How to Resolve Property Line Disputes with Neighbors
Property line disputes can turn your dream home into a nightmare situation that leaves you nervous about leaving your house and fearful of unpleasant neighbor encounters. However, you have options if you believe that your neighbor is infringing on your space. By taking the proper steps, consulting with a legal professional, and moving forward slowly, you can do your best to resolve issues in a mutually beneficial way.
Not sure where to start with your property line dispute? We understand, and we’re here to help. Call Evans Law at 410-626-6009 to schedule a consultation now.
First, you will want to get a copy of your property title. This contains information on demarcation lines and where your property ends. If there are inconsistencies between what you believe to be your property and what is included in the title, you know that there is more to look into. On top of that, an official deed may show you any easements that exist. In Maryland, you can view your title online.
Get a Professional Survey
Next, you will want to get your property surveyed. A survey uses your deed to mark out the actual physical boundaries of your property. This can be hard to envision when you’re just looking at a deed, so a survey can show you where your property begins and ends. Assuming that your neighbor is already actively using your property, this should show exactly where they are overstepping.
Contact an Annapolis Real Estate Attorney
Even if you believe that the matter can be resolved in an amicable manner, this is a good time to connect with a real estate attorney. Should your attempts to resolve the issue fail, you will want to be able to take swift action.
Consider Non-Confrontational Options
You have to live next to this person for the foreseeable future, so you may not want to go straight to burning bridges by seeking immediate legal action. Instead, think about whether or not you can resolve the matter in a friendly way. In many situations, the neighbor truly does not know that they are infringing on someone else’s space. They may be embarrassed and want to fix their error as soon as possible.
If this is the case, you may not need to go any further. You might start by setting up a time to talk to them, showing them the deed, and showing them the findings of the survey. Try to keep the discussion calm and find solutions that benefit both parties.
Compromise If Possible
Once both sides agree that there is a problem, you can try to find a solution. This may mean splitting the cost of removing anything they have built on your land, agreeing to an easement for a one-time payment, or splitting the cost of a fence to make boundaries clear. Please note that in many cases, you are not obligated to pay anything to remove their property or make the situation right. It’s simply something that some homeowners choose to offer in order to maintain neighborly relations.
Look Into Alternative Dispute Resolution
If informal negotiations don’t go well, it may be time to suggest mediation or arbitration. This is less expensive than going to court but may still yield a positive outcome. The other party may be willing to try this if they know that your next step is taking them to court.
Take Your Case to Court
If all else fails, it’s time to file a lawsuit and take steps to protect your right to your property. This is why it’s important to have an experienced real estate attorney whom you can reach out to in order to help deal with this situation.
If this is your only option, the timing of your filing will be important as well. The sooner you can start moving through the court system, the sooner you can have an enforceable court order. While this may damage your relationship with your neighbors, remember that maintaining neighborly relations is a two-way street. Your neighbor also has a responsibility here to avoid infringing on your property.
Choose Evans Law for Your Real Estate Legal Concerns
Real estate issues can be confusing and multifaceted. The assistance of a real estate attorney can help you explore your options and make the best choice for your needs. Get started now and set up a consultation with Evans Law by getting in touch online or calling 410-626-6009.