Can I Legally Move My Neighbor’s Irrigation System Off My Land?

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I had a survey done recently and discovered that my neighbor has their irrigation 2.5 feet into my yard. The sprinkler guys said they need to move it back over so they can install my own irrigation system. My neighbor doesn’t feel like moving it. What can I do? If I break it then I’m responsible right? Can I move it over and just put it up on his yard without breaking it and then he will have to pay someone to reinstall it? Is that better?

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

It appears that your neighbor is trespassing (accidentally) on your property. In theory, this gives you the right to “self help” in removing the trespassing items (the irrigation hardware), but they still own that property, and you have the same obligation not to damage their property as any other person does.

The safest way to address something like this is to get the neighbor to take care of it (or, at least, to give permission to do so). It might help to have a letter from an attorney explaining that this is a legal obligation, and not just something your neighbor gets to “feel like” doing or not doing.

Failing that, the best I can say is that you should move the property in whatever method will do the least possible amount of damage (preferably zero); document everything you do (including photos or video); and be prepared to reimburse your neighbor for the cost of any repairs.

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Author: House Attorney