When you own a property, you want to enjoy your personal space free from any disturbance or interference. Unfortunately, as much as we might want to avoid conflicts with our neighbors, it's not always possible, especially when it comes to property lines. Whether it's an overgrown tree, a fence on the wrong side, or any other encroachment, the situation can escalate quickly if not addressed early. In this blog post, we will discuss some solutions to handle property encroachment issues with neighbors.
Talk it out
The first and most amicable solution is to talk it out with your neighbor. Often, people might not know they are violating your property or could be doing it unintentionally. A calm and respectful conversation about your concern can save you from unnecessary conflicts. Show them your Real Property Report (RPR), if you have one, to clarify the boundaries. If your neighbor is receptive, you can jointly agree on a solution, such as trimming their tree branches or moving the fence.
Bring in a survey company
If your neighbor does not act towards the encroachment after the initial conversation, and you DON’T have an updated Real Property Report, It's time to involve a surveyor. If you do not have a copy of your RPR, a professional surveyor can resurvey and establish the exact boundary of your property. They will provide a map that shows your property's total size, shape, and any posts or landmarks that fall within its perimeter. Having this report can help solve any future disputes that might arise. Note: An old RPR will still provide adequate guidance for property line disputes.
Seek legal counsel
Sometimes, even after providing evidence of encroachment, your neighbor may refuse to rectify the situation. It is here where a real estate lawyer can help. Your lawyer will help you understand the legal facts and options available for you. They can draft a letter asking your neighbor to take corrective action, and if that fails, they can guide you on filing a lawsuit against your neighbor.
Prevention is better than cure
You never know when you may face an encroachment issue with your neighbor. Before purchasing your property, you should ensure that all documents, including legal descriptions, maps, and boundary plans, are in place. If you notice any issues with your neighbor, act promptly. The sooner you act, the better your chances of finding an amicable solution.
Property encroachment can be frustrating, especially if it affects your quality of life. However, dealing with the problem head-on can save you from headaches and more significant legal challenges later on. Hopefully, these solutions have given you a starting point to tackle any encroachment issues that may arise, and remember, prevention is always the best course of action.