No matter how long you have lived on your property, and even if your fence has been up for five or more years, your property line can become a matter of contention with a neighbor. Most of the time, the dispute can easily be settled, but once in a while, the issue can draw out into a long battle that can last for months. Here are four steps you can use to settle a boundary dispute with your neighbor.
Hire a Surveyor
A surveyor can establish exactly where your property line is in relation to the fence, tree, or building that is in question. Beware, however. The legal line may shift either direction and you may lose some of the land you thought was yours.
Look For Facts
No matter what either of you says, there are papers with property lines, dimensions, and other essential facts about both properties. Those papers are drawn up each time the house or land is sold. If the papers don’t agree on the dimensions, or there are questions regarding the legal numbers, contact a real estate attorney Howard County MD. He or she can help you read the documents.
Have a Discussion
With papers in hand, have a civil discussion with your neighbor. If you believe there could be a problem, ask if a mediator can come to the meeting. Sometimes your local courthouse or bar association can offer assistance, including a neutral meeting room.
File A Lawsuit
If you take the steps above and there is still a disagreement over the property boundary lines, the final step is to file a lawsuit. Once the issue is in the hands of the judge, there is no telling what will happen, but you can be sure the issue will be settled once and for all.
Once the case is over, make sure your lawyer files the new papers with the county surveyor or assessor’s office. Once the documents are stamped, dated, and filed, they are recognized as official.