How to handle property disputes with your neighbor

Trung Thanh Le | 2:52 PM | 0 nhận xét

Even if you are not particularly close with your neighbors, you probably don’t want to find yourself in the middle of a property line battle with them. The trouble is, property is valuable and for most of us, our homes are the biggest purchase we will make in our lives. We don’t really have the option of ignoring property line violations. So, what do you do if you suspect you neighbor may have built over your property line? Here are some ideas on how to come to handle the issue.

Getting Your Facts Straight

No one likes being falsely accused, so before you get everyone worked up over the issue, it’s probably best to start with a contour survey. Rather than relying on the eyeballing or pacing method, the contour survey is a precise and professional document, you can later use in court if necessary. Now hopefully it won’t come to that, but when approaching your neighbors with an accusation of this magnitude, it helps to have irrefutable evidence. It lets them know you’re serious about resolving the issue and leaves no room for debate as far as where the property line should be. The contour survey is so detailed in fact, it will depict the structure in question on the report and its relation to the property line.

Approaching Your Neighbors

Once you have your suspicions verified, it’s time to meet with your neighbors. The first meeting should be a casual one. Bring a copy of the contour survey, but don’t lead with it. Do bring a dessert or something pleasant and start with a bit of ice breaking small talk to lighten the mood. When you broach the subject, make sure you don’t sound accusatory. This will undoubtedly trigger a defensive response, and truthfully, the trespass could have been completely accidental. They may be unaware they have built on your property. Let them know that it has recently come to your attention that their structure is actually located on your property. Let them know that your concern is for the financial implications of both parties. Upon sale of the property, the new owners may take legal action and certainly there are adverse possession concerns on your end. Read more on adverse possessions here. Reiterate how you value their friendship and would like to work out a solution that is financially optimal for all parties involved. Give them a copy of report and suggest another meet up to discuss the details.

Getting a Mediator

If the conversation doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped, it doesn’t mean you have to speed dial your family attorney. Remember, you’ll likely have to deal with your neighbors daily for quite a few years to come, so it’s best to make every effort to keep things amicable. Suggest to neighbors, sharing the expense of a mediator to help you work through the issue. Mediation can be very helpful, not only with the issue at hand, but also in helping establish communications for years to come. Click here for more information on mediation.

If you have exhausted these options to no avail, then you may be forced to take further legal steps. Take heart in the knowledge that your contour survey is all the evidence you need to force the issue and have the necessary changes make.


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