Disputes over boundaries between two properties are quite common. As a property owner, you want to guard your domain, mark your borders and protect every centimeter of your space that is legally yours. If not handled well, property line disputes often lead to fierce legal fights. Fortunately, there are ways of resolving the issue before it escalates to the courts and other institutions. This post will cover the causes of boundary disputes and how to settle them.
What Are Property Line Disputes?
A property dispute occurs when two parties argue over where one’s property ends and the other begins. Property lines are not always clear as they can be unmarked, and the only record of them is often in the property records.
What Can Cause a Boundary Dispute?
In most cases, parties may never have a dispute until one party attempts to do things that signal they are using another person’s land as their own. Here are the common causes of boundary disputes.
- Encroaching: This is when a neighbor builds a structure or fence that creeps into your property. It can also be a tree branch hanging loosely very close to your house.
- Trespassing: Trespassing occurs when people know they are on your land but continue carrying out activities they were doing. This can be people hunting or hiking on your property.
- Shared walls: If you share a wall with your neighbor, it can sometimes be challenging to know where your land ends and your neighbor’s starts, leading to boundary disputes.
How To Settle a Boundary Dispute
Here are a few tips for settling a boundary dispute.
Start the Conversation
Your first step in resolving a dispute is talking to your neighbor to help both parties come to an agreement. This is only easy if you’re friends. If you’re not on good terms, it’s best to bring up the issue politely and as soon as possible.
If you notice any signs of encroachment or trespassing in areas you have not fenced, maybe a simple fence or signage is enough to let other people know the space has an owner, or you know where your land ends. Marking your property is one of the best ways to avoid boundary disputes in the future.
Get an Attorney
Boundary disputes can escalate quickly. For these reasons, it’s always prudent to hire a lawyer if you need to report the case or your neighbor sues you. A lawyer can help you take the necessary steps to stop your neighbor from building, fencing, or taking any activities on your land by issuing lawsuits or cease letters depending on the severity of the case.
Search Your Title
The best way to resolve a boundary dispute is to search your title to know the legal ownership lines. You can search public records to know the legal owner of the space in dispute.
Get Help From a Land Surveyor
Are you having a boundary dispute with your neighbor in Texas? D.G. Smyth & Co., Inc. can help settle it without involving the courts. We offer surveying services with an emphasis on boundary surveyors and much more! Feel free to contact us and book an appointment.