Is there a time limit on our neighbors building their patio partially on our empty lot?
Question Details: We recently moved out of LA. We sold our home but still own the empty lot beside our home. Our neighbors built a new patio and it is about 12 feet over the property line. Is there a time limit we have to address this situation? What is our recourse?
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In your state (LA), it takes 10 years occupancy of your land to take it (or some part of it) through "adverse possession," so if you let the patio go unaddressed for a decade, you could lose that portion of your land upon which it sits. It does not appear that you are at present in danger of running out of that timeline.
What you can and should do is first ask them to relocate it, in writing, explaining that they are on your land. Assuming they don't move it, you can and should bring a legal action in chancery court (a part of county court) seeking a declaratory judgement (court determination) that they are on your land and a court order that they remove the patio and restore the land at their expense. You will need to provide proof (e.g. testimony by someone whom you have resurvey your land) as to the boundaries.