Hey there! So a while back, I made a post about some hostile neighbors giving a relative of mine a hard time with setting up a fence around her house.
A lot of you had GREAT advice, which is why I am back to get some more for her! Here’s an update:
My relative ended up getting a better lawyer.. An actual real estate lawyer. While this new lawyer seems a bit more knowledgeable, he seems way too laxed about the situation and he’s been kind of a douchebag and not informative towards my relative whenever she has questions about any updates. The fencing company has been on her case trying to get a clear day scheduled for the fence installation, so she’s been trying to get more info. However, this lawyer isn’t telling her too much and just keeps telling her that this has been his job for 30 years and to trust him. This sounds fine, but he lashed out at her originally when she first asked for an update because he felt like my relative thought he was incompetent as a lawyer…. When all she had asked was if she was able to get the land surveyed since he was supposed to be discussing the issue with a surveyor my relative hired. He eventually followed up with a “sort of” apology message to her about how he reacted. However, there’s a reason for the questioning. Something to be justifiably worried about.
The surveyor my relative paid for is suspicious. I had actually given her some advice about being wary of potential connections to the neighbor and how the bias could cause issues worst case scenario. Welp, worst case scenario happened. The surveyor and the neighbors know each other and are friends. The surveyor is acting kind of strange too. An appointment was scheduled for the surveyor to arrive and you’d think professionally, they’d give you a notification when they were on site. This surveyor didn’t do that. He gave my relative a guesstimate time of arrival and when he arrived, he didn’t do anything to let my relative know. That’s weird to me. If you hire a contract worker or a landscaper, they knock on the door and tell you that they’ve arrived to do the work especially if they need to get around the house whether it’s inside or outside. He just arrived with his team and started doing it. My relative had to actively keep an eye out for him and then meet with him when she saw him onsite. He kept leaving and returning throughout the day oddly, which was also weird because he gave no notification of where he was going and when he’d come back. He mentioned that he knew the neighbors to my relative and said that they got approval to go into the yard with no issues. IMO this shouldn’t have been an all day project, but he was there for a really long time in and out. My relative at some point had questioned him about potential bias too since the neighbor and surveyor knew each other and he got a bit offended by the question, so she dropped it. When the assessment was done, he didn’t tell my relative anything and just left. A week later, she received documentation that shows that the neighbor REFUSED to allow the surveyor into the yard, which contradicts what he told my relative. At this point, I advised my relative to hire a second surveyor that has no connection to the neighbor. Also, the measurements given to my relative did not match the deed measurements at all. The lawyer advised that he had a long talk with the surveyor about the assessment, but when questioned about what they discussed, he disregarded the question and just said to trust him. One thing he is right about is the fact that this probably won’t go to court and their claims of adverse possession are invalid.
The surveyor returned some time after to attempt to get into the yard again. Same situation. No notification, he just showed up and my relative had to actively find him onsite. Unlike the last assessment, this took less than 30 minutes. The neighbor was oddly VERY compliant. The final assessment documentation that my relative was given was also weird again. The measurements don’t make sense. The fence that the neighbors had installed go along part of the foundation of my relative’s property and to say that’s the line when it doesn’t seem to match the deed is really odd. IMO The surveyor is helping the neighbor as legally as possible to not jeopardize losing his license. My relative is giving the lawyer all the documentation for review and is listening to my suggestion with hiring a second surveyor that has no connection to the neighbors.
My relative is also exhausted with this whole situation. I keep pressing her to take this to court because there’s a lot of suspicious things happening. If that was the line, then why did the neighbor refuse to show my relative the survey she had previously done for her property? Why did the neighbor’s husband eventually run to her house and intimidate her to stop trying to install the fence? At some point one night, she had overheard a conversation between the husband and wife outside in their yard and they had specifically said that they were going to give my relative a hard time. Why would the surveyor not inform my relative that the neighbor refused entry to complete the first assessment and seemingly lie about getting approval? Why was the neighbor so compliant and calm for the final assessment when they have been extremely combative the entire time?
Do you think this is actually worth pursuing legally in court? My relative doesn’t believe it and doesn’t want to pursue it further because she is stressed out about it. The lawyer is also actively trying to NOT bring this to court. The lawyer also confirmed that he did not know the neighbors. IMO, I have been telling my neighbor to get a new lawyer and a second surveyor and currently, she’s doing half of it. Does any one else find this situation suspicious?