Bradley Hull IV, Esq. of Cavitch, Familo & Durkin Co. LPA

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How do you solve a dispute about your property’s boundary?
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Maybe you’ve always had a friendly relationship with your neighbors, or perhaps the most interaction you’ve had involved waving at one another from your driveways. Regardless of your existing relationship with the people whose property abuts your own, things will surely become tense if you discover a disagreement about where the boundary between your properties is.

Such conflicts often arise when one owner has plans to improve their property. Boundary disputes can affect everything from landscaping and fencing to the placement of new houses or the viability of an expansion on an existing structure. If you and your neighbor don’t agree about the boundary between your properties, how do you resolve that conflict?

Look at your individual property records

Sometimes, people receive inaccurate information from a seller when they buy a property or they misunderstand the boundary. A seller might tell someone the wrong location entirely or might indicate a specific tree, which the buyer then misremembers as a tree well over the boundary line.

Miscommunication and confusion about the real placement of boundary lines are common. Mistakes in deed paperwork and surveys can also confuse property owners about where the edge of their property actually is. If the two of you compare your documents, you may be able to resolve the dispute quickly and effectively. If your records match but you still disagree, then you need outside help.

Getting a new survey can be the best solution

If your existing records don’t resolve the dispute about the property line, then you may need to hire a new surveyor. Having a professional come out and measure your property before marking the boundaries will make it quite clear where someone can build a fence and where one property ends and the other begins.

In rare cases, such as those with two sets of property records that contradict one another, a survey may not resolve the matter. Especially if the other party has a survey that returns different results, you may have no choice but to litigate your real estate dispute. Learning about your rights in a real estate conflict can help you protect your property and the value that it represents.