boundary line disputes

boundary line disputes

Probably the most common type of lawsuit involving real estate,because it is the type least likely to result in settlement before trial. Problems generally arise as a result of some or all of the following four factors:

1. Formerly unsurveyed property owned by amicable neighbors passes into the hands of an outsider who orders a survey and discovers the boundary lines are in different places than previously thought.

2. Formerly amicable neighbors who did not care about a 10- or 20-foot discrepancy in boundary lines suddenly care when oil or gas is discovered under the land, or the property becomes so valuable that it is being sold by the square foot rather than by the acre.

3. Advances in surveying technology would have placed a property corner in a different loca- tion than the original surveyor placed it, and when this is discovered, the neighbors go to court.

4. Someone mistakenly builds a house or other improvement with a portion located on a neighbor's land. Words are exchanged regarding tearing down the trespassing improve- ment, and the parties resort to the court system to solve their differences.

There are very specific rules for resolving boundary line disputes:

1. Advances in technology make no difference because the property corners are where the original surveyor placed them according to his or her own state-of-the-art technology for the time, not at the absolutely accurate location according to today's technology.

2. If there are mistakes in the description, courts follow a hierarchy of things to consider and things to ignore if there is a conflict among descriptions within a deed.

3. If someone innocently builds an improvement that encroaches on another's land, most courts will figure out a way to either give the property to the encroacher or will order the other person to sell a minimal amount of land to the encroacher.

References in periodicals archive ?
He has successfully represented brokers, sellers and buyers in cases involving the nondisclosure of defective conditions, mortgage brokers and lenders in wrongful foreclosure actions, owners in cases involving partition, possession and nuisance, neighbors in cases involving prescriptive easements, boundary line disputes and encroachment, individual members of LLCs and partnerships regarding issues of governance and control of profits, and tort claims by and against third parties.