10 Property Line Clearance Horror Stories
Revenge is a dish best served with tree chopping, manure, and lots of pigs! These property line horror stories take standing your ground to a whole new level.
Neighbor chopped down the property line
One family who moved into a community with tight space between homes chose to install thousands of dollars worth of plants to give them privacy from their next-door neighbors. "We didn't like them being able to see into our kitchen," said Reddit user MaliciousCompliance.
"A week later my parents awoke to the plants completely chopped down. My father was furious and marched down to our neighbor's house. He told my father the plants were on his property line, therefore he had total right to take them down. He warned that if anything were to go on his property again, he would report us to the authorities immediately."
"Later that day my father called the company that put in the plants, and with the warranty, we could have them replanted next week for no charge. We made sure there was no way it was on our neighbor's property. However, a few days later we caught him chopping them down at 2 a.m. We called the police upon obstruction of property, and after a chat with my neighbor, he decided to call a professional and mark his property line. My father agreed."
"A few days later, the family noticed orange tape in the neighbor's yard. Apparently, his fence was 11 feet over our property line! We watched as he took down his fence, completely furious. Within the next month, we were enjoying our new space and privacy in our backyard, and my neighbor ended up losing 1/4 of his backyard. My neighbor ended up having to pay almost $10k for the destruction of our property, and we got to plant our plants again." You rely on your neighbors for a lot. Try these 10 ways to build trust with them.
Property owner builds fence through pool
According to one Reddit user, years ago there were two properties with two separate houses, both owned by one homeowner. "The old homeowner had both houses demolished and built ONE big house, complete with a swimming pool that takes up half of one property and half of the second one."
"Long story short, when the old homeowner sold his house, despite the fact there was ONE huge house with an equally big pool covering BOTH properties, the IDIOT realtors in charge decided to sell the property SEPARATELY to two different families, instead of selling the entire thing to ONE family."
"Now one family has the huge house, while the other one has land that doesn't have enough room to BUILD a house on, especially since half of the swimming pool and half of the garage from the big house is going over the second family's property line."
"So the owners of the empty lot had a fence built that's going THROUGH the swimming pool and into the side of the garage to show where the property line is, while the two landowners fight what to do about the problem."
What a mess!
Half a yard lost
Before complaining, it's important to do your research, as one nasty neighbor found out!
According to Reddit user froggyc19, when a new neighbor bought the house next to froggyc19's family's home, the neighbor started doing renovations without permits and then had the audacity to complain that the fence froggyc19 and his family had built needed to be dug up and removed.
"My parents tried to reason with him, explaining that all the landlines in the area are all crooked and that everything had been this way for 30+ years without issue. He wouldn't hear of it and insisted on the removal, so my mom called the city and requested a new eval after fighting with this guy for months."
"Turns out, not only was the fence on OUR land, but his new one [fence] was on ours as well. His back fence was on the land of the backyard neighbor and the same on the other side. My mom got the three other houses that bordered his to all get evals as well, so in the end, he lost almost half his yard to the surrounding houses."
"Never mess with a rancher and a neighbor"
"I grew up on a horse ranch in Colorado. We had a long piece of property, about 80 acres, and we raised Missouri fox trotters. We had lived there for almost 20 years when some folks bought a strip of property way at the back of our land. It was a strange plot of land as it was very narrow, and was sandwiched between our back fence, and a busy county road. We were surprised anyone would buy it actually, as it forced the house to be pretty close to said road," said Reddit user ProRevenge.
"Well, we never met these new neighbors until one day my dad gets a notice from a lawyer telling us that after having surveyed the property lines, our back fence encroaches on their property between 3 and 6 inches depending on the spot along the fence line. These folks had never met us, never introduced themselves, our first introduction was this legal demand."
ProRevenge's father offered a number of different compromises but to no avail. "They sued, and won, and we were forced to move the fence in two weeks."
