Settling in for a season of enjoyment in your vacation property or city home? Expect disruptions to your peace of mind if you find yourself in a boundary dispute involving your residential property. Real estate litigation lawyer, Arsen Krekovic of Hoogbruin & Co. has some precautions and remedies for you if issues seem to be rising concerning boundaries on real estate property that you own or plan to buy.
While it is always advisable to consult with an experienced real estate lawyer, aware of laws and regulations in your specific situation, there are some actions you can take to protect your interests.
Precautions for property buyers and sellers to avoid boundary disputes
- Obtain a Professional Survey : If you are selling consider getting a professional survey done before listing your property. This clearly establishes the boundaries and the survey can provide accurate measurements and boundary markers, which can help prevent or address boundary disputes.
- Review Property Documents: Closely review all relevant property documents. This includes the deed, title insurance policy, and any existing surveys or boundary agreements. Prevent discrepancies and disputes, proactively by understanding the details of your property’s legal description.
- Communication and Documentation: It cannot be overstated that maintaining open lines of communication with your neighbors can help. You may be able to reach amicable resolution by simply discussing any concerns or potential boundary issues in advance, when things are not heated. Do, however, document all discussions, agreements, and any changes made regarding boundaries or encroachments.
- Disclose Potential Disputes: Aware of any ongoing or past boundary disputes? Disclosing that information to potential buyers is important. Transparency about potential issues can help manage expectations and avoid legal complications later on. Litigation need not be your first response to trouble with boundaries as noted above. If issues and means of dealing with them are both getting complex, reach out for counsel of a knowledgeable real estate lawyer
Possible action points to remedy a real estate property boundary issue
- Mediation or Negotiation: Attempt to resolve the boundary dispute, amicably with your neighbor. Engage in mediation or negotiation. Mediation may facilitate productive discussions and potentially reach a mutually acceptable solution without resorting to litigation.
- Title Insurance Coverage : Why this option? A review of your title insurance policy can determine if you have coverage for boundary disputes. Some policies may include coverage for legal expenses or losses resulting from boundary issues.
- Legal Assistance : Your search for guidance may be in the form of an experienced real estate lawyer who specializes in boundary disputes. You will want them to assess the situation, review relevant documents, and advise you on the best course of action. If necessary, they can represent your interests in negotiations or court proceedings if you take that next step.
- Litigation as a Last Resort: Litigation, may be the step to take if all other avenues fail to resolve the dispute. Your lawyer can take you through the legal process. It may mean filing a lawsuit, presenting evidence, and representing your case in court.
As land title and boundary disputes can have significant implications for both buyers and sellers in real estate transactions, you are always wise to seek counsel.
Boundary disputes between neighbouring property owners can be very stressful, expensive and time consuming. The dispute may be over the location, extent, or maintenance of the property boundaries. Some causes for these disputes that arise are covered in previous posts on this site about unclear legal descriptions, encroachments, or differing interpretations of surveys or historical evidence.
Boundary disputes can definitely affect the use, enjoyment, and value of the property. Don’t suffer these losses and stresses. Reach out to an experienced real estate legal specialist.