When two adjoining landowners are not in agreement over who owns an area of property, this is considered a title dispute. Essentially, what is happening is the property owners are not sure who owns the title to that particular section of land. To distinguish from a property title dispute, boundary disputes occur when landowners are not on the same page as to where the line between their two properties lands.
When one property owner wishes to make changes to their land, this is when boundary disputes can easily arise. A neighboring owner may not be fond of the planned changes, and thus enforce their right to state it infringes upon their side of the property. A property owner may want to extend their home, but a neighbor may claim it crosses the boundary line for them, whether partially or entirely.
Truth be told, many owners of property don’t know to the inch where their property lines have been established. So by undergoing a legal proceeding over the issue, it can provide clarity and uncover where exactly the property lines lay. The two most prevalently filed boundary issues are declaratory judgment and trespass lawsuits. Other boundary disputes that can impact a landowner’s rights are listed as follows:
- Vegetation rights
- Improvement rights
- Air rights
- Right to be free of public nuisance
- Right to subjacent or lateral support
If you are having a boundary-related problem with a neighbor, try to stay calm and review property documents before making any firm claims or taking action against them. Talking with your neighbor directly can begin to resolve the dispute without having to go through a legal process. However, there are times when a neighbor is not being cordial or cooperative, so filing a lawsuit may be necessary.
As a property title search professional, can attest, disagreements regarding property title and boundaries can be stressful and confusing. Try talking with your neighbor kindly and factually first, and if that doesn’t prevail, then legal action may be the next step.