Am I Trespassing Onto My Neighbor’s Property?

My husband and I have lived in our house for almost 13 years now. Before we bought our home we reviewed the survey and were aware that our neighbors fence was to their backyard which was 5 ft from the edge of our driveway and the edge of our driveway is the property line. The previous owners of our home put in a sprinkler system and there are 5 sprinkler heads and a valve box that are on the property that is technically our neighbors. This is the 4th owner of our original neighbor’s house. They told us that the fence had been there for the more than 15 years that they had been there. Never had a problem. We water the part of the property that is on our side of their fence. Now the new property owners, that have been in the house for 2 1/2 years are telling us that we have to move the sprinkler lines that are on their property and that they are re-claiming the property on the other side of the fence and are going to move the fence that has been there for more than 25 years over 5 ft and bump it right up to the edge of our driveway. This would cause us to not be able to back out of our garage easily as it is a side entry garage. Is it legal for them to tell us that we have to pay to have all of the sprinkler lines moved when it will cause a financial burden to us and we have been mowing and watering the property for 13 years? They are telling us we have less than a month to get it done. What are our rights?

What did you think it meant that the property line is where it is? Everything on your neighbor’s side of the line is their land, and if you have something on that land — such as a sprinkler system — that’s called trespassing.

Now, you were probably trespassing with your neighbor’s permission up to this point, but permission can be revoked, and that’s what they’re doing.

As to whether there’s something you can do to slow down or stop this process, I can’t advise you, since the laws on this point differ from state to state, and from one situation to another. If it’s important to you to keep using your neighbor’s property, you should consult with a local real estate attorney, who can better advise you.