How to handle property disputes

27655215 - unity and friendship of neighbors in vintage paper styleFor better or worse, you are stuck with your neighbors until somebody moves. Whether you have a good, bad or nonexistent relationship, you do occasionally have to deal with one another. One of the biggest issues that can cause friction in a neighborly relationship is a boundary issue.

A boundary issue usually arises when there is overlap on the property line from either neighbor. It could be from a structure, a tree or something else. The main issue is that one neighbor’s stuff is crossing over onto the other neighbor’s property. So what can you do when this happens?

First, consult your deed. The wording on your deed will properly detail your property line so that you can accurately assess where the violation is taking place. Make sure that you completely understand how to measure your property, and if you are unsure, consider getting a property survey so that you can be 100% sure.

Secondly, approach the issue in a friendly manner. Getting aggressive, defensive or hostile will only make matters worse. Consider your neighbor’s point of view and express your concerns and what could be done to fix the issue. Compromise if you can.

Thirdly, if you or or your neighbor is unable to move things (especially if it’s a structure) consider an easement. This will document the change in property line for both you and your neighbor.

Lastly, if none of those options work, talk to a lawyer with experience in property law. You have rights to your property, and if you have done everything you can to amicably settle the situation but aren’t getting results, it’s time to stick up for your rights.

Property disputes can be scary situations, but they don’t have to be. By understanding your property line, deed and title and by trying to foster a good relationship with your neighbor, you can handle most disagreements.