How to Avoid Court If You Have a Property Dispute

Posted on: 4 August 2015


Your neighbor begins construction on what you previously believed was your property. However, when you tell your neighbor that he or she is constructing on your property, your neighbor claims that the property actually belongs to him or her. You will not want to wait too long to handle this issue because under laws of adverse possession, your neighbor can eventually take permanent ownership of your property. Then, you will need to work with an attorney to get your property back. Instead, follow this advice:

Rely on Your Deed

You will be able to find your exact property lines on your deed. However, you cannot always rely on your deed because it isn't always correct. Begin by cross-referencing your deed with your neighbor's deed. It could be that your neighbor simply did not look at his or her deed and assumed that your property was actually his or hers.

However, if your deeds are different, you may need a land survey so you can determine exactly what portion of your property belongs to whom. Land surveys are less expensive than legal approaches to having your property rights enforced. The land survey will serve as ammunition for you to prove that land specifically belongs to you. To learn more about this option, get in touch with a land surveying service near you.

Talk with Your Neighbor Politely

The good news is that most individuals are not interested in handling property boundaries legally, so you can usually have the problem resolved through a negotiation with your neighbor. You may be able to have your neighbor agree to something else, such as trading areas of land with each other. Your neighbor may agree to make the structure smaller so that it does not encroach on your property as much.

Send a Letter

Send an official letter to your neighbor so he or she exactly knows the issue at hand. Make sure you are clear and simple so there is no room for misinterpretation. File the letter to the county clerk or a land record's office.

Find Ways to Avoid Court

If you do feel that the case needs to go to court, begin by first considering a mediation service. Hiring a mediator is less expensive than going to court. The service charges an hourly rate.

Another easy way to handle the issue without going to court is to determine if your neighbor is violating any laws or ordinances. When the structure was built on your property, did your neighbor get the appropriate permit or was the structure inspected? If not, you may be able to call for the structure to be taken down.