Man claims neighbor stole his land

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BySteve Campion KTRK logo
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Man claims neighbor stole his land
Mario Gonzalez claims his neighbor stole a 10 feet by 100 feet piece of land by placing a new fence.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A Houston man says his neighbor stole his property and built a fence around it. Mario Gonzalez has lived on his land off Estelle Street for more than five decades. The 65-year-old told Eyewitness News he's been fighting with his next door neighbor for years. Gonzalez said his property line extends 10 feet south of the fence.

Gonzalez characterized the move as a land grab. He insisted his paperwork proves he's the rightful owner.

"I went to the city. They gave me a bad attitude," said Gonzalez. "I decided to wait and keep on looking for lawyers, pro-bono lawyers. I couldn't find one. I waited six months up to a year for one. I can't find one."

Harris County Appraisal District Records make this story even more complicated. They suggest the parcel in question actually belongs to someone else.

Sanford Dow is an attorney who specializes in real estate law. He's not representing anyone tied to this story. Dow said solving these types of property disputes is far from easy. He said often property owners must go to court to get a clear answer. He said issues regarding property lines often occur in more historic communities.

"This is a time consuming process and a costly process," said Dow. "It seems to happen in older neighborhoods. The East End, Montrose, the Heights. You know some of the neighborhoods that were first developed 150, 175 years ago."

Dow also said surveyors can differ in opinion. He strongly urged people buying properties to consult professionals and do their homework.

Gonzalez's neighbor told Eyewitness News he believes the property in question belongs to him.

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