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Common reasons for encroachment disputes

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2023 | Blog, Real Estate Disputes |

Encroachment disputes are common when someone violates a property boundary. This often leads to conflicts between neighbors. Many land and access disputes result in increased tension and legal complications.

Understanding the most common reasons for encroachment disputes helps you minimize your risk of challenges with your neighbors.

Unclear boundaries

When property boundaries are not clearly defined, it is easy for structures, fences and landscaping to cross into neighboring land. This can often cause conflicts and disagreements over ownership.

Lack of property survey

Property owners should request a property survey when they purchase land and any time they plan property improvements. Failure to complete a land survey can result in encroachment on neighboring properties.

Changes in use

Changing the use of the property, such as when you transition a residential property to commercial use, may lead to encroachment issues. Zoning regulations may prohibit certain structures and activities near the property lines, which can interfere with existing elements on neighboring properties.

Property inheritance

Inherited properties may have unclear boundaries, which can lead to accidental encroachment issues when the new owners take possession. Establishing boundaries as part of a property transfer helps to reduce this risk.

Conflict over prior agreements

When properties change hands, new owners may not honor an agreement established with the seller. Even when you have an agreement with your neighbor, without any legal easements, a new owner could refuse you access and claim encroachment.

Preventing encroachment issues requires clear communication, accurate surveys and respect of property boundaries. According to Forbes, a property survey costs an average of $500. Think about the peace of mind that comes with clear, enforceable boundaries to protect your property rights when you decide how to mark your property lines.


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