Resolving boundary disputes with neighbors

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2017 | Residential Real Estate

Everyone hopes for agreeable terms with their neighbors. Boundary disputes do happen though; they might be an intentional breach of territory, but often times, they are a misunderstanding or an honest mistake. Either way, it is important for you to protect your interests and avoid losing value on your property. It is usually in everyone’s best interest to avoid a legal battle, so here are some other methods of resolving this issue.

Gather documents and discuss the issue

The first step might be a simple meeting with your neighbors to look over the official property lines. Plan a time that works for both parties and bring all relevant documents, such as deeds and past surveys. Look over the information, check for inconsistencies, and see if there was a simple mistake on anyone’s part about the boundaries of the land.

From there, there are a few things you can do:

Get a new survey of the land.

Some surveys might be unclear or outdated. Land changes over time and these changes may have affected boundary lines. If it is not clear who owns which parts of the property or if there are inconsistencies between your documents, talk with your neighbors about hiring a surveyor to do a new survey.

Agree on a quitclaim deed.

A quitclaim deed allows a property owner to transfer ownership of a piece of their land to someone else. If boundaries are still unclear or a quitclaim deed simply seems like the easiest fix, this can be a solution that keeps the issue out of court. A quitclaim allows you and your neighbors to decide on new boundaries that you feel fit both of your interests and then transfer ownership accordingly, such as giving an extra four feet of ownership where a fence was built over a previous boundary line.

If an agreement cannot be reached

A real estate dispute attorney is very beneficial in any boundary dispute to gather evidence and documents regarding the official boundary lines and keep the issue out of court. Legal battles are lengthy and costly, so it is rare for either side to pursue litigation over a boundary dispute, but it could happen if conflict mounts and agreements can’t be reached. In this case, an attorney is even more crucial to protect your property interests.