"The very next weekend after they had moved into their house, we built a pen and a small enclosure very near our back property line, directly behind the neighbor's new shiny house. The next day once [one] of our farm friends delivered a half dozen pigs to their new home. Dad insisted on feeding those hogs table scraps and all the things that would go in the composter, as well as some good, balanced hog feed to keep them healthy."
"Now you may not know this, but the smell of pig excrement is directly related to what they eat, and their pen. Table scraps make them smell BAD. I mean BAAAAAAD."
"The neighbors, of course, freaked out, and again without ever even trying to talk to us, went the legal route. They lost, the area was zoned agricultural, and my dad had done his homework to make sure he was breaking no laws or regulations. The pigs were far enough from us, and our other neighbors that it didn't bother anyone but the people he wanted it to bother."
"The new neighbors sold their new house in January when the ground was frozen and the new owners would not smell the pen. Though as soon as the old neighbors were gone we tore down the enclosure, spread the nasty stuff on the hayfield, and the new neighbors never had any bad smell come spring. They also were great neighbors and are still life long friends."
Sweet revenge. Even if this one all turned out OK, these families were definitely not showing any of the 9 signs you're a great neighbor.
Property line jailbird
Reddit user WrinkledSuitPants dealt with a very hostile neighbor over property line concerns. In response to the property line story about the rancher and the pigs, WrinkledSuitPaints said an 83-year-old neighbor threatened to tear down his own fence to kill WrinkledSuitPaints' dogs!
"Then over time, he threatened to kill me. I put up a new fence parallel to his old one."
"He tore down his fence and then demanded that I move my new one because it was on his property. Even cut off pieces to throw at my dogs, put up threatening signs, cut all the branches off his trees and threw them in my yard, etc. I didn't move the fence."
Finally, WrinkledSuitPaints got a four-year protective order against the hostile individual.
"In court, he tried to bribe the bailiff to make the case go away. The judge called him out on it. Two weeks later after the PO was finalized he got in my face and threatened to shoot me in front of my pregnant wife. Cops came and didn't do anything because they didn't want to arrest an 83-year-old."
"A year after he threatened to kill me in front of my pregnant wife, I get a call from the county DA asking if I still want to press charges. Yep. For the past month, he's been in and out of jail and court from the past year of his BS against me. I hope he enjoys those legal fees on his social security income."
A shady solution
"We had a nasty neighbor growing up," said Reddit user I-Fap-For-Loli in response to the thread regarding the rancher and the pigs. "We lived on a curve and the only thing between our lots was a cow pasture. Was an empty lot before neighbor bought it and built his nice house."
"Nasty neighbor almost immediately after moving in made a huge stink about the cows sitting under the tree by the fence that borders their property because the flies that landed on his nice house."
"The rancher finally gave in and cut the tree down. Because nasty neighbor was nasty and now the poor cows didn't have enough shade in the summer, Dad planted a line of fast-growing trees on our property along the fence not 20 feet from the one he had cut down."
"Wasn't but a year or so and there was enough shade to entice the cows to return to this end of the pasture."
"High on the Hogs"
Reddit user fericyde's brother once built half a house on some land their Dad sold him. Due to financial hardship, the brother needed to use the equity in that home to get a second loan and finish building.
"Time goes on and he begins to do really well, so he sells the first house he built at a profit and buys some land. Like, 175 acres in the Midwest (he lives in a rural area). He likes to hunt and does some farming on the land but the house that was there when he bought it isn't ideal, despite some major improvements and renovation. So he builds a third house and puts the house up for sale. He keeps the land around the house for hunting (this is important later)."
"This is when one of his envious family members asks if he and his wife would consider selling them the house. They can only qualify for something like half of what it's worth, but my brother is a fairly generous guy. He agrees to sell the house to them at a rather hefty discount since they're family."
"A few short months go by. He's driving by the property and spots a for sale sign. He stops in and the husband explains that there were some things about the house they weren't happy with, so they were planning on selling it and buying a house more in town or something. My brother explains that they got a sweet deal only because they were family and that he'd appreciate them selling the house back to him for what he sold it to them for. The husband basically closes the door on that, and my brother leaves."
