Conflicting boundaries leading to land disputes are a common occurrence in California. These conflicts usually occur when there is a change in property ownership. You should get professional help to identify and formalize exact boundary lines. Boundary disputes are best resolved through legal representation. An experienced real estate attorney familiar with California laws and boundary disputes can evaluate your current situation and create the right strategy for resolving any issues you may be facing.
Here are a few useful tips when you are seeking a resolution of boundary disputes with neighboring property owners:
- Request for a Property Survey
Typically, boundary disputes arise when one party thinks that the other one is encroaching on their land. You should have a surveyor mark the official boundary line during a general property survey. The surveyor can plot various features, such as fences, trees, elevations, and other physical markers.
In fact, calling a surveyor is a great idea if you are looking to make changes to your property, such as planting trees or putting up a fence. In some cases, surveys won’t be possible. This is because the wording of the deed or neighbors may make it too difficult for determining the actual boundary. Consult with an experienced real estate attorney in these situations.
The attorney may be able to use a quiet title lawsuit for getting a judge to determine the boundary line. However, a quiet title lawsuit is more expensive than a regular property survey. A competent attorney will usually keep this as the last option after exploring other inexpensive ways of allocating boundary lines.
- Sign a Written Agreement with Your Neighbor
Sometimes, open communication and productive discussions with your neighbors can help you solve complicated disputes. You should always sign a written agreement with your neighbor outlining who owns what. Speak to a qualified real estate attorney to ensure the agreement is worded properly. This document should also include contingencies for boundary line modifications, encroachments, and other situations.
- Consider Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
If you and your neighbors cannot arrive at an agreement on your own, an experienced attorney can act as a mediator. Your attorney can also file for alternative dispute resolution (ADR.) This is an impartial and inexpensive way of coming to a satisfactory solution. Mediators usually help in resolving boundary conflicts and any other disputes that may arise in a timely manner.
You can attend the mediation meetings on your own or ask an attorney to remain present with you. It is best to attend mediation sessions with all necessary evidence and documents that help in supporting your claim. Two main benefits of mediation over litigation are that they are less expensive and any decision made is non-imposable. This means that if you don’t approve of the decision, you can take the matter to court. You don’t have to accept a decision until you know for a fact that it is your best alternative.
- File a Lawsuit
Real estate litigation may become necessary for resolving a boundary dispute. This can be a time-consuming and expensive course of action. However, a skilled attorney may be able to strategize and take the necessary steps for obtaining a favorable outcome quickly. You can improve the likelihood of getting a favorable outcome by gathering relevant evidence that supports your claim, such as a map, photos, and witness testimonies.
The judge will hear both sides and look at the original deeds, land survey, and other evidence for determining the property line. Having an attorney on your side can help you protect your legal rights and make sure that you get the best possible outcome.
Consult with an Experienced Boundary Disputes Attorney
If you are involved in a boundary dispute with your neighbor, you should speak with an experienced real estate litigation attorney. Your attorney may be able to prevent lengthy arguments and expensive court battles by negotiating with your neighbors. Your attorney will also argue on your behalf to persuade the other party. In boundary disputes, having an attorney is usually the best shot at getting the outcome you desire.
Boundary disputes are complicated. You can resolve yours amicably and quickly with foresight and patience. You need to understand that your neighbors may have a valid claim depending on the circumstances. It always pays off to invest in creative solutions that become a win-win for everyone involved. Real estate attorneys have the necessary knowledge and experience needed to prepare a solid lawsuit that works in their client’s favor.
Our Reputable Northern California Real Estate Lawyers can Protect Your Property Rights
If you are currently dealing with a real estate boundary dispute, you should speak to the experienced attorneys at Peterson, Martin & Reynolds LLP. Our attorneys have substantial experience in all types of real estate disputes and will offer the best legal solutions to resolve the issues while protecting your property rights at all times. Schedule a free consultation with our lawyers today. Call us at (415) 399-2900 or contact us online.