DEAR BARRY: A recent property line survey revealed that my neighbors are encroaching onto my yard. Their garage is built on the property line, and their fence and walkways are three feet onto my side of the line. We wrote a letter asking that they do something about this.

A few days later, we found the surveyor’s stake pulled out and hidden in the bushes. Now the neighbors have listed their home for sale and have not responded to our letter. What can we do? –Susan

DEAR BARRY: A recent property line survey revealed that my neighbors are encroaching onto my yard. Their garage is built on the property line, and their fence and walkways are three feet onto my side of the line. We wrote a letter asking that they do something about this.

A few days later, we found the surveyor’s stake pulled out and hidden in the bushes. Now the neighbors have listed their home for sale and have not responded to our letter. What can we do? –Susan

DEAR SUSAN: Your neighbors need to be convinced of your seriousness and to understand that they cannot sell their property until the issue is resolved. If they are not impressed by a letter from you, perhaps one from a lawyer would be more persuasive. An attorney can explain that a lawsuit would include a "lis pendens" filed against their property, and this would discourage buyers from offering to purchase their home.

Hopefully, the mere suggestion of legal action will lead to a favorable resolution. For a more comprehensive evaluation of this issue, find an attorney who specializes in real estate law.

DEAR BARRY: Our condominium in Florida is a second home and is vacant more than it is inhabited. About six months ago, we began to notice a pungent, mildew-like odor. At the same time, we discovered a sticky grime inside the kitchen drawers and on some of the forced air registers. We cleaned up the grime, but the odor remains. If this is mold, what should we do about it? –Nancy

DEAR NANCY: Your home should be surveyed by a qualified mold specialist (listed in the Yellow Pages under "Mold Testing and Consulting"). Physical samples and filtered air samples should be evaluated by an accredited environmental lab to determine the types of mold that may be present. If the lab report is positive, a mold remediation company should be hired to remove all remnants of mold infection.

The moisture problem that fostered the mold should be located and corrected. It could be a plumbing leak, a groundwater problem, faulty site drainage, inadequate ventilation or something else. Eliminating the moisture will prevent a return of the mold.

DEAR BARRY: Everyone knows that home inspectors and Realtors work together to close deals. Agents recommend only home inspectors who will do a cursory inspection that ensures the agent’s commission. Why do you always ignore this fact? –Ben

DEAR BEN: You paint with a very broad brush and should try more colors than black and white. Every profession has good and bad practitioners. No profession is all good or all bad. There are honest agents as well as compromised ones. The same goes for home inspectors. The inspectors with whom I am acquainted try to be as thorough as they can. Some are better at it than others. But a home inspector who routinely fails to disclose defects will be overwhelmed with claims and lawsuits and will not remain in business for very long.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
The best event in real estate kicks off next week! Tickets are selling quickly.Register Now×
Limited time: Get 30 days of Inman Select for $5.SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription