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Pelham homeowner fighting property line battle

October 23, 2013 3:37:50 PM PDT
There's a bizarre property dispute in Westchester County.

A waterfront home in Pelham is now literally divided, because a part of the structure sits on someone else's property.

The owner is now headed back to court appealing yet again because he needs to make repairs.

Two giant homes, but there's one problem: their shared property line was built over and messed up decades ago.

"There's a ten foot wall separating the properties, it's been like this for 80 years," said Bill Cullen, the homeowner.

The part of the house that is a problem is just off the kitchen. An extension to the house that was not put in recently, and was put in back in the 1930s. The area goes from one corner and two floors up, contains two bedrooms and one floor down.

Bill Cullen has been fighting this since he bought the house on Shore Road in 2001.

He uses caution tape to show where he says the property line still stands according to a federal judge.

"What normally happens in cases like this? It's grandfathered in?" Eyewitness News reporter Michelle Charlesworth asked.

"Yes, it's called adverse possession. If something is open and notorious for 10 years, and this has been open and notorious for 70 years," Cullen said.

An attorney for the neighbor says this is ridiculous. His client makes no claim on Cullen's house although the line, an issue all these decades, does still go through a sliver of the house.

"How much have you spent on legal bills?" Charlesworth asked.

"$700,000," Cullen said.

Cullen says he is headed back to court and just wants to know his entire home is his and do repairs on that part of the house.

"When we went to court to get an order to do repairs they said no, that's trespassing," Cullen said.

"You pay property taxes on that part?" Charlesworth asked.

"Sure I guess. I pay over $50,000 in property taxes," Cullen said.


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