Neighbor Disputes: What You Should Know About Boundary Disputes

Posted on: 5 February 2015

When you first bought your home, you probably didn't even consider potential disputes with your neighbors. There are many disputes you might have with your neighbors, with boundary issues being a common one. If your neighbor is building a fence or doing something that causes them to enter your property, you can get legal help:

How to Define the Boundary

You can start by hiring a licensed surveyor, who will come to your property and locate the actual property line. They are going to get this information from public records and your deed. They can show you exactly where the boundary line is, so you can determine if they are going over it.

Next, you need an appraisal to find the market value of the property. Finally, get a title search to look for recorded documents relating to your property.

Get an Attorney

Hire a real estate attorney. Real estate attorneys not only handle issues when buying and selling homes, but with any disputes you have at the home you currently own. This includes any type of neighbor disputes, such as a boundary issue. The attorney will help you prepare the right documentation, give you advice on talking to your neighbor, and help you go through mediation or court if it comes to that.

Speak to Your Neighbor

It is important that you start a line of communication, as it could very well be nothing more than a misunderstanding. Perhaps your neighbor was not aware of the boundary line and had no idea their fence was being built on your property. When you speak to your neighbor, don't bring up legal considerations or mention you have an attorney.

It's a good idea to speak with your attorney first to get their advice on these communications, but do not bring them in the middle of it. When someone feels they are being threatened with a lawsuit, they tend to be less likely to cooperate.

Send a Demand Letter

If you were unable to come to an agreement through verbal communications, it is time for action. Have your attorney write up a demand letter to be sent to your neighbor. This will describe the current boundary issue and mention that you have already tried working it out without legal help. The letter will request action or an offer from your neighbor in order to resolve the dispute. At this point, you can wait for them to act, or request to see them in court.

Going to Court

In some cases, the neighbor will still argue their point, and will still refuse to cooperate. This is when you will head toward a settlement or court. Your attorney and their attorney will first try a mediation to try and come up with a compromise or settlement. If that is not agreeable, you can take them to court and sue them for the boundary issue. If you win your case, they will be required to remove all their possessions from your property at the boundary line.

Have other questions? Need more help? Try contacting a company like Drennan Law Office for more help with your situation or to voice your concerns.