BOUNDARY DISPUTES

Boundary disputes, which are disagreements regarding who owns a piece of property, can be quite common. Boundary questions often arise when a property owner makes an improvement, such as building a fence.

For example, when you are raising a fence outside of your house, you may unknowingly be placing your fence on your neighbor’s property. On the other hand, you may be erecting the fence entirely on your property, but your neighbor may argue that the fence is encroaching on his property. It is important that any issues concerning boundary disputes get resolved in a timely manner.

There are a number of factors that can be reviewed to determine who has rightful ownership of the land. If a survey was prepared at the time of purchase, it will show the actual boundary lines. Otherwise, the property description in the deed, which is usually recorded with the county, includes a description of the boundary lines of the property. However, if the property description was originally recorded many years ago, it may not be entirely accurate. Therefore, you may want to have a survey done if no survey was done at the time of purchase.

If you find yourself in a boundary dispute, it is important to first attempt to work things out with your neighbor. You and your neighbor may come to an agreement by signing a quitclaim deed which clarifies theborder between the two properties.

Other means of dispute resolution can include using a mediator or an arbitrator to help determine a boundary line without going to court. Inother instances, you and your neighbor might not be able to reach an agreement and a quiet title lawsuit or an even an adverse possession lawsuit may ultimately need to be filed so that a court can resolve the boundary dispute.