When buying a property in California, natural and human-made barriers aren’t always trustworthy or accurate when determining the official boundary lines. If you happen to find yourself in an unfortunate situation involving a boundary dispute, it is essential that you find a way to permanently and peacefully address the issue.
Request a general property survey
Boundary disputes often arise because one party believes the other is encroaching on their land. It may be necessary to get a surveyor from the county to come out and mark the official boundary lines. This can involve drawing up an accurate map and plotting various features like elevations, trees, fences and other physical markers that the previous landowners used to create those boundaries.
Get a written agreement between you and your neighbor
After determining the boundary lines, it’s important to sign a written agreement that outlines who owns what. This document should specify which parts of the land belong to each party and also include contingencies for situations such as encroachments or boundary line modifications due to future changes in the landscape.
If you and your neighbor can’t come to an agreement on your own, you may want to consider hiring a mediator who can help both sides reach a satisfactory resolution. A mediator is impartial and will work with both sides to facilitate communication and help resolve any conflicts that arise. To ensure a successful outcome, come prepared with all the necessary documents and evidence that can help support your case.
File a lawsuit (as a last resort)
In some cases, real estate litigation may be necessary to resolve a boundary dispute. This recourse can be expensive and time-consuming, and you can never know the decision the judge will make. However, to improve your chances of winning, gather sufficient evidence, such as photos, maps and witness testimonies, to support your claim.
Dealing with boundary disputes can be complex, but with patience and foresight, you can resolve yours quickly and amicably. It’s important to remember that in many cases, both parties have valid claims, so it pays off to come up with creative solutions that benefit everyone involved. With the right approach, you can avoid costly litigation and maintain positive relationships with your neighbors for years to come.