BARRTOW COUNTY, Ga. – A Bartow County man said he bought a house only to find out he doesn’t own the land it sits on.
Now he says the people who do own the property won’t let him access the house for which he is paying.
Local law enforcement officials have even gotten involved once already, but they told Channel 2’s Matt Johnson the bitter land dispute likely has to be resolved in court.
Jordan Marshall and his wife were ready to own their first home after the arrival of their child, now 7 months old.
“Me and my wife were really excited to have a place to call ours,” Marshall told Johnson. “I feel helpless.”
He showed Johnson the paperwork that proves the house off Highway 20 in Bartow County is his.
But almost 90 percent of the house and the driveway are on someone else’s property.
Marshall said that property owner knocked over trees and built a dirt wall in front of the driveway.
“I just don’t understand it,” Marshall said.
Marshall bought the house in January from a friend. A land survey he saw after buying the home shows his friend’s nephew owns most of the land the house is on plus he owns the only driveway to the house.
Marshall says he didn’t deal with a real estate agent and didn’t pay for his own land survey.
“Being a first-time home buyer, I wasn’t aware that I needed a survey,” Marshall told Johnson.
Tony Collum, the property owner’s father, didn’t want to speak on camera but didn’t deny his family is blocking Marshall and said he wants the land to stay in his family.
Deputies charged Collum with criminal trespassing in January when Marshall told deputies he believed Collum parked a taxi cab there to block them.
Marshall said he has to keep paying the mortgage for a house he can’t live in for fear of being foreclosed on.
“I need some help. I don’t know where to go,” Marshall said.
The home cost $130,000. Marshall said he’s in the process of finding a lawyer to try and get the money he put in back.
The seller referred Johnson to his lawyer with any questions about the property. The attorney did not want to comment.