[Solved] Ongoing Survey
First let me say that I'm not a surveyor. I didn't read any rules against posting here, but I know it is mostly surveyors posting. Hoping to get some guidance with a messy situation we have going on.
We had a surveyor come out last year and mark our property lines. He seemed very knowledgeable and marked everything based on our pins he was able to locate. We were aware it was not a legal survey, and was cheap as a result. We just needed a general idea since we moved in and neighbors didn't know for sure. This surveyor could not locate one corner post, but advised where it should be near based on calculations.
A couple of months ago I sent a check for the deposit to get the legal survey started. In the meantime, our neighbor hired a survey who came out and surveyed the line between us and said neighbor. He did not survey or mark the whole property, just this one line. Last week he came and marked control points which were almost identical to where our surveyor marked. However, this week he came and moved pins that now say "property line" over about 20 feet on our side of the property. Their surveyor also replaced the pin in the road which was the neighbors true point of beginning, and the pin that our surveyor couldn't locate during the first run. It is over much further on our side than expected based on previous conversation with our surveyor, which I believe is accounting for the shortage per the deed. My husband and I got out our measuring tape and tried measuring out where their property line is, but it shorts our deed by about 20 feet in width all the way back the the back marker (this line is 728 feet back).
My husband is a mechanical engineer, I am an accountant. We aren't trying to say that the other surveyor our neighbor hired is wrong, but we want to understand mathematically.
I wouldn't be worried but now we have fencing on "their property" and the neighbor is being extremely hostile towards us. Our surveyor is currently reaching out to theirs to (i assume) mitigate the differences, but I'm just wondering what to expect. All the surveyors we spoke with made it seem like it was more of an ordeal to replace a property corner, and we would be notified beforehand.
There are any number of reasons a line can be different than what you expect. Let the two Surveyors put their heads together and see what they come up with. In the meantime...
I'm not sure what State you are in. There arent any I know of that allow 'cheap and unofficial' surveys. The spot you are in is exactly why. There really is no point in talking down to you for not knowing that. Many Surveyors havent figueed it out either.
At the end of the day you and your neighbor are the ones who will fix the problem. Don't let Mr. Cheap n Easy put you in a spot where you both drain your resources only to live next to somebody you now hate. You were living with the fence before the surveyors got there. Sit down and work it out.
Why do you say that the fence is in their property. Did you place the fence based on the first survey? I am not an Indiana surveyor, but most states have some legal standing for an existing fence. The neighbor should not damage your fence until the dispute is resolved. Notify him, if not on your property you will relocate the fence.
So you hired a cheap "Surveyor" who sounded like he knew what he was doing, to give you an idea where your property line is, now that the property line moved 20 feet, you are no longer happy with going cheap?
As One cup o joe said, let the License Surveyor you just hired figure it out. If the first "Surveyor" did not give you a stamped surveyor, his opinion on where the property line is, well you could have hired anyone to show up and say hey this looks like the property line.
What State are you in? Each State has its own Boundary Laws.
I am not licensed in Indiana nor am I familiar with the local laws. This is just my quick thoughts before coffee.....
The problem you are dealing with, unfortunately is somewhat common though. I would suspect that your land and the adjoiner tract are somewhat related, meaning that, perhaps they were once one large tract but cut into two. When this happens Junior and Senior rights will come into play. Hypothetical...If you have a deed that claims you own 2 acres and you then sell me one acre. I then hire out a surveyor to stake the acre you sold me. Upon the field survey it is discovered that you never owned 2 acres but instead 1.75 acres, then you keep the one acre and I (Junior rights) gets what I get regardless.
I would closely exam your "legal" survey once it is delivered and read your deed closely, and pull your neighbors deed and read it, pay attention to the dates. First in time first in rights.
You also have some other items your surveyors should consider....the existing fence and the fact that both parties were accepting it as a boundary line before some new stakes showed up. The way it is constructed (improvements out - facing your property) leads me to think he built the fence. If so, why put the fence 20 feet onto himself?
Time for some coffee...
As documents become available, post them for us to see.
Ones of interest would be
Trouble neighbor's deed
Any other deeds that are nearby, or touching your land.
Survey plats, as they become available.
The armchair generals, that populate this forum feed on this stuff.
We are like old feed mills. Throw grain, silage, and other food like stuff in the feed hopper, and we'll grind it. You may, or may not like the final product as it comes out, but that's what we "feed on".
