If you own a home and you're encountering issues with a neighbor encroaching on your property, things can get heated. It's important to understand how a property dispute works, where you stand legally, and what you can do to rectify the situation. Here is some helpful information you need to know if you're in the middle of a dispute regarding your property or boundary lines surrounding it.
Understand Your Lines
The city should have documentation showing exactly where your property ends and begins. This information is public record and you can obtain it either by asking the city for a copy or by checking online using your locality's property database. Make sure the information has measurements detailing the exact perimeter of your yard. If a neighbor wants to put up a fence for example, they must install it on their own property line and if they build onto yours, you are legally able to dispute it.
Handling A Disagreement
If you find yourself in the middle of a problem with a neighbor attempting to encroach on your property, the first step would be to simply talk with them politely and show them the property lines. If they insist that some of your land is theirs, you will need to take more aggressive action. First, write them a certified letter stating that the property they're attempting to build on is actually yours, and include a copy of the city documents showing the boundary lines. Make sure the letter accurately states what the boundary lines are and mentions what the neighbor is attempting to do and why it's incorrect. File a copy with the local court clerk in case the issue escalates and you need to hire a real estate attorney. If you do end up needing an attorney, consider one from a firm like Valentine & Valentine PC.
If Things Are Still Not Settled
If you've written the letter and your neighbor insists on continuing to attempt to build on your property, it may be time to take the matter to court. A real estate attorney knows how to handle these types of issues and can present your argument to the judge. In most instances, disputes like this will go through a simple mediation process rather than proceed all the way to court. If your case goes through mediation, as long as you have all of the proper documentation to prove where your property ends and begins, most likely you'll be the victor. Anyone who attempts to use or build on your property is trespassing, so as long as you follow the correct protocol, your home and land should be protected by law.Share
23 February 2016
Stop -Don't sign that! I was unfortunate to learn the hard way that real estate documents should never be signed without a real estate lawyer looking over them. It took nearly two years to undo the damage that was done when I took a few minutes to read and sign a contract to purchase a piece of land. If you are looking to buy land, talk with a real estate attorney. This attorney should always read any contracts or documents that you are presented regarding the property you are purchasing. Find out what could happen if you fail to have a professional read over those documents here on my blog.