Neighbor rushes to sell after property line survey

If efforts to rectify encroachment are ignored, take legal action

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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....