Verify that the surveyor you hired can be found listed as a licensed professional surveyor here
If you can find out the name of the surveyor hired by your neighbor, do the same thing with that surveyors name.
If they are both licensed, and behave professionally, and your surveyor has reached out to discuss the matter with the other surveyor; then a full resolution to the issue should be developing.
If you are not clear or unsatisfied with the answer you receive, ask clarifying questions of your surveyor.
Maybe I'm crazy but it seems to me if a Land Surveyor crosses a fairly substantial chain-link fence and sets boundary stakes 20' into the neighbor's enclosure they should at least take the time to explain to the neighbor why. Granted it helps if the neighbor will listen and then maybe ask some questions. The surveyor that set the stakes is in a far better position than any of us to know why he thinks the property line is where he thinks it is located. The original surveyor at least speaks the language so he can find out the whys and the wherefores and determine whether he was correct or that he made a mistake and then explain to his client why the neighbor's surveyor is either right or wrong.
I sympathize with the poster. I hired a tree contractor then checked his license, he had one but it was suspended because he refused to pay a judgment against him (just what I want a tree trimmer who drops trees causing damage then refuses to pay up). So I fired him before he did any work and hired another contractor with a good reputation on the recommendation of a friend and he was cheaper plus he wanted a written contract which is a good thing. So the suggestion to check licenses is a good one.
We were given a directive from our owner/CEO/Legal team(also a PLS) to never, under any circumstances just " Find and Flag" anything, especially if we hadn't been hired to do a "legal " survey. This practice in Colorado can land the surveyor/company into hot water just for that very thing...." well, that surveyor person tied a bunch of flagging and placed stakes, so we thought it was the boundary....."
Yeah. the dilemma is real, people want to believe what assists or bolsters their case, and never usually want to admit that they might be in the wrong or at the very least mistaken. Good surveying is a process, not just a result. Its research, and field work, and math. And liability and responsibility.
We are still waiting for either surveyor to get back to us. It has been almost a week now, so Tuesday afternoon I am going to try and followup if I haven't received a response yet.
I did have a question. Is there a way to locate the neighbor's "legal survey" if that is what they got?
Also, is it normal practice or possible to only survey and mark one property line and place a new pin in the road based on that? We have cameras facing the whole back area and no one ever went to the other two corners or the neighbors property during their survey. They also aren't marked. A few surveyors told us when we were calling around they would have to do an entire survey, not just a partial. I'm a little confused on this part.
We have been trying to avoid the neighbor when he is outside, but it makes it hard when you have animals to take care of... I'll spare the details, but praying that we get word back from one or both of our surveyors soon! We also have a lot of livestock on the back of the property, so we will need to move the chain link in on our property even more to get hay to the back of the property if these markers are correct. I want to get to work as soon as possible if we end up having to do as such.
My surveyor mentioned that we didn't want to have to get attorneys and judges involved unless we have to, so I'm really wondering if there isn't an overlap on deeds or some other issue that I'm not aware of. It seems like he wants to thoroughly discuss it with the other surveyor before letting us know all the details of what is going on.
I'll also post deeds and whatnot this week to see if it is any help in anyone's opinions.
Thanks to you professionals so much for taking the time to make me understand this stuff so much better. I really really do appreciate it!
Were you able to arrive at a satisfactory resolution?
I just read through this old thread also and it's now leaving me hanging in suspense! I grew up and was formally educated in Indiana in this fine art of Surveying but I moved to Missouri upon graduation close to 20 years ago. One thing I do remember is that Indiana requires a beautiful surveyor's report to be attached to their surveys. It's to explain everything they did and why. I'd be curious as to the contents of the reports for both sides of the line. One thing I find curious is her picture of a "monument" in the road. It's a mag nail which can't be used a boundary monument in Missouri. I'm reading in the IN min. standards that a mag nail is acceptable though. We just run into the problem of land owners thinking your control points are their property corners or points on line ever so often. Even as stealth as you think you left them, they'll find them and tell you that your survey is all jacked!
The reason is you are basing your distances from a Survey that is not signed or Stamped, and maybe the neighbor has a signed survey maybe they don't maybe he put the corner in the road. Ask to see a copy of their Survey. Until you get a signed Survey you will just have to wait and let your Surveyor answer your questions.
I do not know any License Surveyors who would do a Survey and not sign it, that should be a red flag. I would hired a Surveyor who would do it right the first time.