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Surprise surveyor sparks property lines dispute

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – What would you do if you built a new home and found out you have hidden property?

That’s what Mallory Rogers and Steven Carter say happened to them on their dream home.

“The whole reason we purchased a larger home from where we came from is to have a yard for our child and our dogs, and as it stands it’s going to be put off,” said Rogers.

The family moved into the Saratoga Springs home last January. They were given eight months to complete their yard or face a fine by their homeowners’ association.

The family built a fence around their yard and split the cost with two of their neighbors. However, unlike some of their neighbors, the new homeowner’s property has a berm.

“We were told by our foremen of our build that the berms they put in, the big dirt berms were representative of our property lines,” said Rogers. “And under no circumstances should we be touching those berms, that is where our fences should go.”

The family says they were a little surprised when a new surveyor showed up on their property.

“Another surveyor came out to our property, and different from the first surveyor, from a different company from what I understand, and resurveyed our property and we discovered the property lines were off,” she said.

Carter added, “Found property I guess is probably a good thing most of the time but for us, not so good.”

The situation was not good for all four neighbors. Curbing, fencing, landscaping, sprinklers, and the berms would all need to be moved. Like any new homeowner, they called their builder who they say came back with a deal.

“When they came back to us and basically said, ‘Well, we are not legally responsible for this. We have no liability, we have no concerns here, we’ve been told by our legal team basically you guys can shove it. So we will split these costs with you 50/50,’ said Carter. “It was just a huge kick in the gut where it was like, this isn’t right you know.”

At the end of August, they reached out to ABC4 News Jason Nguyen and showed him the original stake they say was used to mark the property.

ABC4 News contacted the main builder D.R. Horton by email. Following it up with phone calls the next day.

A secretary for D.R. Horton corporate offices headquartered in Texas said the company only responds to media inquiries in writing.

Two hours after placing calls to the company, Rogers and Carter got a call of their own.

“The foreman of our build called my husband’s phone and left us a voicemail. He wasn’t able to answer at the time and said, ‘Hey we are so sorry. You know we would like to apologize for this. We are taking full responsibility and we are going to 100 percent cover the costs,'” said Rogers.

Allowing the family to finally complete their home, get their yard done, and avoid a fine from their HOA.

“I’m absolutely glad we called you,” Rogers said. “I’m very, very happy. I’m grateful. I think they did the right thing in what they said to us. I accept their apology.”

By the time of this report, ABC4 News still had not heard back from D.R. Horton’s media relations manager.

Carter says the company has accepted bids for fix the issues and is waiting on work to begin.

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