Experience Matters

How can property owners solve a boundary dispute?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2024 | Land Disputes

Some people are very fortunate because the nature of their property boundaries are indisputable. They may have road frontage or a stone fence that has stood for generations establishing one edge of their property. Other times, less permanent landmarks or even just a verbal statement by a real estate seller might serve as someone’s boundary marker.

Sometimes, those who own adjacent parcels have very different ideas about where one piece of land starts and the other ends. That confusion could eventually lead to disagreements and possibly even litigation.

Why boundary disputes matter

There are a few reasons why boundary disputes can be significant. They can affect property value and everything from resale price to taxes. They can also lead to incursions that put someone at risk of losing a portion of their parcel.

One neighbor might build over the boundary line when constructing a garage, paving a driveway or putting an addition on to their home. Building over onto a neighbor’s parcel can diminish their property value and also their enjoyment of their land. Therefore, if one neighbor notices that the other seems confused about the boundary between their parcels, they may need to resolve the matter quickly.

How do people solve boundary disputes?

Sometimes, boundary disputes have a simple solution available. A homeowner can review their deed and read the legal description for their parcel. Doing so can often be quite a challenge, as many people struggle to understand the special jargon used to describe property boundaries.

Even if somebody is able to affirm that their understanding of the boundary is accurate, their neighbor may not accept their claims. Therefore, it might be necessary to work with a professional. A surveyor can come in and measure the property based on the legal description of the property. They can place markers that make it clear where one parcel starts and the other ends. Even that may not do enough to solve the dispute.

Boundary issues may need to go to court

Given the potential financial and practical consequences of a boundary dispute, sometimes the best option is to take the matter to civil court. A judge can issue an order preventing a neighbor from building over the boundary line. They could also sometimes even order the removal of improvements that extend over the boundary between the properties.

Homeowners who get assistance early in a boundary dispute are in the best position to protect their interest in a piece of real estate. Understanding that a boundary dispute can cause more than just dirty looks from a neighbor can motivate people to respond appropriately – and promptly – to a boundary violation.