Neighbors can greatly increase your enjoyment of a property. Sharing a boundary with someone else will often lead to the development of a casual social relationship. Neighbors can provide playmates for your children and friendships for the adults.
Unfortunately, the very proximity that creates neighborhood friendships can also put pressure on neighborly relationships. When you share a boundary, there could eventually come a day when you realize you disagree about where that boundary actually falls.
Long-term neighbors may not realize they have differing ideas about where their property starts and ends until one neighbor wants to pave their driveway, expand their kitchen or put up a fence. How do you resolve a dispute with your neighbor about where their property ends and your property starts?
Look at the legal descriptions for your properties
One of the most important parts of your homeownership paperwork is the legal description. The legal description of your property explains the exact boundaries of the parcel of land that you purchased.
Often, the language used in a legal description is highly technical and may require professional help to interpret, but sometimes, it is very clear where the boundary falls even to a layperson. Provided that your ownership paperwork isn’t contradictory, looking it over together could help the two of you resolve your dispute.
Get professional help to verify the boundary
If reviewing the legal descriptions doesn’t resolve the issue, then you may need professional help. A surveyor is an educated professional who can use tools and an understanding of the language used in legal descriptions to officially establish the boundary for your property. Hiring a surveyor may be a necessary step if one neighbor wants to move forward with a construction project that might theoretically affect the other’s property.
Sometimes, the neighbors will cooperate when retaining a surveyor. Other times, one neighbor may have to incur the cost of hiring a surveyor to settle the issue. If the surveyor’s placement of the boundary still doesn’t resolve the matter, then you may very well end up in civil court. Understanding the right steps to take during a boundary dispute can help you protect your property and your social relationships.