As purchasing real estate becomes more common and more important for individuals, families, and businesses, the issue of unorthodox, impractical, or otherwise problematic property boundaries have increased over the years within the legal system. Such property boundaries can create issues for both buyers and sellers of real estate. This can create issues shortly before a scheduled “closing” of a real estate sale, which in turn creates unwanted stress and expense in a short amount of time. Such issues commonly arise when a neighboring property owner makes a claim to land that isn’t part of his or her legally owned property, when a building or other structure is situated on top of or over a boundary line, or when there has been longstanding use by one party (or his or her predecessors-in-title) of land that they do not own.
In some cases, the party that has an encroachment on someone else’s property or the party that has used someone else’s property for many years may have a legal basis to acquire, or have already acquired, property interest in the area of land that it is in dispute. The property interest could be outright ownership, or it could be a limited property interest to continue using the land in the manner in which it was being used in the past – sometimes referred to as an easement. In other cases, the property owner of the land being used or encroached upon by another can exercise his or her own property rights to eject the other party from the land. To determine whether or not the use can continue or must stop depends on the individual facts of the case and how it is analyzed under longstanding legal authority.
Due to the fact that these types of cases are very complex and oftentimes require professional assessment, having an experienced attorney on your side will provide you with the confidence needed to work through the dispute. It can also be important to have an experienced attorney on your side to be able to make decisions logically instead of emotionally, as oftentimes disputes with neighbors can become personal.
If you or someone you know is in a dispute with someone else over an impractical boundary line or the use of a particular piece of real estate, it would be wise to contact an attorney at Miller & Stevens immediately. The amount of time that the use has been ongoing, or the encroachment has existed, is important to your case. Please contact our office to set up a free consultation at 651-462-0206.