You may have heard stories about neighbors having property disputes. A prime example is the tree that needs to be trimmed back and who is responsible for having it done. A friendly compromise usually ends the controversy.
A different kind of dispute may arise when one neighbor discovers that his garage is actually sitting on the property of the guy next door. This may be through no fault of his own but merely a mistake in a previous boundary survey of the two properties.
The legal term for such a situation is “adverse possession” meaning in this case that the neighbor may claim ownership of the property where his garage had been constructed and has been standing. The oversight could go undiscovered for years or even overlooked until something brings it into contention say if one of the neighbors decides to sell his home. If the two neighbors cannot come to an understanding on their own the dispute may become a matter for the courts.
The neighbor who stakes the claim e.g., the garage owner in this case, may do so under any one of several sets of circumstances. State laws vary when it comes to determining exactly what constitutes a claim of adverse possession.
Property owners should take care to avoid this kind of entanglement. Check property tax records and plat maps to be sure just where the boundaries lie. If an issue does arise, consider the alternatives open to you before things get out of hand and more problems are created. You could always simply give your written permission to your neighbor to continue using your property as a matter of his convenience. If you’d prefer a more legal arrangement ask your lawyer about the option of a property easement.
Contact Parker Lawyers for advice about how to deal with a property dispute or any other civil law matter that may be causing you concern. You can reach our offices by calling 303-841-9525