property line

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by yrdandgardenhandyman, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. yrdandgardenhandyman

    yrdandgardenhandyman LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 953

    I am bidding on a chain link fence install. The homeowner has simply guessed on where the property line is and doesn't want to pay for a survey. What I was wondering, (knowing that nobody on here is an attorney), was whose responsibility is it to locate the property line? I see a potential problem here if the neighbor objects later on or even as I am installing the fence. The homeowner just bought the house and doesn't know the neighbor. The neighbor does have a reputation of being a jerk.
  2. Smitty58

    Smitty58 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    I've done a few fences so this is what I would suggest. If you have a plot plan you can get pretty close ,however I would put in writing the "line" is the responsibility of the homeowner. Usually you can find the pin in the corners and then just stay 6 inches inside of that. But again put it in writing to protect yourself.
  3. bigviclbi

    bigviclbi LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 901

    The local township construction office might have a plot plan on file if any work was done to the house the last couple of years. If its a new home their is definately a survey floating around, here in NJ if you buy a house a survey MUST be done. Otherwise go to the corners of the property and dig for a piece of rebar or concrete slab that should be there.
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    There has to be some kind of property markers around there someplace.Don't let the homeowner just guess,not a good idea at all.Like said above,the assesors office or the building dept in the county office should have a map .Ask your homeowner to look at his house papers and there will be a plot#area# and discription of the property on the paperwork and use that info to get a map from the county.
  5. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Don't waste your time looking for markers, thats what surveyors are for. Place all responsibility on the homeowner for the placement of the fence. and do it in writing on your contract and also have them sign a waiver to hold you harmless for placement.
  6. Freshcut Lawn Care

    Freshcut Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    Just what the "Dirtman" says!

    Protect yourself!!!

    I personally would speak to the other neighbour(s) prior to this work and describe what you are doing. Get their buy in (if you can) and save any potential problems during the installation.

    Pointing out property lines (after the survey is performed) with them, should prevent any confusion which may arise later!

    Doesn't hurt to cover all your bases, especially if you know some of these folks are difficult to begin with.

    Good luck!
  7. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Fences and property lines. My story;

    Before you erect a fence it's a good idea to get a survey of the property done. Most city lots do not have corner pins on them, unless the property has been surveyed sometime in the past. The only location pins are usually at the street intersections and if the surveyer gets lucky their may be another property on the block that has been located and he can measure from there. If not they have to measure over from the ends of the block.

    Ok, I own my home, the fences were there when I moved in there. wood 6' privacy fence between me and my neghibors to the north. A few years pass and I always was under the impression that the fence was mine, the owners of my home built it. It was not terribly straight, but I assumed it was on my property. Eventually tension escilates between me and the neghibors, I find another house (it's time to upgrade) and put mine up for sale. Neghibor calls and leaves me a nasty message "your landscaping, 2 sprinklers, and your fence is all on our property. We want you to move the sprinklers and the rock border of your landscape over to your side before you move. Oh and just so it's clear, that fence you keep saying is yours is not. The past owners of the home built it and told us that we could have it since it was over the property line"

    Ok, Now I'm pissed, but what can I do??? I'm not moving anything untill a survey is done, but a survey costs around $300.00. I confront them with this and that actually say "Fine, we will pay for the survey just to proove to you that you are wrong. We have lived here 20 years blah blah blah"

    Well Well... A week or so later the first part of the surveying gets done and flags are placed "close" to where the pins will finally be set when finished. The surveyer told me that the inital measuring with a tape is usually within a few inches. EVERYTHING in my lawn was exactly that, IN MY LAWN. The sprinklers were just inside my side on the line, as well as the landscaping and the FENCE. Albeit a bit crooked, it was STILL MINE. My awful neghibors had to eat crow big time and also scrape together the money to pay the surveyor!!!

    The moral to the story... Don't put any kind of permenent structure or fence close to or on a property line that you don't actually know exists! Explain this to the homeowner. Boundry line disputes can get brutal!
  8. jim dailey

    jim dailey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    Go to the local town hall. See the Tax Assesor. He has the maps and measurements of the property...That is how he bases the taxes on the so many s.f. I would also listen to the others and have it in your contract that the property owner is responsible for the line. Look around to where the telephone poles are, they are USUALLY placed at the property lines. Worse comes to worse, go to your County Land Court and get a copy of the Plot Plan. They MOST definitely will have that.
  9. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    I am an LA in a multdiscipline office with a Registered Land Surveyor and a Civil Enginner, survey field crew and a few other folks. If no one disputes the installation of the fence before it is installed, the burden of proof is up to the person who thinks the fence is an encroachment on his property. He has to live with it or have it surveyed to have evidence of that encroachment. If it is disputed before the fence is built, it is a different story.

    Finding a property line from a certified plot plan is not very easy using tape measures. You can often get close, but if the house is not very square with the property lines, it is difficult. You also have to know that the plan accurately shows the house on it. A mortgage plot plan typically shows that there is a lot and a house, but does not certify the location of that house in relation to the property lines. A certified plot plan shows the dimensions perpendicular to the property lines and has a signed statement and seal of a registered land surveyor that certifies the location of the house on the property. Make sure you have the right one, if you are going to tape it off. Also realize that it is difficult to measure a distance perpendicular to a line of which you do not know the direction in which it is running.

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