What can I legally do about someone encroaching on my property?

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Question:

What can I legally do about someone encroaching on my property?

Answer:

One problem that occurs more frequently than most people realize is the issue of property encroachment real estate  This occurs when property lines meet and one person’s property line extends across onto the other property line – for example, when someone builds a fence between your yard and their yard, and their fence extends onto your property.  So, what can you legally do about property encroachment if someone is intruding on your property?  There are a few potential options available to you if you are having this problem.

  • Unfortunately, if the encroachment exists when you purchase the property, there is often little that can be done.  
  • If the encroachment occurs after you purchase the property, you may be able to discuss the issue with the neighbor and have him remove it after the two of you reach an agreement.  
  • If this option does not work, you will need to file a claim in court, and have the neighbor served with a copy of it.  
  • You may also need to have your land surveyed, at cost to you, in order to prove that the encroachment is on your land.  
  • A judge will be able to make a decision as to whether or not the encroachment is on your property if you take the case to court.

You should also strongly consider speaking with an experienced real estate attorney who handles issues of property encroachment. A simple letter from your attorney may get your neighbor to cooperate, and if it does not, then your lawyer can help you to file the appropriate court paperwork to start a court action.

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