"And he thinks about it. I'm 100 percent certain that the family members understood that they were getting a good deal because they were family and he was happier selling it to them with the understanding that they weren't to take advantage of his good graces."
"The next day he drives out with some fence in the back of his truck, and the family members in the house wake up to some fence posts being driven into the ground."
"The husband comes out. 'What's going on?' he asks."
"'I'm just putting up some hog fence on my property. Don't worry, it's all on my land. I'll just go around your house here and put a gate in so you can get in and out.'"
"The husband is a bit perplexed. 'You're bringing in pigs?' And my brother was seriously set to do it too. He had about 100 lined up from a farmer down the road."
"The husband goes back into the house. A few minutes of discussion occurred."
"The next day they all meet at the bank and the deed is transferred back to my brother. And he didn't even have to deploy the hogs..." We'll add this to the list of things your neighbors wish you'd stop doing.
What the city says goes
According to Reddit user CptHammer, in response to the rancher and pigs property line story, "While I was in college, I lived with my uncle because he was close to school. He had a property adjacent to a church. Each property was about two acres and while my uncle's house was in the middle of his, the church was all the way on the opposite end of theirs.
"Part of my rent was mowing all around my uncle's property, push mower. I was actually living in an RV that faced the church and started mowing part of the church's property...."
"One day a for sale sign goes up in the empty field. We inquired and it seems the church needed some money and decided to subdivide."
Eventually, the property was purchased and dirt work ensued. The uncle installed a fence to avoid looking at construction, building it 10 feet back from his property line.
"It took about a year for the house to get built. And at some point, they put up a fence 20 feet from our fence which I thought was nice of them to allow neighbors to walk through. I had much less to mow. The space looked nice and became a weird hangout for teens to go kissing."
"Then one day the police roll up and ask me not to mow city property anymore. There were some suit-wearing guys with hard hats that explain a jogging path was going in. They didn't want the liability of me possibly hurting myself. I explained that 10 feet of it was my uncle's property, so I thought. I ask about the right of domain. Then they show me the old city map where a road was supposed to go through 50 years ago and the city kept pushing it off until the area got developed. It was supposed to be an 80-foot swath, and they're concerned it is only 20 now."
"Surveyors came out. They put markers all down the middle of the strip. Then we found out the neighbor's new house was built partially on the road area. They had a choice to tear down the house or buy 10 feet from the city. So they did the latter and they lost a good chunk of the yard."
"Their fence was moved at the cost of the city as they put fence everywhere that didn't have any. My uncle tore his fence down to regain his 10 feet. The strip now has a bench and a bunch of small trees and about a 10 [foot] asphalt jogging path. The teens didn't even slow down during construction."
It's hard to believe something like a property line issue would anger someone enough that they'd threaten their neighbor with a gun. However, that's exactly what happened to one family.
A 63-year-old woman, 36-year-old man, and two-year-old boy told their neighbor, a 24-year-old man, to get off their property. Upon doing so, he lifted his shirt, pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at the trio.
"The victims told deputies that there was an ongoing dispute with the next-door neighbor regarding property lines," according to Hometownlife.com. "He was gone when deputies arrived."
"The neighbor was working in the area when police arrested him without incident after recovering a 9mm handgun. Police said the man was lodged in the Oakland County Jail pending the issuance of charges."
Neighbors built fortress walls of poop
Back in 2001, David and Joan Gallant bought a house that sat next to the neighbor's, referred to as the Murrays, property. The Gallants soon began noticing a disgusting smell.
"Over the course of a year, the Murrays dumped hundreds of loads of cow manure along the border of their property. David Gallant would sometimes wake up at 4 a.m. to the sound of a loader beeping as it delivered fresh piles of wet cow s**t right beyond his property line. The piles got so high that they were visible on Google Earth," according to cracked.com.
"A judge eventually put a stop to all this and awarded the Gallants $15,000 in damages. After which he officially ordered the Murrays to—wait for it—keep their s**t to themselves." To avoid issues like these, stick to the etiquette rules all good neighbors should follow.