Property boundaries are some of the most overlooked issues in real estate. It is easy to ignore the legalities behind boundaries because people assume that boundaries are obvious enough to determine with the naked eye alone. But this is not always the case. There are instances where the boundaries are much more complicated than that. Disputes may arise and sour your relationship with your neighbors.
Know your boundaries
According to the website of Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., almost every property has carefully delineated boundaries that determine precisely where the property owner’s rights to make altercations or otherwise exercise control over their property end. So, the boundary dispute may just have risen because of your lack of knowledge regarding your boundary.
Your boundary is documented, so you have to go through papers to determine the legal bounds of your property. This is usually found in your settlement papers, in the part where there is a property map drawn out and indicate your property’s boundary.
Talk to your neighbor
An essential part of any kind of dispute, not just real estate disputes, is communication. Go talk to your neighbor, tell him that he is already crossing into your boundary, and politely ask to do the appropriate actions to avoid encroachment.
It is a good idea to assume that your neighbor has crossed the boundary innocently, as this will create a less adversarial nature in your dispute. To make your claim stronger, bring your settlement papers with you, and give emphasis to the part where your property’s boundary has been clearly set.
Make the dispute official
If asking your neighbor politely doesn’t work, you can take the more aggressive approach – making the dispute official. You can write a letter to the land records office. This letter should be detailed, so you can make your case strong. Include settlement papers that prove your boundaries and documentations of your neighbor going over these boundaries. Making the dispute official gives your neighbor the impression that you mean serious business.
This may not seem like a “simple solution,” but that is arguable. It is likely that you will require a lawyer, and even complicated stuff like real estate disputes become simple if you have the help of someone who knows what he is doing.
Compromise with your neighbor
If making the dispute official is the more aggressive approach, compromising with your neighbor is the less aggressive approach. But this doesn’t mean that you will be submissive and go with the whims of your neighbor. In fact, your neighbor is the one who will submit to you.
You can make a document that lets your neighbor use the disputed part of your property, and indicate that the part still belongs to you and that it will not be subject to adverse possession. Also, there is the option of selling that part to your neighbor as well.