wouldn't pay either. Why can't every person part of the 38 just say "yeah we cut, cleared trash, and maintained too"?


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Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: A39Coronet] #3042959
05/17/22 07:45 AM
05/17/22 07:45 AM
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North Dakota
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I am confused. Whose name is on the deed for the contested two acres? This appears to be a case of attempted adverse possession and every state is different.


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Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: A39Coronet] #3042967
05/17/22 08:10 AM
05/17/22 08:10 AM
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Des Moines IA
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Des Moines IA
Does the county assessor have records of the legal description of the properties in dispute? Does the title company?

Is the guy saying that the records are wrong because he has been taking care of the property or does he not know where the boundaries are? If he is trying to take over the property, it seems that it would be very hard for him to prove that he was the only caretaker of this property. Like the poster above me says, everybody or anybody in the subdivision could claim they are also caretakers of the property.

As far as getting out of paying legal fees, I thought that was included in the HOA fees, but maybe not. See if there is anything in the covenants. You may not get out of paying the fees, but if any of the above works it could lead to a quicker resolution and hopefully lower fees.


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Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: Soopernaut] #3042984
05/17/22 09:16 AM
05/17/22 09:16 AM
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nowhere
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I am sure that those two acres of what appears to be the neighborhood's community property has had maintenance done to it by the HOA, there should be records of that. Said scammer probably has no records. Tell your attorney to get off his ass and quit milking your HOA and to counter sue the thief for legal fees, stress, emotional impact, etc. Put a lien on his property, force a sheriff's sale and make him homeless as he deserves.

Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: Sunroofcuda] #3042996
05/17/22 09:52 AM
05/17/22 09:52 AM
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Benton, IL.
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Do you know why your Association has joined the suit?

Does the Association have meetings with their attorney present in order to keep the members up to date and can you ask questions?

And if the Association should win the suit, can they then sue the member for costs? If so, and should he not be able to pay, can a lien then be applied to his property?

At least some of the answers to your questions would vary state by state and would depend on the particulars of your Association's rules. Your questions and concerns should be addressed by your Association's attorney.


KOS
Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: Mr PotatoHead] #3043017
05/17/22 11:01 AM
05/17/22 11:01 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,032
Highland, MI.
Sunroofcuda Offline OP
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Highland, MI.
Originally Posted by Mr PotatoHead
I would ask where the real owner was during all this.....


He claims that since the 80's he has been "maintaining" this two acres by trimming trees & vines, picking up garbage, & running off people who are back there dumping trash, etc.



Our sub began construction around 2003 - that's when the first home went in - our builder purchased this chunk of land not long before 2003 with intent to develop it. All of our lots are around an acre. Prior to that, someone owned the land - it was wooded & just scrub - nobody had ever built on it. So this guy moved into his house in the early 80's which backs to our land, & that's when he claimed to start "maintaining" the 2 acres. *The land he is claiming to be his, he knows is not in his original property lines. The land is way in the back of our sub's property - you can't even see if unless you wade through a bunch of woods behind one of the neighbor's houses. We have a bunch of heavily wooded property on the south end of our development - people are back there riding dirt bikes, ATV's, etc. There is no fence surrounding the property. So this two acres he is trying to appropriate - the previous owner back in the 80's probably never even knew he was "using" it.

Last edited by Sunroofcuda; 05/17/22 11:09 AM.

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Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: Sunroofcuda] #3043023
05/17/22 11:30 AM
05/17/22 11:30 AM
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UPPER MICHIGAN, MARQUETTE COUN...
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Who ever holds the deed to it and has been paying taxes is the owner. This guy has been trespassing on private property. Get a survey and post the line. Just because he chose to develop and maintain someone else's property without permission does not make it right or his.

Last edited by NITROUSN; 05/17/22 11:32 AM.
Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: NITROUSN] #3043032
05/17/22 11:56 AM
05/17/22 11:56 AM
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Doesn't care what this says anyway
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It's too late now with lawyers involved but it seems like the simplest solution would have been to fence it in and if he claimed it was his it would turn into here's our land title or deed, here's the property line for what we bought and been paying taxes on, here's the fence around it.

Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: 5thAve] #3043033
05/17/22 11:58 AM
05/17/22 11:58 AM
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I would like to see a copy of the actual survey in question?

Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: NITROUSN] #3043042
05/17/22 12:08 PM
05/17/22 12:08 PM
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Rio Linda, CA
John_Kunkel Offline
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iagree Any property will have geographic boundaries specified; if the boundaries are in dispute, call for another survey.


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Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: Sunroofcuda] #3043134
05/17/22 06:00 PM
05/17/22 06:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,346
North Dakota
6PakBee Offline
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Originally Posted by Sunroofcuda

Our sub began construction around 2003 - that's when the first home went in - our builder purchased this chunk of land not long before 2003 with intent to develop it. All of our lots are around an acre. Prior to that, someone owned the land - it was wooded & just scrub - nobody had ever built on it. So this guy moved into his house in the early 80's which backs to our land, & that's when he claimed to start "maintaining" the 2 acres. *The land he is claiming to be his, he knows is not in his original property lines. The land is way in the back of our sub's property - you can't even see if unless you wade through a bunch of woods behind one of the neighbor's houses. We have a bunch of heavily wooded property on the south end of our development - people are back there riding dirt bikes, ATV's, etc. There is no fence surrounding the property. So this two acres he is trying to appropriate - the previous owner back in the 80's probably never even knew he was "using" it.


So the builder responsible for the subdivision bought this property prior to the subdivision? And it sounds like the builder is the HOA? This is sounding more and more suspicious. I would look up the plat of the subdivision. If these two acres were subdivided as part of the subdivision into lots, it is no longer considered raw real estate (at least in ND). If the two acres are NOT in the subdivision plat but are simply owned by the builder, why is the HOA involved at all? What responsibility would the HOA have concerning property that was not in the subdivision?


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Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: 6PakBee] #3043166
05/17/22 08:17 PM
05/17/22 08:17 PM
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Central Florida
larrymopar360 Offline
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I know this isn't really helpful but let someone go get injured on the property and THEN see who wants to claim ownership.


Facts are stubborn things.
Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: larrymopar360] #3043182
05/17/22 09:37 PM
05/17/22 09:37 PM
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Round Lake Beach, Illinoisy
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As stated above, who is paying taxes on the property? THAT is who the owner is, and if it is proven that person does not own the property then they should be reimbursed for the taxes they have been paying by the true owner of the property! work


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Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: Rhinodart] #3043195
05/17/22 10:49 PM
05/17/22 10:49 PM
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Southern Maryland
klunick Offline
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Where I live he would be correct. I'm also squating on part of the HOA land. It wasn't intentional as when I had my fence put up I marked the property lines. They pretty much put the fence where it was easiest. That said, the HOA even sent someone out and they okayed it. I also have a long run into the woods out my back gate that I have been maintaining for 25 years. Technically, yeah, I could claim it legally but what a hassle. I go by the live and let live. I maintain their property and they let me use it. Same with my neighbor. He marked his lines but never mowed his backyard that backed up to my sideyard. I simply told him I realized the land was his and would he mind if I mowed it. No problems. My yard looks slightly bigger and nicer but yep, it is his land. Wouldn't think of being a #()K.


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Re: Advice Needed - Neighborhood Association: [Re: klunick] #3043495
05/19/22 07:49 AM
05/19/22 07:49 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,567
PA
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70Duster Offline
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If a person is already using, enjoying and maintaining land that is not legally theirs, I'm not sure why they would want to claim is as theirs. Nothing would change except then they would have to pay tax on it each and every year thereafter.

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